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Emotional Intelligence: Is showing your emotions at work a sign of weakness?

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

I coach many leaders in education who ask me this question. Some are afraid to be their true selves at work for fear of showing weakness or fear of being seen as feeble.

It's astonishing that in organisations which thrive on love, encouraging young people to grow and thrive, leaders feel they need to hide their true selves. They develop a work persona separate to their home persona.

Is this healthy? It seems to be normalised in many organisations but what could be the impact of this? Could you be like Jekyll & Hyde fighting with yourself as one goes against the others values.

Jekyll & Hyde
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Growing up as a British Malaysian Indian, I was British at school and Malaysian Indian at home. The 2 separate lives didn't become one till I was in my mid-30s. It was a relief to bring my whole self not only to the classroom but also my relationships. Since then a core value of mine is to be authentic. At first this came out as brutal honesty. With age and a good mentor I learnt to be more diplomatic. I also learnt not everything is black or white and those grey areas are the sweetest spots in life.

Those who are self-aware, are assertive communicators and understand people are great leaders to work for and with. Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learnt, developed and enable you to flourish as a leader.

Emotional Intelligence
What is Emotional Intelligence?

If you'd like to bring your whole self to your personal and professional life, then the Emotionally Intelligent Leader course is for you. This is a 10 session online group course over 6 months including a 1:1 Coaching session.

Oh and by the way, the answer to my question at the beginning of this piece is no. Showing your emotions is a sign of being human.

Malarvilie Krishnasamy is an experienced school leader, a leadership consultant, coach and trainer. She is the Director of MalCPD which is an approved Institute of Leadership and Management training provider.

Contact Malarvilie now for a free 20 min chat about your needs: or

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