Understanding Emotional Intelligence and Its Role in Leadership

  • Harry C. SaxEmail author
  • Bruce L. Gewertz
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Irrespective of our life paths, the ability to initiate and sustain effective interactions with others is a key determinant of success and fulfillment. As physicians, we must lead both formally and informally in a variety of roles – in medical systems, clinics and operating theatres. We are often challenged by the stress of practice and the need to achieve balance with family and friends. Conflicts occur on a regular basis hence a level of personal insight is vital to a healthy and productive life. The increased interest in emotional intelligence is supported by a growing compilation of data that demonstrate that enhanced social interactions improve personal performance in a wide range of settings. In this chapter, we quantify the traits associated with emotional intelligence (EQ), examine the role of EQ in the medical environment, including the differences seen in surgeons, provide insights into the neurobiology of human emotion, address how experiences shape our ability to interact with others, describe how emotional intelligence can be measured and quantified, and finally assess what one can do to improve EQ. Lastly, we tie emotional intelligence into styles of conflict resolution, and describe forms of feedback that can increase insight and enhance both professional performance and personal satisfaction.


Facial Expression Emotional Intelligence Nursing Student Social Awareness Early Life Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Clinical Transformation InitiativeCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Interventional Services, Academic AffairsCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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