Leadership potential is empowered by studying the science of negotiation

This research – carried out involving Luiss University students who attended the NegotiatingLab in 2020 – moves from the assumption that emotional intelligence is an essential quality for leadership. The results show that studying the science of negotiation enables people to develop all the basic elements of emotional intelligence. We have observed that studying the science of negotiation – being the science that enables us to learn about the emotions and interests of others (and, in turn, ours’) – is fundamental to developing emotional intelligence and is therefore a key leadership competence. Our observation showed that, after having attended a 48-hours course of science of negotiation, students’ emotional intelligence increased in total averages of 6.49 points (10.02%). We also observed an enhancement of the females’ emotional intelligence four-skills average of 10.60% and an 8.87% increase for males. In this respect, indeed, an improvement of the sample has been noted not only in terms of social awareness and relationship management (inter-personal skills), but also in terms of self-awareness and self-management (intra-personal skills). The above might imply that the science of negotiation should be recognized as a core competence to improve the quality of leadership because it provides a mental training that enables people to develop the four basic emotional intelligence skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Scholars argue that the more emotionally intelligent individuals are more effective as negotiators. This research shows that the relationship is also inverse: those who study the science of negotiation become more emotionally intelligent. On the basis of the above, we could say that people who have been studying negotiation are more emotional intelligent individuals and, therefore, they show a higher potential to be effective leaders. After all, if we carefully think about it, a negotiator must lead not only those on the same side of the table, but also those on the other side. A negotiator leads. A leader negotiates. Always.