Ego vs. EQ Webinars
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Jen Shirkani is a nationally recognized expert on emotional intelligence and a featured speaker at national and state conferences, universities, government agencies, and at business organizations around the world. She is the author of award nominated Ego vs EQ, a leader’s guide to leveraging the power of emotional intelligence. She has spent over 25-years working with organizations from the Fortune 50 ($40B) to family-owned entities as a business consultant and executive coach. In addition to emotional intelligence, she frequently speaks and writes about workplace challenges, including interviewing and selection, employee engagement and motivation, generational differences, and coachability. Her message is perfect for leadership, sales, business professionals and entrepreneur audiences. She has a specialty in speaking to senior living/property managers, financial services/insurance, technology and retail organizations and provides practical strategies and immediately useable tips in a humorous and entertaining way.

Jen has been a frequent guest of several national radio programs, and has been featured in Bloomberg/Businessweek, Leadership Excellence magazine, Investors Daily, Business Insider, Publishers Weekly, Fast Company, and Upstart Business Journal. She holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and has devoted herself to improving leadership effectiveness and on making common sense more common.

Jen’s experience includes...
  • Author, Ego vs EQ: How Top Leaders Beat Eight Ego Traps with Emotional Intelligence
  • CEO, Penumbra Group | Talent Management Solutions
  • Guest contributor/featured guest on Bloomberg/Businessweek, Leadership Excellence magazine,, Fast Company and Upstart Business Journal.
  • Master’s Degree, Organizational Leadership



Jen’s Speaking Topics

 EGO vs. EQ

  How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps

  with Emotional Intelligence

Somewhere along the line, while climbing the corporate ladder or growing their own company, ego takes over and business owners and senior executives lose the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that keeps them connected to their workforce and grounded in the day-to-day realities of their business. The risk of falling into "ego traps" increases, hurting the business and threatening their hard-won success. EQ refers to a skill set that includes an ability to recognize one’s own impulses and moods (self-awareness), the ability to read situations accurately (empathy), and the capacity to respond appropriately depending on the situation (self-control). By contrast, ego is characterized by a high degree of self-absorption and exaggerated sense of self-importance. In other words, EQ and ego are mutually exclusive.


Successful managers and leaders leverage the power of EQ (emotional intelligence) to engage and motivate their employees and associates. Leaders with high EQ can communicate with others effectively, provide balanced feedback, lead others through ambiguity, use humor to build rapport, read and respond to the leadership needs of others and remain optimistic even in the face of difficulty. These leaders can emotionally and mentally plug into others and can read the situation at hand and behave accordingly to get the best results for everyone. Studies show a direct correlation between high EQ and successful leadership. But managers can also fall into particular pitfalls that hurt their credibility and hard won success, impeding their ability to use the EQ they have. This presentation provides strategies for building a strong case for the importance of both IQ and EQ. Audience members will leave with practical examples and new skills as they learn about the unique leadership traps that can trip up even the most successful leaders, and the ways to avoid them. Jen explains why EQ is particularly hard to maintain at management levels of the company, shares the most common ego traps and how to avoid them to increase leadership effectiveness.


In this presentation, Jen shares a consultative sales approach that leverages the power of emotional intelligence and creates client value and redefines “selling” to being seen as a trusted advisor. The most successful salespeople learn how to intuitively recognize their strengths, read people and situations accurately, and respond to others appropriately. This session provides a framework to correctly read both buying and resistance cues, recognize customer reactions and triggers, read their unspoken needs and use timing to know when to close. Attendees will learn ways to prepare self-aware and motivational conversation prompters to enhance the dialogue, maintain a service mindset, identify the needs of others through listening and empathizing, and map a solution by determining need and fit and apply the techniques of “soft closing”. Using your EQ, clients will see you as a vital business partner, not just a vendor.


We all seek to continue living and working in the safety of our comfort zone.  It’s human nature to do things that are easy or interesting, and also the reason we bypass experiences that stretch our skills set, or seem unfamiliar.  It’s why we avoid conflict, and why we seek harmony.  But when we become too comfortable, and stay safely tucked away within our pockets of expertise, we rarely stretch beyond our own (often self-imposed) limitations.  In this presentation, Jen shares the principles of EQ as a key strategy for managing personal hardships and reaching new levels of performance.  Gaining these insights sets the stage for overcoming struggles when circumstances change, and reduces the potential for self- limitations, burnout, and disengagement.  This session helps audience members see how maintaining a healthy level of challenge and struggle can enable everyone to be more powerful at work and in every aspect of life.


Business today demands the need for professionals who are nimble, flexible and engaged. This presentation provides practical ideas for thriving in a dynamic environment through the development of the emotional intelligence competency. Studies show that top talent leverages the best blend between technical knowledge and expertise, with functional skills like self-awareness, adaptability and problem solving to navigate the complexity of relationships with coworkers and clients. Jen provides strategies to increase your level of effectiveness through times of change with practical tools and resources. Attendees will receive definitions and examples of key functional skills; learn how to diagnose performance issues related to low emotional intelligence; and learn techniques to develop emotional intelligence in themselves and others. 


Exceptional performance is the perfect alignment of skills, rewards, feedback, management style, measurement and culture. Keeping employees engaged today requires staying in-tune with what is most important to them, finding ways to creatively match cultural features with their motivation factors. This session is designed to help leaders learn about employee performance drivers and easy to apply techniques for engaging, motivating, and developing their employees. In this presentation, Jen shares research that supports the engagement levers in employees today that leaders must be aware of and actively pursue to attract and retain top talent. This session includes startling statistics on how employees think about topics such as performance management, motivation, and leadership involvement. Attendees will leave with the missing key to unlocking potential and ways to shift from assuming and expecting to creating the performance they desire. 

Calendar of Events

We would love to have you join us for any of these upcoming events...

January252017CASE District 1Boston, MA More Info


“Jen Shirkani is the real deal! Jen’s presentation on Ego vs. EQ is extremely helpful in pinpointing solutions for everyday dilemmas that crop up in the workplace. She is an engaging presenter as she exudes genuine passion and expertise on the subject. It is tricky to talk about the pitfalls of ego in leadership, but she does so with finesse that is non-threatening and affirming. Her audience left feeling motivated and empowered (not beat up).”

Sarah Reeve
Co Program Chair, PIHRA

“Between her content, her real-life work examples, and her professional delivery, I would highly recommend Jen to others. She is a subject matter expert on all things EQ and with her business experience, is able to help others understand the importance of building their skill in this area. She always receives high ratings for the quality and content of her programs.”

Jo Pierce
Director, Learning and Development – First American Financial Corporation

“I have been in business for 21 years and have met many speakers. Jen is one I return to time and again as I can count on a wonderful presentation prepared specifically for the target audience and delivered in an engaging way. My clients have all given her rave reviews. I highly recommend her for an event; she is an expert on this topic.”

Perry Pidgeon Hooks
President and Co-Founder – Hooks Book Events

Get In-Touch With Jen...

Book summary

In Ego vs EQ, shares strategies for using emotional intelligence (EQ) as a primary prevention tool to avoid career derailment. The executive leadership failure rate is high: two in five CEO’s fail in the first 18 months on the job and two thirds of business’ will disappear just a decade after founding.

This book teaches you how to identify the most common reasons for leadership

ineffectiveness, including the cascading consequences they create, and provides tools to prevent them.

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“One of the most read books in bluebottlebiz this year.”  
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Care Providers of MN Annual State Conference2014
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Women Leading Healthcare national Summit2016
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HR Law Conference2016
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National Center for Assisted Living Conference
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Intuit Global Design Team Conference
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Argentum National Conference2016


Penumbra Group Inc.
3 Executive Park Dr., Suite 260, Bedford NH 03110
P  603.488.1657 F  603.488.1657

Jen's Blog