Emotional intelligence is key for healthcare workers during COVID-19 crisis, David P. Fessell writes

July 10, 2020

Emotional intelligence is crucial to helping healthcare workers avoid burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic, Center for Positive Organization (CPO) faculty associate David P. Fessell writes in the Harvard Business Review article “How Health Care Workers Can Take Care of Themselves.”

Fessell and fellow researcher Daniel Goleman explain that emotional intelligence can be categorized into four areas that are crucial to healthcare workers: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

The researchers offer practical activities and questions healthcare workers can ask themselves to help build their emotional intelligence in the four categories.

“The payoff from this higher emotional intelligence among physicians and other health care workers has been suggested by several research studies: outcomes include more trust among patients, higher levels of patient satisfaction and less physician burnout,” Fessell and Goleman write. “This tracks with research with executives in other areas, such as finance and manufacturing, which finds that greater emotional intelligence creates better results ranging from productivity to job satisfaction.”

Fessell is author of numerous peer reviewed radiology publications, a creativity consultant, an executive coach, and Professor of Radiology at the University of Michigan. He also co-directs the leadership curriculum for medical students at the University of Michigan.