How Important is Emotional Intelligence in Leadership for the Post-Covid Era?

by Malcolm Nicholson (United Kingdom)

In previous articles I have mentioned the need for a new organisational leadership model. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the hybrid/remote approach to work which most people want now, plus the accelerating pace of global events, means that people are looking for purpose, more psychological safety and for leaders who are genuinely interested in them as a person.

In order to bring more evidential rigour into my thoughts I spoke to Stephen Walker, Senior Partner/Business Psychologist at EBW Global ( who provide psychometric profiles that focus on Business Emotional Intelligence combined with a set of powerful tools and practical programmes that improve leaders’ and teams’ performance.

The EBW measures the emotional behavioural clusters (scales) that are the focus of Business Emotional Intelligence as well as providing feedback on how self-aware we are of them.

In my conversation with Stephen, he said ‘Over the last few years during and since the pandemic, if we have learned anything at EBW Global, it is that the role of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for leaders in the workplace is ever more critical. Leaders and managers around the world are finding their ability to use their Emotional Intelligence in their daily lives is having a profound effect on the success of their teams and businesses.’

‘20 plus year ago the EBW approach of Business EQ was born from the premise that developing and using Emotional Intelligence is not easy in the workplace – or indeed at home – but if we could provide the tools that enable people to understand and manage the key emotional behaviours that drive success at work, then we could improve people’s lives by changing how leaders and teams work together’.

‘Many people think of EQ as the ability to recognise and control emotions and to use this knowledge to communicate effectively and build healthy relationships. It sounds simple but it suffers from what I call the EQ paradox. That is, when you most need your Emotional Intelligence is when you typically have the least motivation and resources to use it.’

‘Take a moment. Think about the last time you got angry or upset with your partner or maybe your sibling. How long did it take you to gain control of yourself so you could have a sensible conversation to resolve the difficult situation?’

Stephen continued ‘Here is the thing, most leaders feel they are don’t have the toolkits to deal with difficult situations in an effective manner, from which they can transform situations or the people they lead to feel inspired and motivated to go beyond what they believe is possible.’

‘As we know, leaders now need to operate differently to manage a remote and changing workforce, to be more agile, to cope with a more VUCA world. To be more compassionate and yet still encourage others to deliver and perform at high level with limited resources. The way leaders approach this challenge and lead their teams and organisation will be the difference between those companies that are successful and those that are not.’

Source: iCN Issue 41  (Leadership Coaching); pages 47-50

About Malcolm Nicholson

Malcolm Nicholson is an experienced businessperson, entrepreneur and much in demand inernational executive coach, with in depth experience of challenging and supporting executives, enabling them to develop new approaches – both behavioural and procedural – that have a significant impact on their business.

To find out how he can help your organisation contact him at or +44 1932 267597