What is the Role of Feelings in Leadership?

Author: Suba Lakshminarasimhan

Role of Feelings in Leadership – Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions

“Suba, one thing that I have observed while attending your workshops is you frequently talk about ‘feelings.’ Many times, while attending workshops, I feel like understanding what you are talking about. But, Once I am out in my surroundings while facing routine problems, I forget about what you said, and you can call it ‘blank out.’  

I don’t get it. I solve higher challenges so quickly at work. But, understanding the connection between ‘feelings’ and ‘leadership growth’ is not easy for me. What am I missing? Let’s take this as a goal for today’s session.”

Such a vulnerability showcased during the coaching sessions helps leaders to a greater level.

During the session

We delved deeper into understanding his experience, thoughts, and perspectives on ‘feelings.’ He was indeed surprised to see how intuitively he has been allowing feelings to determine certain actions, decisions, and outcomes. He could also identify moments that help make some relationships stronger when the feelings were handled well.

I only let him speak and keenly listened. And, triggered his power of sharing by asking some powerful questions. The focus was on my client and his ‘feelings’ about ‘feelings in leadership’

At the end of the session, my client decided to observe his ‘feelings’ about a specific incident and reflect in his journal.

His reflection from the subsequent conversation: (Sharing with his permission)


  1. Very well aware of the roller coaster of emotions playing through his thought process.
  2. Monitor the ‘words’ and ‘phrases’ being uttered in his mind
  3. Control his outbursts (we had a few calming exercises practiced in the previous sessions)
  4. Sense the ‘root cause’ which otherwise could have caused some severe conflict


  1. Built an ability to be Self-Aware and #Mindful
  2. Higher #EQ
  3. Informed Decision-Making
  4. #ConflictManagement

Have you ever observed your ‘feelings’ and how it impacts your action as a leader? If yes, do share your experience. If not, practice it this week, and let’s connect to see how it helped you.