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Leadership and Management

Emotional Intelligence: The Secret Weapon for Exceptional Leadership in Public and Private Organisations

   29 January 2024         Blogs

In today’s highly competitive and rapidly evolving business landscape, leadership effectiveness is not just an aspiration but a strategic imperative. Leaders are expected to navigate complex challenges, inspire their teams, and foster a positive organisational culture. To meet these demands, leaders need more than just technical skills; they require a high level of emotional intelligence (EI).

By understanding the impact of EI training and its various facets, businesses can unlock the potential for sustainable growth and resilience. Moreover, investing in EI training can lead to higher employee engagement, lower turnover rates, improved customer relations, and a more positive corporate reputation.

This article delves into the profound impact of emotional intelligence on leadership effectiveness in both private and public sector organisations, and gives insight into some of the requirements of implementing a successful EI training strategy.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of skills and abilities related to the recognition, understanding, management, and use of emotions in ourselves and in our interactions with others. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey, but was later popularised by psychologist Daniel Goleman.

EI encompasses a wide range of emotional and social competencies that influence our behaviour, decision-making, and relationships. The most effective leaders consider emotional intelligence a critical skill to recognise and solve their team members’ problems.

EI can be broken down into several key components:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills:

Emotional intelligence is considered a critical skill set in various aspects of life, including personal relationships, leadership, and workplace success. It plays a vital role in effective communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, and overall emotional well-being. High emotional intelligence is associated with better mental health, improved interpersonal relationships, and enhanced performance in both professional and personal realms. Employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy.

Leaders must lead by example

Effective implementation of EI training should be top-down, with leaders setting the example. Leaders set the tone of their organisation. Those who exhibit emotional intelligence not only serve as role models but also create a culture where EI is valued throughout the organisation. If they lack emotional intelligence, it could have more far-reaching consequences, resulting in lower employee engagement and a higher turnover rate.

Senior leaders, including the CEO, must model emotionally intelligent behaviours. However, this can be a challenge, as it requires a high level of self-awareness and a commitment to continuous growth. Leaders who prioritise emotional intelligence set the tone for the entire organisation and create an environment where EI is celebrated. An organisation led by a leader who lacks emotional intelligence cannot survive the tide of a complex business environment.

Mindfulness and Self-Awareness

Leaders’ mindfulness and high self-awareness are foundational to emotionally intelligent leadership. Mindfulness practices enhance self-awareness, allowing leaders to better understand their emotions and responses, ultimately leading to more effective decision-making and communication.

Voluntary Participation Enhances Engagement

Participation in EI interventions is most effective when it is voluntary. Learners must feel a genuine need, liking, or both, to learn, and spend the time and energy needed in developing their emotional intelligence. When individuals willingly invest their time and energy in such training, they are more likely to apply what they learn in their leadership roles. However, it’s essential to recognise that voluntary training may sometimes reach only those who are already inclined toward emotional intelligence.

Compassion-Driven Culture

A compassionate, rather than performance-driven, culture sets the stage for successful EI training transfer and consolidation in the workplace. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to embrace and apply their emotional intelligence skills. Compassion fosters a sense of psychological safety that encourages open communication and collaboration.

Allowing Sufficient Time for Change

Organisations often seek quick results, but emotional intelligence development is a gradual process. Change, especially in larger organisations, tends to be incremental. It’s crucial to understand that the compound effect of small changes can lead to substantial improvements over time. Patience and commitment to the process are key.

Fostering a Supportive Community

Being part of or creating a supportive community can significantly aid leadership development. Such communities provide mentoring and networking opportunities, fostering empathy and influencing skills. This type of support helps to consistently motivate team members and leaders to put their best foot forward as well as helping to develop a strong bond between a leader and their team.

Experiential Learning and Coaching

Effective EI training should be experiential, rooted in self-reflection, and aligned with self-selected goals. Coaching can play a pivotal role in supporting individuals on their EI journey, as it encourages self-discovery and provides personalised guidance.

Transformational coaching is particularly valuable for EI development. It activates positive emotions, which are essential for learning transfer and intentional change. Positive affect enhances motivation and fosters a growth mindset, enabling leaders to embrace and apply their emotional intelligence skills more effectively.

Develop’s Organisation Development Consultant’s have been developing a six-month Coaching & Mentoring programme that aims to provide opportunities to develop, practise and apply the coaching and mentoring thought processes, techniques and tools. This six-month programme will consist of monthly group sessions and 1-2-1 coaching. It has been designed to take leaders through the experience of being coached and undergoing deep self-analysis.

Individuals who partake in the course will get the opportunity to develop their listening and observation skills, empathy, communication, influencing and other supporting skills for coaching and mentoring management and leadership.

Register your interest here to find out more about the programme when it is released:

Risks of Internal Coaching

Internal coaching can be challenging due to the pressure internal coaches face while juggling their daily responsibilities. Insufficient support from leadership can also hinder the effectiveness of internal coaching efforts. Consider external coaching options when these challenges are present.


Emotional intelligence is a game-changer in leadership effectiveness, both in the private and public sectors. To harness its full potential, organisations must commit to voluntary, multi-level, and spaced-out EI training. They should prioritise resonant leadership, compassion-driven cultures, and senior leaders as role models.

Additionally, transformational coaching, mindfulness, and supportive communities are invaluable tools in fostering emotionally intelligent leadership.

In short, the insights offered here provide actionable strategies for businesses to create a leadership culture that drives performance, adaptability, and long-term success.

Investing in emotional intelligence is an investment in the future success of any organisation.


Does your organisation need help with mentoring & coaching leaders?

We can help.

Click here to browse our range of ‘off the shelf’ Leadership & Management training programmes.

Register your interest here to find out more about the Coaching & Mentoring programme when it is released:

Alternatively, we are highly experienced in developing bespoke training programmes for organisations across a wide variety of industries. Simply get in touch with our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or and a member of our Leadership & Management team will call you back to discuss your unique needs.

In the meantime, why not take a look at a recent leadership programme we developed for National Grid. Click here to view.

About the Author

Hanna Magdziarek, Organisational Development Consultant

Hanna Magdziarek began her career as a qualified English teacher, transitioning to the higher education sector where she spent almost a decade at a top global university. With expertise in Leadership, Operational Excellence, Performance Coaching, and Wellbeing, she later established her own coaching and training consultancy. Hanna joined Develop in December 2022, focusing on designing and delivering courses for leadership effectiveness. Recently, she has been developing a coaching and mentoring programme for Develop, set to launch in early 2024, aimed at enhancing leaders' coaching and mentoring skills.

Leadership and Management

Meet the team : Hanna Magdziarek

   20 November 2023         Blogs

For this month’s Meet the Team blog, we’re introducing our Organisational Development Consultant, Hanna Magdziarek, who is currently in the process of developing a bespoke mentoring and coaching programme for Develop.

A passion for personal development

Hanna’s career in developing people started several years ago following her first master’s degree. She subsequently became a qualified English teacher, training adult learners in organisation’s.

Hanna explains, “I’ve always enjoyed working with individuals who become responsible partners in the process of learning and help to co-create it. This experience led me to search for roles in the higher education sector, where, at least in my experience, there is a lot of emphasis on personal and professional development and support for the employee.

After almost 10 years working for a top 10 global university, which helped me explore and develop my skills and experience in areas of interests such as Leadership, Operational Excellence, Performance Coaching and Wellbeing, I set up my own coaching and training consultancy and worked with a range of clients from the HE, Finance and Utilities sectors as a consultant and trainer, and individual clients as an executive coach.”

Hanna continues, “I found setting up my own consultancy so rewarding and fulfilling that it inspired me to continue my higher education in MSc Business and Organisational Psychology, which opened new doors for me in people development.”

Hanna also has a keen interest and experience in delivering the ‘operational excellence’ methodology she often  revisits while improving organisational processes and systems.

Hanna’s role at Develop

Hanna joined Develop in December 2022 as an Organisational Development Consultant. A crucial element of her role is designing and delivering courses that allow delegates to maximise their leadership effectiveness and positive impact to their team.

Hanna delivers a wide range of short courses, typically lasting between one to five days and covering topic areas such as mental resilience and cognitive flexibility, managing oneself and positive communication. Whist the majority of Hanna’s courses are delivered virtually, she also travels to organisations to deliver face-to-face sessions.

In my role, I work with client organisations by advising, designing, delivering and evaluating training to help current and future leaders embrace the challenges of contemporary leadership that stem from the slightly cliché, but still true, VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)). This helps them to become more people-oriented, nurturing leaders.”

Hanna’s role at Develop involves training and helping organisations to define their challenges and needs, and designing a suitable intervention for them to overcome these challenges.

All employers need to create a return-on-investment and my role at Develop is to ensure that the training we provide to our clients is both evidence-based and professional, as well as learner-centred, considering individual needs and aligning these with clients’ organisational goals.”

Introducing Develop’s new mentoring and coaching programme

Recently, Hanna has been in the process of creating and trialling a brand-newcoaching and mentoring programme for Develop, in response to the increasing need for leaders to be able to coach and mentor staff.

Our programme has been designed to take leaders through the experience of being coached and a deep self-analysis, including several psychometrics exercises, to let them become acquainted with the process and the value coaching and mentoring bring to the table. The programme will provide opportunities to develop, practise and apply the coaching and mentoring thought processes, techniques and tools that delegates can go on to apply to their work immediately, all while being supported by a qualified and experienced coach.

The six-month programme will consist of monthly group sessions and 1-2-1 coaching. Individuals who partake in the course will get the opportunity to develop their listening and observation skills, empathy, communication, influencing and other supporting skills for coaching and mentoring.

Further information on the programme will be available shortly. To register your interest please click here.

Reflecting on highlights at Develop

Hanna is quickly approaching her one-year anniversary at Develop and reflects on her key successes so far, in particular, the development of the new mentoring and coaching programme.

Develop is unique because we are truly committed to tailoring our training to delegates’ needs, including accommodating specific learning needs.”

Another highlight during Hanna’s time at Develop has been receiving positive feedback from delegates who have attended training and felt that they were able to take away valuable tools to implement in their day-to-day roles.

I have had feedback from various delegates which has highlighted how engaging and eye-opening they found the sessions and that they could tell I was an expert in and a strong believer in what I was teaching them.”

Hanna plans to launch Develop’s new coaching and mentoring programme at the start of 2024, delivering it across different organisations’ mid to senior management teams to support them with building their coaching and mentoring skillset and to take their leadership to the next level. Click here to register your interest and be the first to find out more once it is released to the public in early 2024.

Further information on Hanna’s Mentoring & Coaching Training Programme will be released at the start of 2024. If you would like to register your interest in this course please do so here:

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