"When I first became Bishop of Georgia nearly eight years ago, I was well aware of [the] need for stronger leaders in the Diocese...
There was a clear willingness present among the clergy and laity, but many did not have the tools to become stronger leaders. I knew from my personal work in Emotional Intelligence how valuable it had been to me in my ministry. I knew there was a [direct] connection between my capacity to be self-aware and my effectiveness as a leader. Put another way, none of us can lead well unless we’re aware of how our stance and approach in relationships affect others.
So, I contacted friends at EQHR and arranged for the first lab in Georgia about six years ago.
Early on it was a mix of people who took the initiative in getting the training and those who I required to participate since they were in formation for Holy Orders.
By 2013, the training became required of all who were in our ordination process and all those outside the Diocese who accepted calls to parishes here.
There was the occasional grumble about it being a requirement, but the overwhelming response from participants has been thankfulness for them gaining a deeper insight into the themselves.
The impact for leaders in the Diocese has been beyond my expectations. We have fewer clergy in transition on average than we had before, which I read as clergy being satisfied and focused on their parish leadership and not fantasizing that someplace else will always be better. We have fewer significant conflicts between clergy and lay leaders as clergy have become more self-aware about their impact on others.
EQHR training is not a prophylactic cure-all for the church and her leaders.
We still have clergy in transition. We still have conflict in parishes. But the transitions are healthier and the conflicts are more manageable and I credit EQHR training for helping those positive changes in our diocesan leadership.