In the media

In the Media

Fill the EI gap in your leadership capability one step at a time

11 November 2014



The Training Journal recently quoted the results of a survey in which 61% of businesses agreed that having EI was crucial to good leadership and business success. The same survey found that only 32% of those businesses believed that their leaders had it. It wasn’t clear how widespread the survey was but even if it is only broadly indicative, it is a worrying gap.

Often measured as an Emotional Intelligent Quotient (EQ), Emotional Intelligence in simple terms describes an ability, capacity or skill to perceive, assess and effectively manage the emotions of one’s self, and others.

Those with low levels of EI may experience: poor engagement with employees, colleagues and customers; unresolved conflict; unfulfilled potential and may even experience stress. Those who have it, on the other hand, tend to be better at: influencing and motivating people; communicating and overall achieving greater levels of people engagement – and when it’s the leader who has the high EI, this can have a knock-on effect of creating a higher performing work place and producing better results. 

Can I fast-track my EI level?

So if you suspect that your own EI is low, is there a fast-track way of increasing it? It’s an interesting question to which the answer should probably be ‘no’. However, in my experience those leaders who have the courage to even hypothesize that they may not have sufficient EI, are already in an improved position. I say this because one of the key concepts in EI is about increasing self-awareness. It follows therefore that simply asking one’s self, “what is my EI?” is the first step to starting to improve it.

What other ways are there to help increase my EI?

If you don’t want to dive straight into carrying out a full EI assessment for yourself, there are other things you can do to gain some traction. For example, starting to seek feedback within the workplace is one way of starting to get a picture of how you are seen/who you are. If you’re already doing this, another step could be to try a reputable personality profile and follow-up debrief. And if you’re already down this road, another approach may be to go for a full 360 degree feedback profile with colleagues and customers.

Whether you jump straight in to a full EI assessment or take the incremental road, the important thing is to do SOMETHING. I have been coaching executives and senior managers for many years now, and every client I’ve worked with has found something of value, either professionally or personally, in starting to examine their own emotional intelligence. Start today by speaking to your HR specialist or call me for advice on 07768 552 773, or email me at

Research quoted from “Stop managing and start collaborating” by Arim Hopp, in the Training Journal Blog, 19 November 2014.

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