Emotional Intelligence: How to Talk so People Listen 

Have you ever been around a leader who communicates poorly? Maybe someone who is self-centered, selfish, and lacks self-awareness? Most likely, we’ve all been around a leader like this at some point or another.

These leaders talk but fail to communicate because they are prideful, vague, complex, patronizing, nervous, irrelevant, intense, and close-minded.

Here’s my list of qualities leaders who talk and communicate with the intention of others listening possess: 

  • They are warm and relaxed
  • They are open and honest
  • They are enthused and exciting
  • They are knowledgeable and interesting
  • They are creative and solution focused
  • They are confident but not cocky
  • They inspire the best ideas
  • They are humorous and relatable

Are you talking in a way that people are really listening to you?

One of my executive coaching clients recently said, “Steve, if I feel I don’t have a clear and compelling message to communicate, I don’t waste people’s time.” This statement really hit me hard. 

Strive to sharpen your communication skills. Be engaging and warm; be enthusiastic and purpose-driven when you speak. One of the best ways to increase your emotional intelligence is effective communication.

Quick reminder: 60-70% of our communication is non-verbal (body language, facial expressions, tone of voice). Be intentional in your non-verbal communication and focus on talking so people will listen.


As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.