Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull in a recent interview on ABC explained that his emotional intelligence would help him relate to everyday Australians.
“To be able to sit down with them on a train or in the street, hear their story, and have the imagination to understand how they feel. Emotional intelligence is probably the most important asset for – certainly for anyone in my line of work.”
This is progressive leadership. It is hopeful. As observers of our political systems in action, we have been assaulted by behaviour that is often brutish. Australian shenanigans have plagued the country for 5 years. Listening in on a political debate in most democratic countries is deeply unpleasant. We don’t, in general, trust our politicians.
Why, because they display, over time, very low emotional intelligence.
While politicians have mastered the art of grovelling to voters, emotional intelligence (EQ) has not been explicitly valued in the political debate or personal behaviours. If parents behaved at home as politicians often do in parliament, we would take away the children. Here are four questions for our politicians on their EQ skills:
- Insight: do politicians know how they look and sound in parliament?
- Mastery: do politicians show impulse control, integrity and loyalty?
- Empathy: do our politicians respect and value all parties?
- Influence: do politicians operate skilfully for win-win, long term solutions?
It would be great to see more politicians stand up for this vital skill set so desperately needed in political leadership.