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  • Steve Brunt

Exploring Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Ever heard of Maya Angelou’s wisdom? She once said, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That's the magic of Emotional Intelligence (EI). It's not just a buzzword; it's the secret sauce in leadership. 

EI isn’t about quoting theories; it's about knowing your vibe and reading the room. It's about understanding not just yourself but the people around you too. Think empathy, self-awareness, keeping cool under pressure, and making everyone feel like they matter. 

So, what's the deal with EI and leadership? Let's dive into it with our Senior Partner, Stephen Brunt, from Blue Gnu. He's got the scoop on how EI lights up the workplace. 


Picture this: leaders with EI superpowers. They: 

  • Rock at building bonds. Yep, they're the glue, understanding their team's vibes, which makes for killer communication and trust. 

  • Are conflict whisperers. No drama here. They squash conflict with finesse, finding solutions that make everyone happy. 

  • Ace decision-making. They're not just about the numbers; they factor in feelings too. Say goodbye to those impulsive choices. 

  • Roll with the punches. Adaptable? Check. Resilient? Double-check. They're the captains steering the ship through rough waters, making sure everyone is rowing in the right direction despite the size of the swell. 

  • Are the ultimate hype squad. Clear vision? Check. Shoutouts for greatness? Double-check. They're the cheerleaders boosting morale. 

Why the EI hype, you ask?  

First off, it's all about the vibes: 

  • High EI = happy teams. When leaders vibe high, so do their people. That means more engagement, more smiles, and even more productivity. 

  • The world's a rollercoaster; leaders need to be chill. EI helps them ride the waves of change without breaking a sweat. Flexibility, anyone? 

  • Relationships, relationships, relationships. EI makes leaders the ultimate BFFs, building trust and making work feel less like, well, work. 

  • Communication is queen. Leaders with EI know the power of words, listening, and empathy. It's like having a secret code for better teamwork. 

  • Conflict? Nobody loves conflict. But when it happens, EI leaders turn it into a growth opportunity, not a showdown. 

  • Innovation alert! EI creates a safe space for crazy ideas to flourish. Think of it as a creativity playground, where everyone's invited to play. 

Now, let's talk empathy. 

Empathy's the secret sauce in the EI recipe. Here's why: 

  • Diversity is cool. Empathetic leaders dig deep, understanding everyone's unique story. That's how you build a dream team. 

  • Trust is key. When leaders resonate with their team, magic happens. It's like your team always having your back. 

  • Talk the talk, walk the walk. Empathetic leaders make room for everyone's voice. They make sure everyone gets heard and is valued for their contribution. 

  • Inclusivity is the name of the game. Empathy levels the playing field, making sure everyone feels truly seen as well as heard. 

But hey, too much of a good thing can be, not so good:  

  • Overdoing it? Leaders need to keep it authentic and not overdo it. Too much empathy can cloud judgment and cause chaos. 

  • Burnout is real. Leaders need self-love too. Constantly soaking up emotions? That's a recipe for disaster. Take time to take care of yourself. 

  • Tough love, anyone? Sometimes leaders have make the hard calls. Balancing empathy with tough choices is a fine art. 

 So, what's next?  

Here's the deal: EI isn’t a superpower you're born with; it's a muscle you can flex. Here's how:


  • Feedback is your friend. Ask around, get real, and level up. 

  • Know yourself. Keep a mood diary, maybe some daily journaling, do some soul-searching, and stay present. 

  • Step into their shoes. Active listening, open hearts, and a sprinkle of curiosity go a long way. 

  • Chill vibes only. Stress management is key. Find your zen, take breaks, and breathe. 

  • Build bridges. Communication is key. Connect, appreciate, and spread those good vibes. 

  • Keep it cool. Emotions running wild? Time to step back. Learn those triggers and master the art of awareness. 

  • Follow the leaders. Find your EI mentors, learn their ways, and do what you can to level up. 

Bottom line? 

EI isn’t just a buzzword; it's the real deal. At Blue Gnu, we're all about levelling up leaders. Partner with us to transform your leadership approach and cultivate a more engaged, productive, and emotionally intelligent team. 

Ready to take the leap? Swing by our website and let's make some magic happen! 


Article written by Senior Partner, Steve Brunt - May 2024


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