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Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Is Needed Now

We recently shared a post about the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership during challenging times and, in today’s blog we aim to share with you a little more about Daniel Goleman’s brilliant work in the field of Emotional Intelligence; a key leadership skill. 

Goleman is an emotional intelligence guru and has written many books on the topic including Destructive Leadership. Primal Leadership and Working with Emotional Intelligence, which we highly recommend.

Goleman cites 6 leadership styles (Source: Primal Leadership)


  • How it builds resonance: Moves people towards shared dreams

  • Impact on climate: Most strongly positive

  • When appropriate: When changes require a new vision, or when a clear direction is needed


  • How it builds resonance: Connects what a person wants with the organisation’s goals

  • Impact on climate: Highly positive

  • When appropriate: To help an employee improve performance by building long-term capabilities


  • How it builds resonance: Creates harmony by connecting people to each other

  • Impact on climate: Positive

  • When appropriate: To heal rifts in a team, motivate during stressful times, or strengthen connections


  • How it builds resonance: Values people’s input and gets commitment through participation

  • Impact on climate: Positive

  • When appropriate: To build buy-in or consensus, or to get valuable input from employees


  • How it builds resonance: Meets challenging and exciting goals

  • Impact on climate: Because too frequently poorly executed, often highly negative

  • When appropriate: To get high-quality results from a motivated and competent team


  • How it builds resonance: Soothes fears by giving clear direction in an emergency

  • Impact on climate: Because so often misused, highly negative

  • When appropriate: In a crisis, to kick-start a turnaround, or with problem employees

Goleman breaks these into Resonant and Dissonant leadership styles. Resonant styles tend to increase engagement and performance, whereas the dissonant leadership styles need to be applied with caution, as excessive use of these tend to reduce engagement and performance.

Resonant and Dissonant leadership styles
  • Consider your own leadership, do you apply one of these styles, a couple or a mix of all?

  • What would your teams say about your leadership style?

There is no one size fits all style of leadership. The key to strong leadership is using your own emotional intelligence, to decide which style matches the context of the situation.

Emotional intelligence Model:

In Goleman’s emotional intelligence model he points out that all change starts with self-awareness. Gaining an accurate view of one’s own strengths and developing areas is essential and then consciously using that information to develop the other areas.

Emotional intelligence Model

Goleman states “Emotional Intelligence competencies account for 85% of what sets outstanding managers apart from the average”

As we face the challenge of moving back from lockdown into a phased return to whatever the new world holds, it will be the leaders and managers that set the tone, their emotional intelligence and style of leadership will create either resonance or dissonance. 

  • Are your leaders ready?

At The Leadership Coaches we help leaders to develop their emotional intelligence, through increased self-awareness, that may involve tools such as an Emotional Intelligence 360 assessment or even spending the day shadowing the leaders to learn how they operate. 

Once we have helped leaders identify their strengths and challenges, we work with them to safely explore the next stage of honing their leadership skills and behaviours to lead themselves and others more effectively.

You can find some samples of the Emotional Intelligence reports we offer on our resources page.

If you have any questions or you’d like a chat, call us on 03450 950 480 or send us an email to


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