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Serious Games Enable Leaders to Train Emotional Intelligence
Stephen R. Balzac, Leadership Development Expert Stephen R. Balzac, Leadership Development Expert
Stow , MA
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stephen R Balzac
For immediate release

Serious Games Enable Leaders to Train Emotional Intelligence

"All leaders need to connect emotionally with their followers," says leadership expert Stephen Balzac, president of 7 Steps Ahead and author of "The 36-Hour Course in Organizational Development," published by McGraw-Hill. "However, it's a tough skill to learn on the job. That's where predictive scenario serious games come in."

Games have been used for centuries to teach important skills. Modern sports, such as Judo, Fencing, Boxing, Kendo, and Pentathlon, once represented the battlefield skills of the elite warrior. As serious games, they provided the means to maintain martial skills in times of peace.

"Today, though, personal combat and dueling in the executive suite is out of favor," comments Balzac, with a wry grin. "Instead, leaders need to focus on building emotional connections, inspiring and motivating employees to make that extra effort for the company. Serious games provide a tool for leaders to practice those skills without serious consequences for failure."

Athletes practice their skills in a variety of different scenarios. They then enter competitions to test their skills under pressure and against opponents who are not cooperative training partners. Predictive scenarios give leaders the equivalent opportunity.

"As every athlete knows, in competition, you do what you've practiced. And if you haven't practiced, what you do is lose," observes Balzac, a former nationally ranked fencer. "Predictive scenario serious games give leaders the opportunity to practice their emotion-based leadership skills and get immediate feedback on whether or it they're doing it well. As a side benefit, these games also can help identify which employees are the most creative problem solvers."

Just like in sports, those who practice are those who win.

About Steve Balzac

Stephen R. Balzac, "The Business Sensei," is an author, consultant, and professional speaker. He is the president of 7 Steps Ahead, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in helping leaders grow their organizations.

Steve's background in engineering, management, psychology, martial arts, and competitive sports makes him a popular speaker on topics ranging from leadership, motivation, team building, interviewing skills, and sport performance to computer game design. He was a guest lecturer at MIT and WPI. His articles have appeared in a number of journals, including The Journal of Interactive Drama, The IBM Systems Journal, Mass High Tech, Enterprise Management Quarterly, The CEO Refresher, The Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, Analog SF/F and the Worcester Business Journal.

A recognized thought leader, Steve regularly conducts webinars through ExecSense on topics including, "How to Become an Expert Negotiator as a CEO," "The Best Ways to Position Yourself for Your Company's Management Team," "What You Would Learn From Reading the Top Ten Business Books of All Time and How To Apply the Concepts Today." Steve is a contributing author to Ethics and Game Design: Teaching Values Through Play and the author of the 36-Hour Course in Organizational Development published by McGraw-Hill. He is a frequent guest on radio shows including Motivational Minds and Leadership Radio, and is frequently quoted in a variety of publications including IndustryWeek Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Business Journal.

He also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Stephen R. Balzac
7 Steps Ahead, LLC
Stow, MA