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Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Steinwall (2013) lecture provided an in-depth review of several constructs that are important to leaders, managers, and supervisors. The constructs of optimism, coping, hardiness, hope and helplessness, locus of control, empowerment, emotional intelligence, happiness, and core self-evaluation are important for people who lead, manage, or supervise other people to understand. Leaders, managers, and supervisors, who develop these constructs and infuse them into their everyday life, as well as their work life, are positioned to succeed.

At first, emotional intelligence was studied in relationship to social intelligence by Thorndike (1920). Emotional intelligence did not become a hot topic in organizations or corporations until Goleman’s (1995) research. Today, emotional intelligence should be considered at every level of an organization; from the leaders (CEO’s), to front line supervisors, managers, and employees. Goleman (1995) suggested a model of emotional intelligence that includes awareness of self, management of self, awareness of social environment, and management of one’s relationships (Goleman, 1995).

Awareness of self and management of self are personal emotional intelligence domains. Self-awareness applies to a person’s ability to understand emotions, areas of strengths and areas for improvement, as well as the ability to assess self from an accurate and authentic awareness (Goleman, 1995). Self-management relates to a person’s capacity to manage and regulate emotions and the ability to stay calm, cool, and collected during times of chaos. Moreover, self-managed people are self-motivated and take initiative (Goleman, 1995). The second two aspects of emotional intelligence are social in nature. The social aspects of emotional intelligence are concerned with a person’s relationship management skills (Goleman, 1995).

Managing one’s relationships at work is about the skills of communication, influence, collaboration, and working with employees and other colleagues (Goleman, 1995). Leaders who have the ability to take employees and group members’ feelings’ into consideration when making decisions is a socially aware leader. (Goleman, 1995) Taken together, awareness of self , management of self, awareness of social environment, and management of one’s relationships self-awareness are critical domains of emotional intelligence that once understood and applied in the workplace, can support and increase in organizational productivity, wealth creation, and organizational sustainability (Steinwall, 2013).



Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence; Why it can matter more than IQ.

          New York, NY: Random House Publishers.

Steinwall, M. (2013). Psychological instruments to measure the human

          element. MGT/736 Contemporary Management Systems. University of

          Phoenix website.

Thorndike, E. L. (1920). Intelligence and its use. Harper’s Magazine, 140, 227-




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