Erica Dhawan
Erica Dhawan's Speaking Fee $25K - $40K

Erica Dhawan

Erica Dhawan is the world’s leading authority on 21st century Collaboration and Connectional Intelligence. She challenges audiences and organizations to unlock the collective power of teams and get big things done.

Leadership and Collaboration Expert, and Bestselling Author

Expertise In:

  • Communication
  • Corporate Culture
  • Women in Business Leadership
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Leadership

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Sales Professionals
  • Senior Management Groups
  • Corporations
  • The Professional Services Industry

Erica Dhawan is the world’s leading authority on 21st century Collaboration and Connectional Intelligence. She challenges audiences and organizations to unlock the collective power of teams and get big things done.

Erica Dhawan is the Founder and CEO of Cotential, a global organization that helps companies, leaders, and managers leverage 21st century collaboration skills and behaviors to improve game-changing performance. She is the co-author of the bestselling book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, named No. 1 on What Corporate America is Reading. Dhawan was named by Thinkers50 as “The Oprah of Management Ideas” and featured as one of the emerging management thinkers most likely to shape the future of business. She hosts the award-winning podcast Masters of Leadership.

Dhawan speaks on global stages ranging from the World Economic Forum at Davos to companies such as Fedex, Pepsico, and McGraw Hill Financial. Dhawan writes for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, and the Huffington Post. She also serves as a board member to Lufthansa Innovation Hub. Previously, she worked at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. She has an MPA from Harvard University, an MBA from MIT Sloan, and a BS in Economics from The Wharton School.

Featured Videos

Featured Experiences

Concrete Empathy: A Playbook for Leading Modern Teams

We live in a culture defined by a distinct empathy deficit: The boss who constantly emails you are “wrong”—but never shows you how to correct those mistakes. The colleague who mansplains you to death in every conference call and has no interest in what you have to say. The team member who won’t stop looking at her phone as you share sensitive information during a meeting.

Why is empathy today at such a low point? You can credit various factors, including fewer face-to-face interactions, an ever-accelerating pace of change, and an increasing number of global teams working remotely. These and other elements make it harder for any of us to understand and meet the unspoken needs of others. Teams have it especially hard. The more digitized teams become, and the more we interact online, the greater the need for empathy becomes to balance distances and misalignments and foster inclusivity and belonging.

How do we actively generate empathy in organizations? How do we bring people together, and make individuals feel genuinely emotionally connected, full-fledged members of the teams that have become the DNA of today’s organizations—teams that are virtual, global, multigenerational, and matrixed?

In this keynote program, attendees will learn to activate Concrete Empathy, a playbook for building trust and collaboration with confidence today. With a combination of engaging stories, science, and practical tools, it shows leaders how to cultivate greater empathy across teams, ultimately creating cultures of connection and high-performance. Among other things, Concrete Empathy teaches attendees how to operationalize empathy with:

  • Simple ways of seeing the world as others do, even during emails, conference calls, and video discussions
  • Rules of thumb to avoid misunderstanding, ambiguity, and rushes to judgment (or what we call, “reading digital body language”)
  • Signals that show others you understand their feelings and hear their ideas, especially when you are not in the same room
  • Tools to diffuse tensions, bring an end to conflicts, and create lasting connections

Leading Digitally: Foster Human Engagement at Work

When your colleague replies “fine!” are they actually fine – or are they angry? Do you wait hours to get clarification on a vague e-mail? Did that weekend text message from your boss irritate you?

We are communicating faster and more often than ever before. We feel like we’re connected – but are we really?  We save time using email, right?  But then we end up using all of that “saved” time to clarify what we meant in the first place. In person, we can clarify context immediately. We rely on body language and tone to grasp the real meaning. With our digital walls up, we lose subtext and nuance.

We all leave a digital impression on each other. If someone doesn’t text back for hours or even days, do you think they are being rude? Is using an emoji or LOL unprofessional, or creating a human connection with your team? What impression does your boss, team, or colleague think of that kind of behavior? Whether your team works on separate floors, buildings, or even countries, they have to connect online in order to collaborate. These new misunderstandings are happening all day, every day. They’re reducing your employee engagement, morale, and team performance each time.

In this keynote, you will learn new rules and nuances of Digital Body Language, led by collaboration expert Erica Dhawan.

Learning Outcomes include:

  • Understand your digital communication style and what signals you are broadcasting (even if you don’t intend to)
  • Reduce the confusion and frustration that comes with communication across all our various mediums, like email, phone, IM, text, apps, and even live meetings
  • Develop a digital communication strategy to create the highest performing teams
  • Understand and use digital subtext to create real intellectual and emotional connection – no matter the distance

Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence

We typically associate success and leadership with smarts, passion, and luck. But in today’s hypercompetitive world, even those gifts aren’t enough. Strategist Erica Dhawan argues that the game changer is a thoroughly modern skill called Connectional Intelligence (CxQ). As radical a concept as Emotional Intelligence was in the 90s, Connectional Intelligence is turning people into superconnectors who accelerate innovation, break down silos, and foster breakthrough top and bottom line impact.

This dynamic, engaging, high-energy, fast-paced keynote will help participants understand the practice of using connectional intelligence as the key to professional success and leadership in the 21st century. Attendees will learn new insights and tools to accelerate the connected power of teams, become more agile and innovative, and drive breakthrough ideas and outcomes.

Learning outcomes include:

  • How anyone can excel – not just through skills and smarts, but through Connectional Intelligence
  • Keys to leveraging your networks and connections, and creating contagious positive results
  • Successful tactics used to address connectional overload and in changing turbulent times
  • How leaders create deep connections of fierce loyalty and respect from their team and customers
  • How connectionally intelligent leaders outperform the competition and create remarkable results