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Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Social Emotional Capacity is perhaps as much a determinant of leadership success as intelligence. On the negative side, research has shown that one’s ability to endure long periods of conflict is a major determinant in their success at work; stresses of work can create havoc to one’s self-esteem and sense of wholeness.

On the other side, the ability to maintain an optimistic approach is highly valued in leaders.

There is strong evidence that self-awareness of one’s inner reaction to challenging conditions leads to an increased ability to manage one’s response.

EQ-lgAchieving excellence as a leader is all about that rare combination of hard logic coupled with excellent soft skills, and the ability to balance these appropriately in any situation to achieve high performance.

According to research in the area of Emotional Intelligence, when ‘star’ performing leaders were compared with average ones, nearly 90 per cent of the difference was attributable to emotional intelligence (EI) factors rather than cognitive abilities.

Although the concept of EI has been around since the 1920s, it was Daniel Goleman who shone a spotlight on it in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. In his book, Goleman identifies five crucial skills of EI, which present a completely different definition of what it means to be smart. These are: self-awareness, managing emotions, harnessing emotions productively, reading emotions (empathy) and handling relationships.

In work he carried out at the EI Research Centre, Goleman identified that the ingredients of excellent performance was 70 percent EI and 30 per cent IQ. Covey supports this in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Research shows convincingly that EI is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leadership roles.”

Being emotionally intelligent is about managing behavior to become personally effective (self awareness) and interpersonally effective (awareness/empathy with others).

Having an awareness of how we respond to a certain situation means we can change our thinking, emotional state, behavior and attitudes.

At BBD we’re here to support leaders in both IQ and EQ.  Contact us today at


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