Emotionally Intelligent Leaders


In Dr. Martyn Newman’s best selling book, “Emotional Capitalists – The New Leaders,” the consulting psychologist outlines how Emotional Intelligence (EI) contributes to our personal and workplace success. Dr. Newman identifies ten competencies that make up EI: — Self-Knowing — Self-Confidence — Self-Reliance — Straightforwardness — Self-Actualization (Work/Life Balance) — Relationship Skills — Empathy — Adaptability — Self-Control — Optimism

Why are these components so important to the success and health of a company culture? Why does leadership need to embody these competencies to challenge and support their employees? The following outlines a few reasons Emotional Intelligence is so important:


A product of self-knowing and empathy is the ability to have insight into the passions, needs, and hopes of others. As humans, we all need to understand and be understood. If a leader could “walk in the shoes” of one of their employees, what would they see? Wouldn’t this knowledge help leaders better connect with the needs of their organization? If a leader could truly understand what motivates and drives their employees through insight, they can create the steps to empower those employees. Insight equips us to broaden the perspective of organizational needs and in turn builds trust, compassion, and deepens our commitment to each other and the organization.

It translates to clients

The product of emotionally healthy relationships internally in your organization is externally healthy relationships with your clients. When an employee is empowered by a passionate, supportive, and optimistic team, they treat their clients with the same passion and commitment. When a client sees the solidarity of the organization’s team, and the passion they bring to the table, it not only makes them want to work with you, it will inspire them!

More than a temporary investment

Dr. Newman states “when you tap into what people really care about, you tap into their deepest talents.” When talent is recognized and uplifted, an employee is empowered, invested, and productive. Tapping into what employees truly care about builds what else? PASSION. Passion is what drives a deeper investment in where a person spends their time, efforts, and talents. Passion drives us to commit to a purpose we believe in, and fight to see that purpose succeed. The goal should be to create an environment where employees want to make the long-term investment because they are excited about the possibilities of their future there. If an organization can see the vision that their leaders have, they can dream about the vision together.


Probably one of the most important components in EI is that ability to adapt. Adaptability allows teams to come together and reorganize their efforts quickly and efficiently. No one will argue that they must stick to their wheel house because they will be willing to adapt to what is needed of them at the time. If the leader’s vision changes for the better, than other leaders can be flexible enough to shift their goals alongside it. When leaders can cooperate on the flexibility factor, it can be felt through the organization as a whole. Something did not go as planned? No problem. A leader can understand that their flexibility has a direct effect on the optimism of the organization, and the ability to continue onwards when things do not go our way.

Source: Emotional Capitalist – The New Leaders, Andy Partridge

The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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