Written by Lisa Paredes, Global Ambassador and MBA student, San Francisco Campus Class of 2017.
For years, we believed that IQ was the most important measure to determine who will perform better at work. However, in the mid 90’s experts noticed that some sections of workers with a lower IQ were outperforming those with a higher IQ. This group of people had other types of skills which were identified as the core skills to have a high EQ or Emotional Intelligence. These skills are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
Hult conducted research a couple of years ago to identify which were the most important skills managers look for in an MBA graduate. Not surprisingly, none of them focused on hard skills but instead emphasized leadership skills. Based on this, Hult developed its program to teach Hult students a combination of hard skills and soft skills focused on people management.
1, Hult DNA
If you are a Hult candidate, make sure you read the 18 qualities that a Hult student represents. This will help you decide if Hult is the right place for you. Once you’re in Hult, analyzing these behaviors will spark an introspection process and determine which qualities you are lacking and want to develop during your master year. This tool gives you the space to develop self-awareness by having the opportunity to do a self-assessment.
2. Creating your Personal Development Plan (PDP)
In Immersion, you will be introduced to the school with an important first class, Leadership. In this class, we identify the reasons why developing leadership skills is important. Additionally, we had the assignment of creating our Personal Development Plan (PDP) for the year. Part of creating your PDP is picking the 3 elements you want to develop during the school year. Through this assignment, I got to identify what I wanted to work on but also define a way to get there. I established different habits and actions to work on self-management and reach results continuously during the year. I think this tool helped me realize that even if I identify my emotions and goals I should also make an effort to follow steps that will take me there.
3. Coaching in Leadership
Our daily life is based on different interactions, with friends, colleagues, family or even strangers. The reality is we’re social beings but most of the time we don’t take the time to analyze how these interactions are happening and how they are affecting our lives. When we come to Hult, we’re immersed in an environment where social awareness is very important, as we will have many interactions between very different people with different backgrounds and cultures every single day. In our leadership class, Hult emphasizes improving social awareness while learning about team dynamics and developing our leadership skills to be a good team player.
4. Random teams are not so random
Throughout the whole year, we’re paired in diverse teams in almost all of our projects. Most of the time every member of our team is from a different part of the world with a very different perspective. This is where we practice how to go from social awareness to relationship management. We all initially think that we will all get along and we won’t have any conflict, but the reality is that having the opportunity of being in a diverse team is the best way to experiment different team dynamics, practice empathy and give honest feedback. In my opinion, this has been the most valuable and insightful aspect of our MBA and has taught me the most about people and building personal bonds.
5. The Growth Mindset
In my opinion, the 4 skills defined in the emotional intelligence framework are driven by the cultivation of a growth mindset. If you’re at Hult, growth mindset is probably already part of your daily vocabulary. This concept is based on the belief that every individual’s strengths and weakness are not fixed traits but skills that can be developed and learned. Facing your Masters with this concept in mind allows you to be flexible and open to things you want to learn about and get better at.
This is how Hult made a difference from just talking about EQ because it’s a trending topic, to actually applying the concept to our learning and development process in our Master program. The most important asset a company has is their talent and their most valuable tool are the people who have the skills to engage and manage that talent. With the toolkit that Hult is providing, we as students are set on a path to become exactly one of those people.
Lisa Paredes is a Hult MBA student from Guatemala. She was the CEO of a wine distribution company before she left to pursue her post-graduate degree in San Francisco. Her experience as a business woman and yoga teacher led her to her biggest passion—working with people.