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Erica Dhawan      

Leading Authority on Collaboration and Innovation, Best-Selling Author, Named “Oprah of Management Thinkers” & Ranked #1 of Top Women Keynote Speakers of 2020

Erica Dhawan is the world’s leading authority on 21st-century Collaboration and Connectional Intelligence.

She challenges audiences and organizations to innovate faster and further, together. Her newest book – Digital Body Language – decodes the new signals and cues of effective collaboration and teamwork in a digital-first human workplace.

Erica Dhawan is the Founder & 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 also the co-author of the bestselling book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence, named #1 on What Corporate America is Reading. Dhawan was named by Thinkers50 as “The Oprah of Management Ideas” and featured as one of the Top 20 Management Experts around the world by GlobalGurus. She hosts the award-winning podcast ‘Masters of Leadership.’Erica speaks on global stages ranging from the World Economic Forum at Davos to TED and for companies such as Coca-Cola, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, SAP, and Cisco. Erica writes for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Fast Company. She has degrees from Harvard University, MIT Sloan, and The Wharton School.

Erica is based in Manhattan, where she lives with her husband and two children. She travels internationally for events and offers virtual keynotes and workshops.

Speech Topics


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 superconnectors who accelerate innovation, break down silos and foster breakthrough bottom line impact by harnessing the power of networks.

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 her keynote, Erica combines cutting edge research with engaging storytelling to decode the new signals and cues that have replaced traditional body language. 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. In this keynote, Erica 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 maniacal 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 keynote, attendees will learn practical ways to activate Concrete Empathy to create cultures of psychological safety, employee engagement, wellbeing 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

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