Are you a socially intelligent leader?


For those of you that are linked up with me on LinkedIn or like the Belief System Institute on Facebook, you know, I am a big fan of Daniel Goleman’s body of work on emotional intelligence (EQ) .  I realized that the employee motivation and engagement methods (Belief System of Motivation and Performance) that I use with leaders and their teams requires leaders to use their EQ to get the most from those they lead.

Ever since we started BLOGGING, you’ve heard and read the importance of “managing/leading to the individual” from Thad and me.  We are all so uniquely different.  As a leader of your uniquely different team members you need to be practicing the empathy and social intelligence with them.  These are two of Goleman’s five components of Emotional Intelligence. I will list the seven qualities of social intelligence I found in a HBR article entitled Social Intelligence and The Biology of Leadership by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis.  Keep notes  on where you are in the practice of these qualities:


Do you understand what motivates other people, even those from different backgrounds?

Are you sensitive to others’ needs?


Do you listen attentively and think about how others feel?

Are you attuned to others’ moods?

Organizational Awareness

Do you appreciate the culture and values of the group or organization?

Do you understand social networks and know their unspoken norms?


Do you persuade others by engaging them in discussion and appealing to their self-interests?

Do you get support from key people?

Developing Others

Do you coach and mentor others with compassion and personally invest time and energy in mentoring?

Do you provide feedback that people find helpful for their professional development?


Do you articulate a compelling vision, build group pride, and foster a positive emotional tone?

Do you lead by bringing out the best in people?


Do you solicit input from everyone on the team?

Do you support all team members and encourage cooperation?

So, how did you do answering these questions about yourself as a leader?  We are all works in process, so if you zeroed in on the hand full of things that can improve your leadership effectiveness, put a plan together.  If you really want to be transparent, ask your team to rate you on these qualities and include their feedback in your development plan.

You can truly obtain the secret sauce to motivating each individual by being a more socially intelligent leader.

Martha Forlines, Leadership Coach/Consultant


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