The Handbook of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Author: Daniel A. Feldman

Higher Order Skills

  • Taking Responsibility
    • Acting independently and with accountability.
    • Owning a problem as well as a solution.
  • Generating Choices
    • Opening ourselves to the varied possibilities in any given thought, act, or situation.
    • Being able to discover the available choices in any given situation and to help others recognize those choices.
  • Embracing a Vision
    • Fully committing ourselves to a particular view of the future.
    • To be fully embraced, a vision needs to permeate communications and guide actions.
  • Having Courage
    • Looking at our choices and ourselves.
    • Taking responsibility.
    • Bucking trends and standard modes of operation.
    • Making tough decisions.
  • Demonstrating Resolve
    • Regularly making decisions about what to do, with firm determination.
    • Demonstrating to others your commitment to a plan of action.

Developing the Higher-Order Skills:

Leadership Action Techniques

  • Responsibility Checklist
    • Am I making a contribution?
    • Am I fully accepting the consequences of the actions I have taken?
    • In light of my subordinates reactions, is what I am doing discouraging them or uplifting them?
    • Based on my actions thus far, whom am I serving?
  • Choice Building
    • Let go of needing to be right and needing control.
    • Actively solicit choices from others.
    • Invite ideas from outside your current experiences and culture.
  • Vision Linking
    • Select a vision that you can willingly and actively embrace.
    • Own it and live it.
    • Incorporate the vision into your daily speech.
  • Lighting the Fire
    • Recognize what you are afraid of.
    • Focus on the benefits of taking the risk.
    • Tolerate the discomfort.
    • Practice by envisioning the steps to success.
  • Firming Up
    • Choose reachable and worthwhile long-term goals.
    • Build in short-term targets.
    • Develop a support network for your intention.
      • Use metaphors to make your vision more accessible to others.
    • Anticipate and prepare for difficulties and obstacles.
    • Continually renew your resolutions.

Core Skills

  • Knowing Yourself
  • Maintaining Control
    • Resisting or delaying an impulse, drive, or temptation to act.
    • Controlling aggression, hostility, and irresponsible behavior.
    • Managing emotions in a flexible and adaptable way.
  • Reading Others
    • Being aware of the emotions of others.
    • Appreciating the emotions of others.
    • Understanding how and why people feel and act as they do.
  • Perceiving Accurately
    • Accurately assessing a situation.
    • Having clear vision.
    • Keeping a broadperspectiveand being objective.
  • Communicating with Flexibility
    • Having a full range of emotional expression.
    • Being authentic.
    • Addressing your needs as well as the needs of others.

Developing the Core Skills:

Tools for activating our emotional intelligence

  • The PaRC Formula
    • Pause before reacting.
    • Reflect on the what and why of the feelings.
    • Choose the appropriate thought or action.
  • Core Connecting: Regaining your composure, focus, and energy when distracted.
    • Take 3 slow, deep breaths.  (cf.: Self Soothing)
    • Become aware of the next thought that pops up in your head.
    • Say to yourself, I am having a thought about (restate the thought).
    • Take 3 more slow, deep breaths.
  • Syncing-In: Responding at an intuitive level.
  • Focused Listening: Letting go of your own agenda and focusing on theirs.
    • Expand your reception.
    • Step into the other person’s shoes. (cf.: Rogers, Carkuff)
    • Dig deeper into the message.
  • Re-Framing: Creating a new interpretation of a situation that can lead to solutions
    • Identify your current frame.
    • Look into the future.
    • Explore new frames.
  • Process Communication: Shining a light on what’s important but may be unspoken.
    • Pay attention to body language.
    • Identify what is happening, not what is being discussed.
    • Make a clear, non-attacking process comment.


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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