Business Leaders’ Emotional Intelligence

Table of Contents


The strengths such as “humor” and “teamwork” are extremely valuable for any manager, but Susan’s decision to leave them as they are is not a clear-sighted one and can potentially negatively affect her success. When people undergo an assessment, they often tend to make incorrect assumptions about their most-developed strengths. Despite scoring high in “humor” and “teamwork,” Susan needs to introduce changes to her use of these strengths.

For example, using humor can help reduce tension in stressful situations or circumstances that involve conflict. Yet, on the other hand, it may be impertinent during official ceremonies, events which are especially common in the corporate world. Similarly, the same can be applied to teamwork, being focused on contributing to team projects is important, but it often can be abused by others. People may take advantage of Susan’s zealous attitude and impose their obligations and tasks on her since they will know that she will not refuse them because she is a responsible person.

The knowledge received through the assessment has to become an opportunity for Susan to reflect on her strengths and think of ways to apply them in a more meaningful manner. Perhaps her humor is not conducive to improving relationships but mean-spirited and causes negative reactions in her friends and people she works with. While her teamwork efforts may intrude on her colleagues’ areas of expertise, who can feel offended and depreciated by her actions.

Thus, changing her perspective on how she utilizes her strengths with an intention to increase effectiveness must become the priority. It is also possible that her strengths have reached a point when they suppress other ones, which can eventually lead to character deformations (Kaufman et al., 2012). Susan has to thoroughly analyze her strengths and find ways to change them to maximize her success, satisfaction, and personal well-being.


Harold is an example of a person who is dedicated to their goals and personal success to the point when it begins having a negative impact on others. Harold is high on all “self” dimensions of emotional intelligence and exhibits increased motivation and social competency, yet he is low on empathy (Sterrett, 2000). He has a desire to become a CEO by 45, and he is completely committed to achieving this goal using practically any means possible to promote himself, which shows that he is high on self-awareness. Moreover, he is not afraid of establishing relations with his superiors or generally people occupying higher ranks, which demonstrates his self-confidence. His self-control manifests itself through Harold’s ability to successfully function in a business setting, which is one of the main sources of stress in any person’s life.

Yet, as it was mentioned earlier, his “social” dimensions of emotional intelligence are not as ideal as the “self” ones. It can be assumed that Harold is high on motivation since he is able to tirelessly pursue his goals, and he even set a deadline for himself, which stimulates him to attain the desired result. Social competency is also a well-developed dimension of Harold’s emotional intelligence because he can build rapport with those people who he thinks are able to help him achieve his goal, individuals with more power.

Nevertheless, as evidenced by the words of his subordinates, Harold does not pay much attention to their needs. This makes it possible to infer that he is low on empathy, the aspect which significantly hinders his relationships with people under his supervision. His self-centered approach might not be a reliable strategy for a person who aims at becoming a CEO since an ability to understand others is crucial for every executive.


Carl is a person whose character is almost the opposite of Harold’s, which has both positive and negative consequences for him. Based on the analysis of his emotional intelligence, it can be suggested that he is high on social dimensions but low on “self” dimensions, which considerably interferes with his effectiveness. Carl’s strength is empathy since he is thoughtful and his ability to relate to the needs and troubles of others allows him to be a leader who is respected and admired by his subordinates.

He also exhibits elevated social competence because, as a result of his caring approach to his colleagues, he is able to maintain positive relations with them (Sterrett, 2000). Nevertheless, Carl’s exceptional interpersonal skills are overshadowed by his poor management of “self” elements of emotional intelligence, which in turn can jeopardize his capacity to motivate others.

Primarily, Carl is exceptionally low on self-control, which can be observed from his reaction to the bad news about the profitability of his unit. He cannot counter his negative emotions, which consume all of his willpower and leave him practically unable to function properly. He is equally low on self-awareness because he does not analyze his behavior and its effects on the people around him, instead, he continues to fail to stay calm under pressure.

Carl’s tendency to take personally every problem his unit faces is a symptom of his low self-confidence because he cannot move past failures. This is also displayed through his lack of decisiveness. Instead of taking immediate measures to fix problems, possibly ones involving risk, he seeks to escape them by staying at home. All of these factors potentially contribute to the poor performance of the whole team because their leader’s handling of the situation cannot motivate them to improve their work.


Kaufman, C., Silberman, J., & Sharpley, D. (2012). Chapter 17: Coaching for strengths using VIA. In Passmore, J. (Ed.), Psychometrics in coaching: Using psychological and psychometric tools for development (2nd ed., pp. 291–304). Kogan Page Ltd.

Sterrett, E. A. (2000). Manager’s pocket guide to emotional intelligence: From management to leadership. HRD Press.

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