Emotional Intelligence, or EI, is not about being soft, nice or emotional. It is about specific skills and competencies that help us cope with daily life, our inner selves and with people around us. Great companies need to balance performance and health –and EI is at the intersection of these.


At a recent emotional intelligence workshop we hosted, participants described the best and worst bosses they’d ever dealt with. The best bosses made people feel motivated, enjoy their work, work harder and get better results for the team. The worst bosses, on the other hand, made people feel dejected, abused and depressed. One of the participants relayed this, “The boss comes in sweating and yelling at us first thing in the morning. When we don’t do exactly what he says, he scolds us in front of everyone. Even when we do exactly as told, he scolds us for not thinking on our own.”


So what is it that the best leaders have and that others don’t? Are they smarter, better educated, or just plain lucky? An ever-growing body of international research suggests that the best leaders have superior EI skills. What is your experience with people with high or low EI?