Emotional leadership

Peter Mertingk: Training emotionaler Intelligenz, Beratung und Coaching für Führungskräfte einer neuen ZeitGood management appeals to our feelings. It arouses our passion and gets us to give our best. If we try and explain why we are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision or convincing ideas. But in reality something much more fundamental is involved – emotionally intelligent leadership.” [1] A high degree of emotional intelligence when dealing with yourself, i.e. the ability to manage yourself very well, is a requirement for the ability to also lead other people with emotional intelligence.[2]

Emotionale Führung in sechs Punkten:

  1. Visionary coaching -> Exemplary visionary occurrence, if it applies, for inspiring people for new goals.
  2. Advisory-> Advisory skill for supporting people and reconciling them with life goals.
  3. Sensitive-> Sensitive communication for integrating and motivating people.
  4. Willingness for democratic consensus-> purpose is to coordinate and identify the environment to be reinforced.
  5. Demanding-> A demanding attitude for raising your own performance and that of the environment and achieving higher targets.
  6.  Commanding-> Confidence decision-taking skill for ensuring clarity and security in emergency situations.

Each style of leadership is to be chosen according to the situation. A specific style of leadership may be conducive to the culture or, as may apply, atmosphere. Choosing another style of leadership may bring less positive effects with it. In my opinion, the leadership styles above are to be recommended without question. In particular, both bottom ones are to be applied rather less or, as may apply, with a sense of proportion. The commanding style of leadership may be applied in full if there really is an “emergency situation”. Example: Emergency on an aircraft. The captain on board needs to specify what to do and ensure ad hoc clarity and safety, possibly  with an appropriately voice of command as well. The crew needs to “sense”. It senses and knows it is serious. An appropriate commanding tone is accepted here as it is congruent.

Emotionale Intelligenz - Voraussetzung für emotional intelligente Führung

Excessive demands affect the way of leadership

Excessive demands affect the way of leadership

The crux of the matter is that overstretched management imagines itself far more frequently in…

The crux of the matter is that overstretched management imagines itself far more frequently in emergency situations than they “actually” are. Tension leads to the authoritative voice of command or even a bout of quick temper. The tone is not readily accepted by employees, teams or colleagues and the extent of the so important but excessive “dosing and packaging” may (above all with sensitive employees at least) have an off-putting, harmful or even traumatising effect. Such a “style” is more than enough once a month, if at all, completely inappropriate every day, and disastrous for staff retention. Management should also be aware that, with today’s transparency, employees will easily suss out whether there actually is an emergency or not.

Quick-tempered management behaviour out of habit?

Massively counter-productive: Quick-tempered management behaviour that has set in over years out of habit and is regarded as still required out of belief: “Targets were reached”, so it goes, “for this very reason…! Because we worked at any cost!” On closer inspection, those concerned are avoiding looking back – the wreckage and overexploitation of health and people who were ignored, harmed and completely lost as humans litter the path. And who have no further contribution ready for any new target set, or possibly even start to undermine their supervisor. What a horror, what living conditions for the boss. Achieving targets in this way is of doubtful success and only superficial. The at-any-cost mentality may seem just like the dark ages to good, sensitive employees with an unattractive and off-putting effect.

Very good employees are elusive. They are sensitive and take their leave of company cultures that are not conducive to developing their potential and skills. Others work to rule or resign themselves.

Emotional “brillante” Führung lehrt Sehnsucht

Ein Beispiel für vorbildliche emotionale Führung bot Barack Obama[3] bei seiner allerersten Amtsantrittsrede, als er sich an den Islam wandte. Er sagte sinngemäß, Amerikaner seien keine Feinde, sondern ebenfalls Menschen. Es gebe viele vergleichbare Werte und Ziele, sie wollen ebenso Frieden. Er wisse es genau, da er selbst mehrere Jahre im Islam gelebt habe, u.a. in Indonesien aufgewachsen sei. Obama reichte in dieser Rede dem Islam die Hand. Er konnte die Sehnsucht nach der Vision „Frieden” auf gleiche Werte besinnend authentisch vermitteln, u.a. aufgrund seiner eigenen Herkunft. Er hatte es in nur einer Rede geschafft, mehr für den Weltfrieden zu tun, als sein Vorgänger in vielen Jahren. Der neue Führungsstil im Weißen Haus war damals mit seiner weltweiten Wirkung machtvoll und Obama selbst größte Hoffnung zugleich.

Emotionally “brilliant” leadership teaches aspiration

An example of exemplary emotional leadership was provided by Barack Obama[3] in his very first inaugural speech, when he turned to Islam. By analogy, he said that Americans were not the enemy, but were people as well. There were many comparable values and goals, and they also wanted peace. He was well aware of this as he had spent many years in Islam, including having grown up in Indonesia. Obama extended a hand during this speech. He was able to authentically convey aspiration in line with the vision of peace that reflected the same values, due among other things to his origin. He had achieved more for world piece in just one speech than his predecessors had done in many years. With its worldwide effect, the new style of leadership in the White House was powerful and, at the same time, Obama’s greatest hope.

Emotionally “brilliant” leadership teaches aspiration

Dr Franz Alt manages masterly in his presentations to teach aspiration according to the success of the energy transition. Even more, he conveys the yearning to be able to make a contribution to receiving and maintaining creation. As soon as the lights come on, his listeners start immediately to think of solutions themselves.

In the well-known words of the Small Prince: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to procure wood, issue tasks and assign work, but teach them the ambition to cross the open ocean.” [4]

What sort of aspiration do you feel qualified to teach? How will you start to notice if you have managed it?


Training emotionaler Intelligenz und Führungskräfte Coaching
Peter Mertingk in D-64546 Mörfelden-Walldorf (Flughafen Frankfurt 10 km)
Telefon: +49 (0)6105 999677

eMail: dialog(at)petermertingk.de

Empfehlung: Steve Jobs bewegende Rede

Steve Jobs hielt im Juni 2005 eine bewegende Rede auf der Abschlussfeier der Stanford University im kalifornischen Palo Alto.


[1] “Emotional Intelligence”, Daniel Goleman
[2] “Emotional Leadership in Six Points”, available from Daniel Goleman´s book “Emotional Leadership”
[3] “The Audacity of Hope”, Barack Obama, Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
[4] Antoine de Saint-Exupery (work: Citadelle)

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