Leading with Emotional Intelligence

What makes a good leader? – Whenever I ask this question from a group of people on a training or a workshop I get the same results: overwhelmingly high scores on the EQ side and IQ somewhat slacking behind. Although many participants surprised by the results, science also has proved the results.

Daniel Goleman is the psychologist and author who put emotional intelligence in the business landscape. He found that, beyond a certain point, there is small or no correlation between IQ and high levels of professional success.

In a Harvard Business Reviews’s  article  from 1998 , “What Makes a Leader,” he states:

“The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

Today at a workplace employees are cutely aware of whether or not they blend in their organizational culture and they want their leaders to be more mindful of their needs. People want their leaders to be more in touch with who they are as people outside of work (not just as their colleagues) to assure that their career track is in proper alignment with and supports their personal and professional goals. When leaders have these qualities employees tend to relate to them more and they better perform.

Here is a quick checklist to ensure you use your emotional intelligence skills at the workplace:

#1 How empathetic leader am I towards my team/organization?  Are you completely open and sensitive about your employees and their need? Try to widen your landscape and begin to see opportunities previously unseen.

#2 What is the emotional atmosphere in my team/organization? What is going on currently in my organization which effecting my employees? How can I help them?

#3 How well do I manage my own emotions? How do I function as an emotional leader towards my team/organization? Check if you are truly making the best impact on everyone on a good day and how does that change on a stressed day?

If you want to give yourself even more information, ask a trusted colleague to review the questions and give you feedback on how they see you in relation to each task. You can also get in touch with me on szabina@ecoflowconsulting.org to take an EQ leadership or 360 assessment to help you see areas where you can improve and take the best out of your EQ potential.

Are you giving emotionally intelligent feedback at work?

Lately I have been working on a few team development projects where feedback or rather the “lack of it” was the top item of the list of things to be improved.

When asked, many companies and organizations are still using the evaluative (360) end of the year feedback as the standard. On the contrary in a few high profile companies (like Netflix for example) leadership decided to get rid of the annual end of the year feedback to give more space to a regular real time job feedback.

Another surprising fact for me was to find out that many creative (team) leaders and managers still feeding the “sandwich” to their employees. If you ever been served with one, I think you know how it leaves a “rotten” taste in your mouth.

Time to throw it away!

There are less issues with giving nice and positive feedback and reassuring your team members if they are doing something great on a regular basis. It lifts up the team spirit and gives a huge motivational boost. On the other hand, giving and receiving negative feedback on regular basis can be difficult – however I still think there is something far worse than that: not giving and receiving any feedback at all. With no feedback you basically close down possibilities for evolution and improvement.


Here are a few keys to give and receive feedback in an emotionally intelligent way:

  1. Prepare. As they say “start with the (wo)man in the mirror”. Check on your emotional state and emotional self awareness before giving and/or receiving constructive feedback. Are you able to see the situation in an objective way? Are you giving this feedback from a place of love and compassion and with a positive intent? Are your employees aware that you truly value them? Is this the right time for you to give this feedback? Make sure that your empathy and assertiveness is in balance when giving the feedback.
  2. Specify. Don’t send mixed messages – separate positive feedback from negative (constructive) feedback and be really clear about it. Give real life examples and explain how specifically do you mean when you say they have done “good job” or a “not so good job”. Are they clear on what is working and what is not?
  3. Observe. Observe in non judgement. Just simply observe the situation and truly focus on what is being said and notice any emotional shifts you are going through whilst giving and receiving feedback. Notice any emotional shifts on the other person: what is the possible impact of your feedback? Adjust your empathy or assertiveness accordingly.
  4. Listen. Listen with an open mind. Do some deep listening and really listen to understand not to reply.
  5. Reassure. Make sure that what you said or heard is being understood exactly the way you meant it. Do some reality checking. Ask the question: can you please repeat it what you just heard me saying?
  6. Take action. Get things into motion and make an action plan on the areas of development so the feedback has some short, mid and long term impact on performance.
  7. Repeat (Give feedback again). Make sure you do it on a regular basis so there is space created for improvements and it becomes a part of your team culture without enforcement.

 How do you give feedback at your workplace? Would love to hear your thoughts and please share this if you like it.

 Need to make some improvement on feedback in your team or want to learn more about Emotional Intelligence (EI)?  Get in touch with me here.



Resilient – The workshop

Resilience, by definition is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity, have
the strength and recovery skills to move forward, as well as the courage and
enthusiasm to embrace continuous challenges & change.

The Workshop
Resilient is an interactive learning workshop that introduces participants to the most
fundamental practices for building resilience. During program you will discover and
explore different tools to master your stress management whilst maintaining your
calmness, alertness and engagement. It will provide you with practical knowledge
and skills for maintaining your wellbeing, energy and boost your resilience.
You will be challenged to train your mind and emotions for being in flow and better
This workshop is about moving beyond surviving to thriving, by giving you the tools
to create space to develop talents. Seize opportunities to better care for yourself &
others in and out of the workplace.

By taking this one-day workshop you will learn about:
• Self awareness to asses your own situation and level of resilience
• Breathing techniques to ground yourself, keep focus, body and mind free from
• Healthy lifestyle basics to maintain & build your resilience
• Techniques to deal with inner conflicts and build everyday flow
• Manage conversations to respect your own and others boundaries
• Master your communications skills to be a more inspirational and
compassionate communicator
• Understand the power of EQ and self knowledge
• Reframe negative conversations into positive ones

Who we are?

Alexandra Dawe – Alexandra is a professional communicator with 18 years’
experience, working as a journalist all the way through to a communications
manager. She has been working with NGOs for over a decade, has been an
independent strategic consultant for the past five years, and has recently started
working as a facilitator and is a certified Art of Hosting practitioner.

Szabina Mozes – Szabina has worked in the field of media and communications for
the last fifteen years wearing many hats as a journalist, spokesperson, PR and
media relations specialist and communications strategist. She has extensive
knowledge and network in the international non profit sector as she spent ten years working with Greenpeace and helped in many successful projects across the globe.
She is also a certified Motivational and Emotional Intelligence coach and trainer.

Workshop details:
This workshop is available as customized in company training for organizations.

The next open workshop is on the 26th April, 2018. 9:30- 17:30 CET.

Location: De Ruimte, Weesperzijde 79a, Amsterdam.

Price: 350 EUR ( +VAT) / person, a healthy, vegetarian lunch is included.

Please REGISTER here.

Please contact for details here.

Resilient Flyer