Emotional Intelligence as a Key Lever for Crisis Leadership

Korn Ferry research shows what leaders do to get the best results during challenging times

In dealing with crises like the novel coronavirus pandemic, the ability to listen objectively and compassionately to your counterparts, manage your own reactions and stress, and effectively put together a crisis team will lead to better outcomes—both in the short- and long-term.

In its latest report, Emotional Intelligence as a Key Lever for Crisis Leadership, the Korn Ferry Institute draws from its Behavioral Event Interview databases to see what senior leaders did to get the best results during disruptive, watershed moments. What we’ve found is that those leaders who succeeded in challenging times tapped into more than the usual business acumen and leadership skills.  

“Effective crisis leadership depends on empathy, teamwork, and focusing on customers,” says Signe Spencer, client research partner at the Korn Ferry Institute. “Emotional intelligence is the foundation that makes leadership in crisis effective.”