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© 2019 Rewire by Carolina Marin


The Special Ingredient of Leadership: Emotional Intelligence

Successful Leaders know that in order to be a Star Performer they need to have a balance of Technical Skills + EQ + IQ. Looking to maximize your own and your follower's performance? Then these three aspects need to be part of the equation for success.


Estelle does not get on with her chief executive despite doing a really good job. He is incredibly dismissive, does not respond to her reports on things which need looking at or approaching differently - and he never looks her in the eye. Her colleagues see her as a role model for good practice. She wants a good career but isn't sure about the next step. *

Quentin is trying to balance his own anxieties with the way his organization is changing and the effect of this changeon the views and approaches of his colleagues. His need for recognition is very high. He works with people who don't express themselves emotionally or understand the importance of this for motivating staff. A year on, he has left his job. The organization has lost a real asset. *

In each of the situation described above, the people involved will benefit from improving their emotional intelligence. Specially when it comes to leadership roles. Doing so will make not only their life easier but also for those who have to interact with them.

Think about this fact: How do most people get leadership positions in most organizations? It’s normally based on a technical assessment, isn’t? The best technician gets promoted to lead the team. The trouble is leadership and technical skills are two totally different skills. Technical skills are technical skills and leadership is influence. It is connecting with people which comes from valuing people. Technical skill and valuing people are polar opposites. One is left brained one is right brained. The technician simply doesn’t see the world that way. There is definetely a need to pay attention to the "heart matter": emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It is the key to both personal and professional success.

Why does it become crucial when it comes to leadership? Research shows that there is a link between a company's success and the emotional intelligence of its leaders. Daniel Goleman, psychologist and expert on emotional intelligence states that "The most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of emotional intelligence. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he or she won't make it a great leader".

Can emotional intelligence be learned? According to Daniel, it increases with age. There is an old-fashioned word for the phenomenon: maturity. He identifies 5 emotional skills that distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones*:

1. Self-awareness: knowing one's strenghts, weaknesses, drives, values, and the impact on others.

2. Self-regulation: controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods.

3. Motivation: relishing achievement for its own sake.

4. Empathy: understanding other people's emotional makeup.

5. Social Skill: building rapport with others to move them in desired directions.

In this video I go deeper into each of the skills and provide with examples:

Next Step: Take some time to reflect in each of the skills defined by Daniel Goleman. How do they apply to your current situation? Which one do you think needs some attention? Start small. Chose a couple and journal along the week as you become intentional to improve them in daily situations. Tell me how it goes!

There are assessments that gives you more information about your emotional intelligence. If you are interested, reach out:

To Your Success,

* Walton, D. (2012) Emotional Intelligence. New York: MJF Books

* Goleman, D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books