Emotional Intelligence

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EQL Emotional Intelligent Leadership

Research has shown that the importance of emotional intelligence increases with level of seniority in an organization, and that it’s emotional competence rather than technical or intellectual ability that makes the crucial difference between mediocre leaders and the best. Whilst effective leadership and management at all levels contribute to organisational performance, leadership and team working capability at a strategic level has the most significant impact on both culture and performance.

‘Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality, the actions that speak louder than the words, the daily triumph of integrity over scepticism’

Sherson / Lehman

Few would argue with the expectation that political and religious leaders should demonstrate applied integrity in both their professional and personal lives. Likewise, business leaders are expected to demonstrate ethical standards of business behaviour that engender confidence in their ability to deliver commercial success. The effect of trust (or lack of trust) on business confidence and its impact on company image and brand, share prices and consumer confidence can have wide implications on both national and international economics. The fall out for Enron, Marconi and others aiming to put a ‘spin’ on corporate performance are well documented examples of how shareholders, staff and customers were kept in the dark about the reality of the situation.

Business leadership and applied integrity should therefore go hand in hand. On a practical basis, this should include clearly stated principles and values that underpin corporate behaviour expectations at every level. Senior management have a particular responsibility to demonstrate these principles in practice, both on an individual basis and collectively as an executive team.

Principles into practice can however present more of a challenge. The concept of emotional intelligence, also referred to as ’emotional quotient’ or EQ, can help by clarifying principles and providing an effective behavioural framework. So, what is EQ and how does its application fit with the executive leadership role in particular?

Definitions of EQ suggest that it includes not only the ability to understand and influence emotions, but also that intuition and personal integrity are key elements. Daniel Goleman, accredited with popularizing the EQ concept during the 1990s, describes emotionally adept people as those who “know and manage their own feelings well, and who deal effectively with other people’s feelings”. Our definition of EQ as follows, integrates reflection of understanding distilled from a variety of published sources with views shared as part of in-depth and extensive debates during leadership and team development programmes.

EQ definition:

  • ‘Acknowledging and understanding the influence of emotions on ourselves and others, and responding using integrity and intuition to guide behaviour’


EQ- Competencies


Research by Hay / McBer of  Boston USA after re-analysing the data from the competence studies of forty companies to assess the relative weight of a given competence in setting Star Performers apart from Average Performers.

The results: Greater strengths in purely cognitive capacities (IQ) were 27 percent more frequent in the stars than in average performers, while greater strengths in emotional competencies were 53 percent more frequent. In other words, emotional competencies (EQ) were twice as important in contributing  to excellence as were pure intellect (IQ). This fits well with much more research in this field and as a rule of thumb for the general value of emotional competence in Star Performers.

Daniel Goldman in his first book on EQ “Working with Emotional Intelligence” using the science argues well why the above may be so. he examines in Competencies of Stars by a domain classification analysis.

  1. The Domain of Excellence: The Limits of IQ
  2. The Second Domain: Expertise
  3. The Third Domain: Emotional Intelligence
  4. The Comparison the Great Divide


Leadership the productive and moral application of influence which inspires followers….

Page by Marshall Potts – Specialist Development Consultant. Marshall has written a number of articles on Strategy, Transformational Change, Corporate Values and Leadership Development.