S. Amir Kohan

Emotional Intelligence: Leadership Characteristics

Daniel Goleman’s research report about emotional intelligence focused on psychology
and neuroscience offers insight into our “two minds,” the rational and the emotional.
Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence for leaders and shows
how they determine leaders’ success in relationships, work, and physical well-being. The
following are the five key emotional intelligence skills associated with successful
leadership characteristics:

Self-awareness A leader knows how they feel and how their emotions or actions
can affect people around them.
Self-regulation This key skill is about staying in control and regulating your
actions and communications so to rarely verbally attack others or make rushed or
emotional decisions.
Motivation A self-motived leader will work consistently toward goals and have
high standards for the quality of their own work.
Empathy A leader who has empathy is essential for managing people and
teams in today’s work environment. They have the ability to put themselves in
someone else’s shoes. Through empathic skills, they can help develop the people
they manage, challenge others who are acting unfairly, give constructive feedback,
and also listen deeply for the meaning in conversations.
Social skills Leaders with emotional intelligence are great communicators.
They’re just as open to hearing the bad news as the good news. They are great at
inspiring their people to a vision, and they are also good at managing change or
resolving conflicts diplomatically.

In Erica Fox’s research, she sees the successful leader as having a multifaceted 
personality, what she calls an inner team. This inner team draws on the following strengths
of characteristics to lead: intuition, reason, emotion, and willpower. Fox labels these
“inner team” members as follows: the CEO is the inspirational dreamer, CFO is the
analytical thinker, the COO is the practical warrior, and CPO is the emotional lover.


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