Erica Dhawan

Erica Dhawan

Leading Expert on Digital Teamwork, Collaboration, and Innovation | Bestselling Author

Erica Dhawan says we all have the power to drive innovation, but first we need to get past the roadblocks we create for ourselves: endless meetings, cross-team dysfunction, resource-wasting duplication, and a lack of real, meaningful inclusion. Drawing on her original research, frontline experience, and proven practical methods, Dhawan helps teams and organizations tap into their Connectional Intelligence and take their collaboration to the next level in an era of digital-first workplaces.

Dhawan is the CEO of Cotential, a firm that helps modern leaders develop so they can drive disruptive thinking while removing bureaucracies and inefficient communication patterns. As a speaker, she has presented to organizations and enterprises that range from the World Economic Forum at Davos, to US and global Fortune 500 companies. Dhawan is also the host of the award-winning podcast Masters of Leadership, and the bestselling author of Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance.

In 2020, Global Gurus named Dhawan as one of the “World’s Top 30 Thought Leaders in Management and Organizational Culture” and one of the “World’s Top 30 Motivational Speakers” in 2022. In addition, Thinkers50 has named her as the “Oprah of Management Ideas”, and Real Leaders named her #1 among their “Top 20 Women Keynote Speakers of 2020.” As a research fellow, Dhawan has taught courses in leadership and collaboration at both Harvard and MIT.

Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence

We live in a world of endless meetings, emails, and constant cross-team dysfunction, duplication, and delays. Our collaboration skills aren’t always working to unlock better value in our business. As radical a concept as emotional intelligence was in the 90s, connectional intelligence is turning people into super-connectors who accelerate innovation, break down silos, and foster breakthrough bottom line impact by harnessing the power of networks. In this presentation, teamwork and collaboration expert Erica Dhawan will show you how to harness this powerful new idea.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn successful tactics to address communication overload and foster authentic, innovation-driving relationships.
  • Discover tools to break down silos and keep teams aligned, accountable, and motivated both in-person and online.
  • Gain specific actions to foster loyalty, respect, collaboration, and innovation across stakeholder networks, regardless of physical distance.

Digital Body Language: Collaborate Faster and Further, Together

Email replies that show up a week later. Video chats full of “oops… sorry, no you go” and “can you hear me?!” Ambiguous text messages. Is it any wonder communication takes us so much time and effort to figure out? How did we lose our innate capacity to understand each other?

Humans rely on body language to connect and build trust, but with most of our communication happening from behind a screen, traditional body language signals are no longer visible — or are they? In this presentation, Erica Dhawan combines cutting-edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language across genders, generations, and culture.

In person, we lean in, uncross our arms, smile, nod, and make eye contact to show we listen and care. Online, reading carefully is the new listening. Writing clearly is the new empathy. And a phone or video call is worth a thousand emails. Dhawan will supercharge your teams with collectively understood rules that foster connection, build trust, and drive innovation.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand your collaboration style and the digital body language signals you may be broadcasting (even if you don’t intend to!).
  • Create cultures of clarity across email, phone, IM, text, video, and even live meetings.
  • Develop a collaboration strategy that fosters valuable relationships, both in-person and online.
  • End cultures of useless meetings, missed deadlines, and digital misunderstandings.

Concrete Empathy: A Playbook for Leading Modern Teams to Innovation

We live in a culture defined by a distinct empathy deficit: The boss who expresses displeasure without giving valuable feedback. The mansplaining colleague who has no interest in the opinions of others. The team member who spends most of the meeting texting and answering emails. Why is empathy today at such a low point? Fewer face-to-face interactions, an ever-accelerating pace of change, and an increasing number of matrixed teams working remotely.

In this presentation, attendees will learn practical ways to activate concrete empathy to create cultures of psychological safety, employee engagement, well-being, and innovation.

Learning outcomes:

  • Discover simple ways to signal understanding and empathy across difference and distance.
  • Learn rules of thumb to avoid misunderstanding, ambiguity, and conflict.
  • Gain tools to foster innovation and create lasting relationships both within your organization and with clients, customers, and other key stakeholders.

Maniacal Clarity: Reimagine Leadership to Drive Impactful Innovation

We used to think of leadership as constant hustle and grit — the leader that never slept, sent profits through the roof, and embodied the classic rags-to-riches story. But this tired playbook doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did. What changed? What makes a 21st century leader and a great team now? Is it their ability to tell stories? Their decision-making skills? Their communication style?

The critical missing factor is maniacal clarity. This is when leaders give their teams exactly what they need to do their absolute best work and enable them to be empowered to influence anyone, anytime, anywhere. Without it, even skilled, motivated, and effective teams languish, with cross-team dysfunction, duplicative work, and unhealthy internal competition. Maniacal clarity in our modern world delivers the ability to spark overarching optimism, inspirational imagination, continuous courage, and fast focus.

In her new keynote, bestselling author and world-renowned speaker Erica Dhawan constructs a new framework for truly shifting minds and changing hearts, in the office, across any distance, and with customers. Based on years of research and advising respected companies around the world, this keynote promises a ground-breaking look into the science, frameworks, and stories of how to inspire anyone, anytime, anywhere to deliver their best results.

Learning outcomes:

  • Conduct your own clarity audit of your workplace and assess your own maniacal clarity habits.
  • Learn the four foundations of maniacal clarity and how to bring it to everyone around you with optimism, imagination, courage, and focus.
  • Assess your strengths and opportunities to become a maniacal clarity change agent.
  • Develop an action plan to inspire your teams, customers, and the world around you to drive performance, teamwork, and innovation.