From emotional intelligence to emotional authority

Positive conflicts in the workplace

Of the many qualities a leader is expected to possess, one which is often down-played or forgotten altogether is being emotional. It has even been implied by many that a leader should be someone who is not emotional. This notion could not be any more wrong! The notion of Emotional Intelligence could not have been summarized better by Aristotle: “Anyone can get angry, but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy.”

Most of us in recent times have heard the term; Emotional Intelligence. We have in some way experienced or engaged it. Be it through our Personal Development, Leadership Practice or as Entrepreneurs. Some of us have, and continue to use the skills in our activities and we have experienced its transformative power in our behaviours and our ability to make connections, win negotiations and even build successful relationships.

The U.S. Open Women’s Singles Tennis Tournament has over the years been marked by memorable occurrences, usually in the form of the record-breaking performance of athletes. In 2018, however, the sports event saw a different end; one which became the topic of discussions in the U.S. media and media worldwide.  What started out to be a normal tournament between 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, Serena Williams and Women’s Tennis Association second ranking player, Naomi Osaka, soon turned into an altercation between the former, and the game’s chair umpire, Carlos Ramos.

After Serena lost to Naomi, she implied Ramos’ actions and decision during the game had not been objective and fair. The result of her reaction was many uncomplimentary remarks in media publications and subsequently, legal action and a penalty against the athlete.

In a later apology to Naomi Osaka, Serena said: “As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself…”

In response, Naomi Osaka wrote to Serena saying: “People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two. No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”

Like Serena, many people of influence, leaders and entrepreneurs often find themselves in the face of situations which hit a nerve and could end in a manner similar to Serena’s.

As we continue to develop, grow and accelerate our pace in leading change, and bringing value to the business of PEOPLE, we must begin to seek further depth and consolidate our results in winning at Emotional Intelligence. That brings us to the place of Emotional Authority. At this stage we have elevated our Emotional Intelligence to deliver Influence in all the spaces we are in and to make measurable and visible Impact continuously.

To engage the deeper conversation we need to be clear about definitions.  So what is Emotional Intelligence?

In defining the term, we will begin right from the perspective of its originators, Peter Salovey and John Mayer. According to Salovey and Mayer, Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.

Daniel Goleman, a man recognized as having popularized the term in his 1996 book titled Emotional Intelligence defines it as – “The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions effectively in ourselves and others. An emotional competence is a learned capacity based on emotional intelligence that contributes to effective performance at work.”

In the opinion of Reuven Bar-On, one of the leading pioneers, theorists and researchers in emotional intelligence and brain behind the Bar-On Concept of Social and Emotional Intelligence, “the term refers to an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures.”

Psychology Today, an online resource platform with hundreds of world renowned psychologists, in summary captures it succinctly and in simple language as the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

Emotional Intelligence is generally said to include at least three skills: emotional awareness, or the ability to identify and name one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes both regulating one’s own emotions when necessary and helping others to do the same.

Now let’s look at INFLUENCE

Canadian writer and former lawyer Robin S. Sharma highlights the essence of influence to a leader in his words: “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”

Gerald Schoenewolf, an American psychoanalyst defines it as “a process in which a person or group influences the emotions or behaviour of another person or group through the conscious or unconscious induction of emotion states and behavioural attitudes”., a trusted online dictionary and source of many word definitions, explains the term Influence as the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behaviour and opinions of others.

In a different but related perspective, Influence as explained in the current age of technology and Social media as an individual’s ability to affect other people’s thinking in a social online community. The more influence a person has, the more appeal that individual has to companies or other individuals who want to promote an idea or sell a product. This is simply put by Macie Klaskus, an online blogger, as “the ability to cause reallocation of capitals, be it financial, human, social or political as these are very exchangeable.”.

Impact can generally be defined as the measure of the tangible and intangible effects (consequences) of one thing or entity’s action or influence upon another.

This is however narrowed down in the context of Business where Impact is defined as the specific positive outcomes that are created for specific stakeholders of the business, including employees, communities, customers, and the environment, and are marked by more intensive, generally intentional, systems of measurement and management. This is according to B Lab, a non-profit organization dedicated to using the power of business as a force for good.

According to ACHIEVEBLUE, a Leadership consulting firm in Canada, leadership impact as the effect decisions, choices and leadership approaches of leaders have on the behaviour of the people around them or who follow them. This, they are able to measure for companies by the use of their proven psychometric tools to determine impact on the organization’s culture and how effective they are as leaders. Human beings have emotions and intelligence hence leaders who connect and leverage on these among their followers are those with the most impact.

From the above we can determine that a combination of the Intelligence Influence and Impact (EIII) in information delivery can change the game in the human condition leading to successful connection

Here are 4 Tips that we can use to successfully make the “EIII” connection 

One of the key principles of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is to “Seek first to understand and then be understood”. Understanding the currency value of the person we are engaging will bring us to a platform of readiness and openness. It releases the heart of the other to listen. 

We have been made to generally believe that saying more leads to receiving more but in the context of winning difficult conversations; it’s the opposite. We must initiate the conversation in an open ended manner to get the other party to start talking whilst we actively listen.


As executives we must always ensure we always believe we learn from our people. But truth is we receive information. True learning comes from contribution and attribution. Meaning we really assimilate what the other party does; we use it in an activity and attribute the credit back to them. Seeing this through elevated emotions by a wide margin and creates powerful opportunities for our own EIII.

One characteristic of Emotional Intelligence that we cannot do without is the concept of “Know Thyself”. When we decide to move from Intelligence to Influence and then Impact we need to add three levels of knowledge. Knowing our Preambles, Knowing our Patterns, and Knowing our Possibilities

These help us to anticipate the other parties thinking, tactics and trajectory to an extent.

Research has clearly stated that when it comes to the comparison of emotions and logic, Emotions lead a wide margin and Logic simply follows.

And when we can clearly come to a position where we can leverage Emotional Intelligence as the foundation, Emotional Influence as a layer, Emotional Impact as another layer, we have a consolidated power of Emotional Authority to win at the Human Connection.

Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?

Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach

Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.

A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.

She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.

She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.

She can be reached on [email protected] and @dzigbordikwaku across all social media platforms.

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