Emotional Intelligence is a concept that describes how we relate to ourselves and others.  It leads us to deeper insights about the people we relate to and how our beliefs and attitudes affect that relationship. Those insights can enable us to develop a deeper awareness of our own selves, what makes us tick and react as we do. They also help us gain greater insights into other people and develop empathy with them.  From this platform we are in a position to choose how we interact with them to improve the quality of our relationships.

This desire is driven by agape-love, which is concerned for the well-being and benefit of others and is a key motive behind seeking to be a Christ-centred servant leader. As such, our goal is that each person we lead should achieve their full potential in their Kingdom service for God.

Self-awareness is not the same as selfishness or self-interest. It is about developing a realistic view of our characters and our behaviour so we can make choices about our behaviour towards other people.

The reasons we respond to threats as we do (emotional hijacking), and the hidden assumptions and beliefs we have about the world (Ladder of Inference), are crucial factors in our behaviour. Knowing this allows us to develop our own attitudes and reactions so as to become more Christ-like and by definition more emotionally intelligent. Similarly, the JoHari Window gives us insight into the state of our relationships and suggests how we can use self-disclosure and feedback to deepen those relationships.

From the Gospels we see that Jesus provides us an example of an emotionally intelligent person, one must conclude the most emotionally intelligent person ever. He is the model for the Christ-centred servant leader and just as he chose his behaviour towards the people he encountered, as leaders so must we.

Maturing self-awareness and others-awareness will form a good foundation from which to mature as a Christ-centred servant leader and develop those whom we lead so that they can achieve their full potential.

Action Plan

“Mathematics is not a spectator sport” commented one of my maths lecturers at University, and he was right.

The best learning, even for maths, requires participation and practice. It’s one of the reasons that Jesus spent so much time with the disciples and sent them out. Without participation lessons are not properly learned and without practice what is learned is soon forgotten. Studies show that training without coaching is only marginally effective, but with coaching it becomes around 80% effective.  In other words it makes a difference.  With on-line programmes like this  coaching is not really possible but there are things you can do.

To make the most of this programme in general, and just now for Emotional Intelligence specifically, review the Leading through Insight material and the Jesus Model material. Then earnestly take time to work out how you can apply it, be specific, set yourself goals, decide how to use the tools that these modules have provided. Prepare a specific plan, review your leadership practices regularly, monitor yourself daily against the plan.  Find someone you can talk things through with, someone you can trust so you feel safe sharing your challenges as well as your successes.

Establish your plan to mature as a Christ-centred servant leader who enables those that you lead to grow and mature in turn, achieving their full potential in the service of God.

Further Study 

Take time to step through John’s Gospel and examine how Jesus related to the people who encounter him. Look for his examples of self-awareness, awareness of others and self-management. Follow his example.


The second subject in the Leading with Insight module is Gaining Cultural Insight. It provides an introduction to the impact of national culture on how we think and behave. It is intended to enable the student to be able to assess the impact of their own and other cultures and the culture of the Kingdom of God on their leadership style.

After this there are two important perspectives to be considered when a leader leads others. The first is the essential leadership practices that the leader must exhibit; the second is the needs of the people in the team being led. “Leading through Others”, the subsequent module in the Growing the Servant Heart programme examines both these areas from the Christ-centred servant leadership perspective. They are equally applicable to church and Christian enterprises.




Chernis, C., Adler, M. (2000). Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. American Society for Training and Development

Goleman, Daniel. [1995] Emotional Intelligence.  Bloomsbury

Goleman, Daniel. . (1998) Working with Emotional Intelligence.  Bloomsbury

Higgs, M., Dulewicz, V., (1999) Making Sense of Emotional Intelligence. NFER Nelson

Walton, David, (2012) Emotional Intelligence A Practical Guide, Introducingbooks.com