Career Services


ARTICLE: Intangible Professional Development

When it comes to professional development, one of the most important aspects often gets overlooked: relationship-led development. Most professionals consider professional development to be a course where you gain a certification or achieve a financial milestone. However, the ‘human’ qualities that make you not just good, but exceptional, are often left behind as success is harder to measure. Here, we will discuss why relationship-led development, such as Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Mentoring, Communication, Integrity, and Leadership are so vital in shaping who you are professionally.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is like your secret weapon in navigating the workplace. It’s about understanding yourself, managing your emotions, and connecting with others. Did you know that a whopping 85% of professional success comes down to how well you handle people? EQ isn’t just about being nice; it’s about being savvy in the way you interact, adapt, and build relationships.

Mentoring is like having a trusted guide on your career journey. It’s someone who’s been there, done that, and is willing to share their wisdom with you. A mentor doesn’t just teach you skills; they help you grow personally, gain confidence, and expand your professional network. It’s a relationship that’s all about learning and support.

Communication is the heartbeat of any workplace. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it and how well you listen. Good communication fosters understanding, resolves conflicts, and fuels creativity. When you can express yourself clearly and connect with others authentically, you’re unstoppable. Adapting your communication style to other personality types helps foster a health working culture.

Integrity is your moral compass in the professional world. It’s about doing the right thing, even when no one’s watching. Integrity builds trust and respect, which are essential for lasting relationships and success. When you stand by your principles and act with honesty and transparency, you earn credibility that money can’t buy.

Leadership isn’t just for those with executive titles; it’s for anyone who wants to make a difference. True leadership is about inspiring others, being accountable, and bringing out the best in people. It’s not about ordering others around; it’s about empowering them to shine and achieve their potential.

In a nutshell, while technical skills are crucial, it’s the intangible qualities that truly set you apart. So, nurture your Emotional Intelligence, seek out mentors, hone your communication skills, uphold your integrity, and lead with purpose. These are the qualities that will not only make you successful but also fulfilled in your professional journey.

Michael Herd is an International Consultant and Search Executive with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, a consulting firm providing executive search, strategic planning and data analysis services to the private club and hospitality industries. Michael can be reached at +44 (0) 7903 035312 and at


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