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Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

By Alice Beveridge


Emotional intelligence, a term most explored by Daniel Goleman, is widely recognised as one of the most important skills in the world of work today. The case for soft skills development grows stronger and stronger, but what are these skills and how do we develop them? We will be exploring what Emotional Intelligence is and what we can do to develop it in ourselves, helping us to become emotionally intelligent leaders.

What is EI?

When attempting to effectively lead people our level of Emotional Intelligence is key to developing positive relationships with staff, delivering change effectively and dealing with all the general crap that has a habit of showing up at the most inconvenient times in our daily working lives.

Emotional Intelligence is made up of 4 key aspects and each of these aspects is made up of a range of traits and skills that we can consciously develop to help us become better managers and leaders.


This is our ability to understand and identify our moods and emotional reactions as well as their impact on others.

Social awareness:

This is how effective we are at understanding the emotional make up of others and how skilled we are at empathising with the reasons why people are reacting in a certain way.


This covers our ability to remain in control in the moment. How well do you control your impulses and moods? Do you snap or can you take a pause and consider the range of possible reactions and their impact?

Social Skills:

This is essentially how good we are at managing our relationships with others and developing successful networks. This relies heavily on our ability to build rapport, actively listen to and influence others.

There is an abundance of different Emotional Intelligence tests available online. We recommend trying an empirically tested one such as Daniel Coleman’s Emotional and Social Competency test (link below) if you are looking to gain a deeper insight into your own EI, but if you are just looking for a quick way to get a rough idea of your level of EI we love this wee infographic below from


Picture Credit:


Next time we will be looking at how to develop skills in Self-Awareness, but if you can’t wait until then here are a few references to get you going!


Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional intelligence. Bantam.

Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional Intelligence: why it can matter more than IQ (London, Bloomsbury). Passion, paradox and professionalism23.