Both in leadership and people development, you can’t get around emotional intelligence these days: everyone talks about it, everyone says you should have it. And here are some intriguing figures to back these statements up:

  • 90% of the most successful people have a high EQ.
  • Your EQ is responsible for 58% of your success, both in private and professional life.
  • People with a high EQ earn approximately 26.000 Euros more per year than those with a low EQ.

Not only due to this figures, it’s for many years now that I do not get tired of advocating for emotional intelligence in people leadership. I’ve seen the horrible outcomes of a lack of it and the miracles that can happen when leaders have a high EQ.

But what is EI after all?

Daniel Goleman is a pioneer in the field of emotional intelligence. He somehow “invented” the term in 1995 and with his model we can distinguish four aspects of emotional intelligence: Self awareness, social awareness, self management and social skills.

Two cheers for emotional intelligence in leadership

Facts, studies and graphs are the one thing, but how does emotionally intelligent behavior REALLY affect your leadership practice?


Cheers #1: Emotional intelligence makes you more successful and more effective in interactions with others

Going beyond facts and business realties and diving into the world of emotions and human needs will help your interaction skills big time.

In detail that means:

  • You experience a higher acceptance of your decisions.
  • There is a higher trust level towards you.
  • Identification with both you and your organization increases.
  • It sparks enthusiasm and engagement.
  • It creates empathy on two levels: emotionally and rationally.
  • You have to deal with resistance and conflicts less frequently.
  • The working atmosphere influences business results up to 20 to 30 percent.
  • Perceived working atmosphere depends on the behavior of the leader (50 to 70 percent)

Cheers#2 Emotional intelligence makes you understand your emotions and those from others

Daniel Goleman found out: The higher our EQ, the better we understand our own emotions and those from others. Why is that important at the workplace? It’s important because emotions are nothing else than energy. They are either energy boosters or energy drainers and the more you know about what gives you energy and what takes energy from you, the better you can use your energy.

So as a conclusion of that, the shortest definition of EI in my opinion could be:

Emotional intelligence = Energy management: how to use your energy in the most effective way!

For an emotionally intelligent leader that means:

  • You know what you feel in each situation and how that effects your reaction or your decision making process.
  • You have a wide range of emotional vocabulary.
  • You know which emotions trigger something positive or negative in you and how that shapes your perception and your decisions.
  • You know how your friends shape your reality and your level of tolerance.
  • You know your mindset patterns and your relationship patterns.
  • You can actively work with all that knowledge to improve team culture and business results.

How to grow your emotional intelligence skills

So which behavior and skills can you show in order to be/become emotionally intelligent?

  • Energy management: Find out how you do recharge your batteries and make sure to do it regularly.
  • Fixed vs. growth mindset: Reflect on how flexible you are and what is important to you.
  • Thinking strategies: How many thinking strategies do you use?
    Make sure to have a variety and to apply them as needed.
  • Emotional vocabulary: Learn to accurately describe emotions and reactions from yourself first, then from your employees.
  • Relationship skills: How often do you communicate directly and how often “between the lines”?
  • Giving feedback: Give your feedback techniques a fresh-up and use them frequently.
  • Conflict resolution skills: Check your behavior in conflicts: How do you act? Do you respect emotions?
  • Dealing with change: When change rumbles hard – how do you cope?


What does that mean for you?

Well, whenever an impulse “hits” you the reaction you have is either showing or hiding your emotional intelligence and has a definite influence on your team and business results. And as a leader today we owe it to ourselves as well as to our employees to make sure we master that skill.

Got interested?

In the online learning world of Think Beyond you find a practical Emotional Intelligence Toolbox for leaders – to refresh what you already know and to learn what you still need in order to be just the emotional intelligent leader you want to be!

Check it out HERE

Alexandra Sock

Executive Coach, Senior facilitator and trusted advisor in organizational development, international leadership, communication, leadership development, potential analysis, NLP, certified TMS Master Coach, Insights, MBTI and MPA certified, DiSG Master Trainer, Diploma in Intercultural Management, PCM Trainer and Certified Conflict Clarifcation Counsellor.

Alexandra Sock, Internationally acknowledged expert global leadership development and EQ-Rockstar!