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  • Writer's pictureBrian Patterson

EI and Glasser

The topic of Emotional Intelligence is one that is quite controversial among business leaders and coaches today. In the field of psychology, Hanscarl Luener was the first to use the term emotional intelligence to describe one’s ability to respond to social cues within the culture. (Perlier, 2010).

The social environment and interpersonal connectivity of the workplace is pivotal to quality outcomes. To achieve the flow necessary in a competitive environment requires emotional stability. Often, leaders are not aware of their own impact on the environment when they are the ones who establish the social norms.

William Glasser’s concept of Lead Management is the application of Choice Theory concepts in the workplace. There are 6 L’s of Lead Management: leading, loving (empathy), listening, learning, limiting (goals), and leveling. (Schoo, 2008). These would closely parallel the fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence. Glasser’s Basic Need of Love and Belonging gives humans the ability to interact with each other effectively. If a leader has a low Love and Belonging need as determined by a free online Basic Needs Profile (, the coach can help them understand the needs of others and that the empathy factor in Emotional Intelligence will enhance their relationship with employees. Being more effective in this way will help the leader meet his or her own Power need.

In learning to listen without judgment (for clarity), avoid jumping to conclusions and maintain positive emotional attention, leaders can effectively improve the culture and environment. (Schoo, 2008). The coach may use a colleague survey or some type of 360 assessment to determine the social effectiveness and culture creation of the leader. After assessing these results, without judgment, the coach may develop a plan regarding which skills to address first. These skills can be made more effective through role play and practice with the coach, as well as creating visual cue cards, reminding the leader at their desks, some of these basic principles.


Peltier, B. (2010). The psychology of executive coaching: Theory and application (2nd ed.). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Redman, W. (2012). Emotional fitness coaching: How to develop a positive and productive workplace for leaders, managers and coaches. London. Kogan Page.

Schoo, A. (2008). Leaders and their teams: Learning to improve performance with emotional intelligence and using choice theory. International Journal of Reality Therapy, 27(2). pp. 40-45.

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