Emotional Intelligence – EI – EQ

Emotional Intelligence has been defined by numerous experts in the last 30 years. The capabilities regarded as “EQ” – as opposed to, say, “IQ” as a measure of intelligence or “PQ” as a measure of physical health – may differ according to the authority being cited, but there is consensus that these EQ capabilities play a significant role in leadership. 


Self-awareness enables us to make an accurate assessment of our current situation; but we also need to accept it for what it is and be honest with ourselves about both the good and the bad so that we can then grow and develop.

At its simplest, leaders should be self-aware and reflect in order to:

  • Analyse how they are feeling
  • Search for the triggers of emotional responses
  • Assess well-being – particularly levels of stress
  • Review  performance – good and bad
  • Consider what changes can or need to be made.


Once we have self-awareness we an learn to develop self-control, self-management and accurate self-assessment.

Resilience and self-awareness

Self-awareness is critical to resilience in leadership. We work with the Insights 8-factor model of resilience to help clients build a personal resilience strategy.

Become a Self-Aware Leader – get in touch today

Empathy & Resonance

Within an organisation, the emotional state is heavily influenced by the leader. And because a leader is expected to speak up, their words are listened to more carefully and their behaviour observed more closely.

This is why resonant leadership is important. This places responsibility on the leader to manage their own emotions and behaviours; but more than that, a good leader is empathetic – able to read the emotional environment of the organisation – and can create resonance within the group.

As humans, our emotional state is impacted by those around us – this is called resonance.

Dissonance, on the other hand, occurs when leaders are out of touch with the emotions of those around them. This can lead to an environment of mistrust, misunderstanding and increased distress levels. Emotions such as fear, anger, apathy, frustration and discontentment may prevail.

A resonant leader is in tune with the feelings and emotions of the organisation and his team. They are able to amplify positive, optimistic emotions and dilute negative ones.

LifeForward Empathy Wobble
Insights Transformational Leadership
What are your leadership strengths?

Our self-awareness enables us to identify our natural leadership strengths, but leadership development is about learning to use the other dimensions of leadership as the situation or person requires.

Being Adaptable in Leadership

In order to make the most of our own self-awareness and understanding of others we need to be adaptable.  

If we learn to be adaptable, we are naturally learning to flex our leadership style and incorporate some of the other leadership competencies.  

The more we adapt, the more competencies we exhibit. Self-awareness is no use to us if we don’t then apply it to understanding others, how we impact on them, how they are different from (or similar to) us and how to adapt our own preferred style to better connect with them.

Read about the Importance of Perspective in Leadership and why good leadership depends on your point of view.

Developing EI Through Coaching & Workshops

At LifeForward, we find that Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence leadership competencies align well with the concepts we use when working with clients. The competencies are useful for personal growth and development for everyone but particularly relevant for leaders. Many of the competencies arise during executive coaching. Coaching requires self-reflection, development of self-awareness and self-assessment at the first stages.

Self-awareness can be improved using profiling tools. At LifeForward we work with Insights Discovery® personality profiles both to understand self, but also to build other emotional intelligence competencies such as empathy, managing conflict, articulating a  vision, building relationships, persuading and influencing, building trust and consensus and leading with authenticity. 

Exploring self-awareness and awareness of others through the Insights Discovery® colour energies helps build these emotional competencies. Using the language of colour energies we work with clients to increase their awareness of others’ viewpoints, build understanding and appreciation of others’ strengths and develop empathy, influence and relationships. 

Just as we can learn to dial-up or dial-down our colour energies, leaders need to flex their leadership style according to the needs of the specific situation.


Examples of Workshops

Contact us to find out more.

Emotional Intelligence


Coaching and Self-management

Critical to both emotional intelligence and a successful coaching engagement is the concept of self-management. We can only coach those who want to change, who are adaptable and willing to do things differently. But the ability to change often also requires a high degree of self-awareness and self-control in order to tackle hard-wired habits and beliefs and to try new things. A willingness to own our behaviour and take responsibility for our actions is core to coaching.

We work with clients to help them examine their own self-belief, analyse their behaviours and understand their motivations for their current thinking and actions in order to assess the need for change. 

EI and Teams

Insights Discovery® and team coaching can help teams to build relationship management skills, manage internal conflicts, support each other and build understanding within their groups.

EI and Leadership Development

Our series of leadership development workshops also engages emotional intelligence, starting with Awareness of Self, moving to Awareness of Others on the second day and Organisational Awareness on the final day.

As a result, executive coaching and team coaching are powerful resources for both individuals and organisations to grow and develop emotional intelligence in the workplace. And allowing leaders time out to develop, refine and excel at the emotional intelligence competencies  can drive business performance to its peak.

Coaching for peak performance

Daniel Goleman – The New Leaders

“Intellect allows leaders to think with clarity, conceptualise a problem and analyse situations – it is the prerequisite of leadership.

“Emotional intelligence allows leaders to execute a vision through motivating, guiding, inspiring, listening, persuading and creating resonance.”

LifeForward business development

EI Leadership Competencies – Goleman 

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-assessment
  • Self-confidence


  • Self-control
  • Transparency
  • Adaptability
  • Achievement
  • Initiative
  • Optimism

Social awareness

  • Empathy
  • Organisational awareness
  • Service

Relationship management

  • Inspiration
  • Influence
  • Developing others
  • Change catalyst
  • Managing conflict
  • Teamwork and collaboration