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10 Jul, 2012

Leading With Heart Centred Emotional Intelligence – Dee Harding

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coach Plus Articles|Coaching Articles

Leading With Heart Centred Emotional Intelligence - Dee Harding

Dee Harding asks – what has heart-centred emotional intelligence got to do with leadership?

“Emotional Intelligence is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leadership roles”Steve Covey

Our ever changing world requires a new kind of thinking about what it takes to be an inspiring leader. The attributes traditionally considered necessary to be an effective leader are no longer enough.

The truly outstanding leader in the 21 century must also have also a high degree of heart centred emotional intelligence.


It was Daniel Goleman, who first brought and applied the concept of emotional intelligence to leadership. He said “Emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence.

You need it but it doesn’t make you a star. EQ can.

What sets star performers apart from average performers, aren’t the technical skills or a high IQ but good communication and people skills.

“Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage business more than anything else… it is not strategy that gets us into trouble, it is a question of emotions” – Harvard Business School.

A fundamental change in work place organisations is taking place. It is no longer money or perks that are the biggest motivators for people but finding meaning and purpose. The capacity to create a culture of mutual respect, cooperation and trust, where heart centred emotional intelligence is accepted and embraced as the norm is essential to the success of the 21st century leader.

What is heart centred emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is defined as:
“The ability to monitor one’s own and others feelings and emotions…and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions”Salovey and Mayer

The essence of heart centred emotional intelligence is that people have value and they want to be seen and appreciated for that value within them.

In order to be successful, the 21st century leader must strive to grow people and grow performance through applying the principles of heart centred emotional intelligence.

Competencies of emotional intelligence

There are 4 main competencies of emotional intelligence:
1.) Self-Awareness
Self awareness is being aware of and being able to identify and describe your own emotions
2.) Self-Management
Self management is managing your emotions in such a way that you do not become sabotaged by them. It is also being able to delay self gratification, manage impulsiveness and use emotions to take positive actions

3.) Social-Awareness
Social awareness is recognising the feeling of others through subtle social clues and being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes. It is being empathetic and having the ability to listen effectively.

4.) Relationship management
Relationship management is taking into account and dealing with the feelings of others in all contexts also having other peoples interests at heart

Heart centred emotional intelligence and the 21st century leader

The heart centred emotionally intelligent leader’s ability to understand and manage emotions empowers them to stay calm, show poise under pressure and make better decisions. Being able to effectively handle relationships ensures that conflicts are resolved quickly and that positive relationships are forged at every level.

Possessing the skill of empathy and the ability to listen compassionately promotes an understanding of different points of view.

The heart centred emotionally intelligent leader recognises the value of his emotions and other people’s and uses them as a source of wisdom. A heart centred emotionally intelligent leader is a leader worth emulating.

Lack of emotional intelligence

A potentially great leader may be experienced and skilled with a high I Q but not have any emotional intelligence. Without the ability to manage emotions effectively and foster good relationships, low motivation, lack of trust and poor performance will be the result.

Although everyone, at every level, has the ability to become emotionally intelligent, a lack of self awareness, a negative self belief and a fear of failure may prevent them from doing so.

What have Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Anthony Robbins all got in common?

The leadership styles of some of the most outstanding leaders of the 21st century are all underpinned by heartfelt emotional intelligence.

Although Steve Jobs leadership style was considered by some to be a little crazy, he certainly inspired people to do what they did not believe they were capable of doing or wouldn’t normally do. His way of thinking was very different and he encouraged people to “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”.

Richard Branson’s philosophy about leadership is that the best leaders strive to unearth what their employees are thinking and feeling He also believes that “the best designed business plan will come to nothing if it is not carried out by enthusiastic and passionate staff”.

Developing staff through praise and recognition and having fun are also important ingredients of Branson s philosophy on leadership.

Branson’s high level of heart centred emotional intelligence is evident in all the amazing inspiring things that he has done and continues to do.

Anthony Robbins has very clear ideas about what it takes to be a truly outstanding leader.

He believes that our world needs true leaders who are committed to creating positive change in themselves and others.

Anthony Robbins definition of a true leader is – “A true leader is someone who inspires others to become more of who they truly are”.

In our changing world of crisis and challenge . . . if we want to be more, if we want our business to do more than just survive . . . we must learn the skills of heart centred emotional intelligence .

Dee Harding

2 Responses to "Leading With Heart Centred Emotional Intelligence – Dee Harding"

1 | Ankhara

July 10th, 2012 at 4:51 pm


Simply but very beautifully and powerfully expressed. Emotional intelligence can be driven by the mind – i.e about thoughts about feelings as opposed to acknowledging, exploring and working with the actual feelings – and is never as powerful as heart-centred emotional intelligence. I think it still remains challenging for many men to be in touch with their feelings and manage strong feelings such as frustration and anger. We women have our emotional challenges too but its still more socially acceptable to express our feelings( which tend more to be around guilt) than for men.
My top three skills are thinking, communication and interpersonal. It is in the interpersonal arena that heart-centred emotional intelligence needs a greater focus.Too often we have spent years and great effort pushing away emotions we don’t want to deal with or perhaps know how to process so it’s likely that leaders and managers such as Branston will be the exception rather than the rule!

2 | Katy Coulson

July 10th, 2012 at 6:46 pm


Music to my ears and a long time coming. I knew many others would realise that we have a purpose for being given our Heart! My role as a Culture Angel is to get into businesses and waken up hearts and minds to lead to some amazing results.

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