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Emotional Intelligence for Innovation

Jessica Alba at The Honest Company

One definition of emotional intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

This skill or capacity of emotional intelligence is important for living well in general, of course, and also for individual creative expression, and for nurturing business success and innovation.

KH Kim, a professor of Creativity and Innovation at the College of William & Mary, comments in her article The Creativity Crisis In America!:

“Innovators experience deep emotions, are sensitive to the environment, and are emotionally expressive. Emotions affect creativity often more than cognitive or other rational factors and are found in all creative endeavors including science and arts.”

Read more quotes of hers and see a video in my article Attitudes to be creative and more innovative.

The Creativity ChallengeHer book is The Creativity Challenge: How We Can Recapture American Innovation.

The photo is a scene at The Honest Company, co-founded by actor Jessica Alba, that markets non-toxic household products.

A Forbes magazine cover and related feature article on her was titled “America’s Richest Self-Made Women.”

In a video interview, Alba is asked, “What’s the most difficult moment or the most difficult challenge you really needed to overcome in order to make this business what it is today?”

Alba replies about one aspect of emotional intelligence:

Self-doubt I think, because I was going into something I’ve never done before and I had absolutely no experience and I really had to overcome my own insecurities.”

See video and more quotes in my article Empowering Social Entrepreneurs.


Encouraging employees to innovate article

Leadership and innovation

An article on the Tony Robbins site addresses some of these topics:

“Leadership springs from innovation and the commitment to positive change. That’s why any employee at any level can lead and lead well.

“Are you ready to be a change agent and innovator?

“If you’re not sure about the importance of innovation in the workplace, consider this: Innovation is the essential difference between the most successful businesses and all of the rest.

“Just ask Amazon, Netflix and Uber. Innovation will allow your company to thrive among competitors who are struggling just to survive.


“Change initiatives are emotionally and mentally difficult for most employees.

“This means that you must be ready and able to act as an anchor in rough seas for your team. It may seem counter-intuitive to provide stability while fostering change, but the right kind of stability prepares your team to handle any situation.

“When leading through company change, flexibility, creativity and a clear vision of goals are necessary attributes.

“Are you able to promote change while lending support to your team? Assess your performance during challenging times and take concrete steps to improve it.


“So many of us fear change, and that fear causes us to react with hostility or tentativeness when decisive action is needed.

“Being open to change means knowing your personal strengths and weaknesses in the context of dynamic situations and using your insight about your own limitations and capabilities to shape your future actions.

“It also means using constructive criticism as a powerful means to build new competencies. All of these are essential to successful innovation.”

Continued in article: Encouraging employees to innovate by Team Tony, on the Tony Robbins site – which has many more articles, products and programs for personal development and life success.


Another resource: the course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions.

Emotional FlowTeacher Karla McLaren writes:

“Certainly, I’ve studied everything I could get my hands on, but I also did something unusual: Instead of enforcing my ideas upon the emotions, I listened closely to the emotions and engaged them in an empathic dialogue.”

“I’ll teach you how to do this.”

The course page notes “Modern neuroscience reveals that our emotions are absolutely essential to every aspect of intelligence, perception, and consciousness—yet few of us were ever taught how to work with them skillfully.

“Instead, most of us have learned to suppress our so-called bad emotions and pursue only the supposedly good ones.

“The truth, teaches empathic counselor and author Karla McLaren, is that all of your emotions contain essential information to help you experience your world fully—and the energy you require to act most effectively.”


Emotional Intelligence for Innovation

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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Some excerpts from The Creative Mind are included in his newsletter .
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Emotional Health Resources - Programs, books, articles and sites to improve your emotional wellbeing.

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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2016). Emotional Intelligence for Innovation. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Nov 2016
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