This figure from Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence describes the emotional intelligence model according to Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a critical leadership competency for health care leaders. As indicated, the 4 quadrants of EI reflect one’s self-awareness, ability to self-regulate, awareness of social context, and management of relationships in service of enhanced organizational performance. Ample data support the importance of EI as a driver of organizational performance in sectors outside of health care as well as within health care. Strong associations exist between EI competencies and health care leadership effectiveness and advancement. Furthermore, data support the notion that EI can be sustainably developed. Health care leaders are encouraged to be mindful of the emotional intelligence model, to assess their EI, and to purposefully and mindfully enhance their EI competencies in their journey toward optimal leadership. While there are multiple models of EI, I find this model particularly accessible and valuable to help physicians think about their leadership competencies. Colleagues and I have considered specific teaching modules organized around these competencies as part of a spiral curriculum for teaching professionalism and emotional intelligence.
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