Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, integrate, understand and reflectively manage your own and other people’s feelings. It is allied with many of the other personal characteristics and skills which this book deals with as a basis for professional development and personal integrity. This chapter explores the characteristics and capabilities of those who think intuitively about emotion at a high level so that you can develop and enhance your emotional intelligence. For the career management of staff (Chapter 9) the emotionally intelligent school enables:

● the identification of potential, in each individual and the staff as a team, to encourage effective career management;

● understanding the importance of aligning school and individual objectives to maximize the benefits for both parties;

● translating success in career development into resilient loyalty to the school to retain the key players;

● acknowledging and rewarding people’s strengths, achievements and successes. For change management (Chapter 15) the application of emotionally intelligent leadership can:

● adapt to changing circumstances and lead others through the personal discomfort of change;

● offer innovative solutions, identify key issues, simplify problems and find a way through unclear situations;

● have confidence in their own abilities to enable them to encourage the team and keep them motivated and productive;

● remove barriers to change as others are enabled to overcome the fear of risk and failures which can produce defensive and cautious behaviour.


This chapter is developed from a presentation at the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD) HRD conference (1998) on ‘Emotional 52av Intelligence: Its Value and Application in Leadership and Organizations’ by Robert K. Cooper, author of Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations (1997) and 21st Century Leadership (2000). Cooper argues that emotional intelligence has clear benefits in life and work. It is built on three driving forces for competitive advantage – building trusting relationships, that is, values in action, creating

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