You may want to read the post right below (Connecting with People Matters) before reading this one.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has a fair measure of emotional intelligence. She connects with people, inspires them, knows how to build organizations and bolster confidence. All that is good, very good. Yet, she has a major emotional intelligence flaw. It’s so glaring that it could jeopardize her run in the same way Howard Dean’s “scream” unraveled him.

Simply put, Hillary’s emotional intelligence goes flying out the window when she is criticized or roundly challenged. It’s so obvious that it’s scary. Her body posture, facial expressions and vocal tones change quickly and leave her vulnerable. It appears, but of course I have no way to substantiate this, that she’s incredulous that another human being would challenge her. I mean she is Hillary Clinton.

I could easily see her “losing it” because of this emotional intelligence soft spot.

Equally is troublesome for Hillary could be a staff that doesn’t tell her the truth. The question for someone like her, and the beginnings of antidote for this type of leadership issue are questions like:

Do I have group of people I trust who will tell me the truth?

More importantly, will I listen?

Am I willing to be wrong?

Am I willing to change?


Hillary’s E.I. trouble spot is quite common. Leaders, as them “move up” often become isolated from criticism that actually can make a difference. Oh sure, they hear criticism. But, it’s so easily dismissed as ridiculous that it really never has a chance of being digested or bringing meaningful change to the leader.

If you are a “reactor” like Hillary, there is hope. But, it will require some painful time in front of a mirror and in front of people who care enough to tell you things you don’t want to hear. It also means re-framing challenges as a way for you to sharpen or morph your ideas and make them even better.