What makes a leader?

Psychologist and author Daniel Goleman is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts on emotional and social intelligence.


Goleman points to the three types of empathy in the self-awareness domain.


The first, he says is cognitive empathy. “This is about being able to understand how the other person thinks. Leaders who are good at this are able to express things in a way that impacts people, that reaches people effectively… 


The second kind of empathy is emotional empathy, says Goleman. “Emotional empathy is about feeling wit. This is an unconscious ability, it has to do with a brain system called mirror neurons which tune into the person we’re with and activate in our brain what they’re feeling, what they’re doing, what they’re intending. So we get a detailed sense of what’s going on with the other person. This is what creates chemistry and you need that for any interaction.”


The third kind of empathy is empathic concern, Goleman continues. “This refers to the kind of leader who actually cares about you, who actually tunes into you, who will help you by creating a situation whereby you can be at your best. So, all three of those are very important for leaders.”