Emotional Intelligence the key for high-performance leaders

Kathryn Bice - AAP

1 minute read

"Mindsight" and "Emotional Intelligence" are the keys to developing "resonant leadership," Daniel Goleman, the founding father of the Emotional Intelligence movement, told the World Business Forum in Sydney on Thursday. 

Goleman says "resonant leadership" should be the foundation for sustainable 21st-century organisations. 

He defines Emotional Intelligence (EI) as “how we manage ourselves and handle our relationships". Goleman says EI falls into four categories.

The emotional centre of the brain, the amygdala, can overwhelm the executive centre, the prefrontal cortex, in situations where the brain perceives a threat. For early humans, that meant danger during the hunt, but for the organisational worker today there are five major triggers.

Five main emotional triggers in the workplace 

  • Feeling condescended to - a lack of respect
  • Not feeling appreciated
  • Not feeling heard
  • Not being treated fairly
  • Being blamed for something that went wrong

If these triggers can be minimised, the brain can reach its optimal state for performance, known as "flow". This is achieved when brain activity is challenged but calm, focused and productive.

If the challenge is too low, the result is boredom. Too high, and the challenge results in stress, a constant state of "frazzle" where nothing can be achieved.