Emotional Intelligence, Physician Leadership and Decision-Making within the Clinical Organization

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Physicians leading clinical organizations function as the managers of knowledge-based entities, creating and implementing solutions to complex problems in ever-changing circumstances. The physician leader is faced with the sometimes overwhelming responsibility of delivering the best possible decision to achieve or further the mission of the clinical entity. The ability of clinical organizations to contemplate, evaluate and implement quality decisions is dependent upon a multitude of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. While the management of extrinsic variables may be more difficult to control, the identification and management of human variables such as emotion is pivotal in the effort to increase the quality of decisions and decision-making processes within the clinical enterprise. The purpose of this paper is to provide practical guidance to physicians in the application of emotional intelligence skills within the clinical leadership setting to improve decisions and decision-making processes. Goleman’s (2001) and Boyatzis’ et al. (2000) four essential elements of emotional intelligence as well as their associated 20 behavioral competencies were utilized to develop a methodology for the practical application of emotional intelligence skills to physician leadership and decision-making within the clinical organization. The authors developed a series of assessment questions and observations for applying each of the behavioral competencies associated with emotional intelligence to decision-making with the clinical department.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalOklahoma State Medical Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Physician leadership
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Clinical leadership
  • Decision making


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