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Clinical leaders, the first step for emotionally intelligent leadership
  1. Oriol Yuguero1,2,
  2. Marco Inzitari3,4,
  3. Gustavo Tolchinsky5,6
  1. 1 Research group on emergency medicine, IRBLLEIDA, Lleida, Spain
  2. 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain
  3. 3 REFiT Bcn research group, Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili and Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4 Faculty of Health Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5 Chief Internal Medicine Department, Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Badalona, Spain
  6. 6 Secretary Barcelona Medical Council, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oriol Yuguero, IRBLLEIDA, Lleida, Spain; oriol.yuguero{at}

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Burnout is a syndrome characterised by exhaustion, cynicism and reduced effectiveness. At this moment, professional burnout among healthcare professionals is a serious threat to healthcare around the world. Burnout is known to decrease quality of care and is associated with mental health problems or drug abuse.1 If we add the overwhelming and sustained workload and emotional impact during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, moral distress and burnout have increased since then.2

To the date, especially at the end of 20th century, different leadership models have been developed with a core objective: being part of an organisation’s transformation. Most common leadership models are divided into transformational and transactional. The transactional leader usually follows a practice based on reinforcement of his team and trying to satisfy its own interests. This model uses the team to achieve specific objectives without considering professional satisfaction and benefits. This model probably achieves its goals but does not care about colleagues’ satisfaction. On the other hand, the transformational leader inspires, motivates and engage its team. Transformational leader can be directive or participatory, and requires more moral development.3 4

Nowadays, leaders see relationship with their teams as colleague relations more than a subordinate one. Emotional leadership could be considered as a variant of transformational leadership.

The leadership model of healthcare institutions has always been heterogeneous. Leaders and managers have been largely chosen for merits which divert from their ‘core business’, for example, clinical knowledge and practice, focusing rather on aspects such as organisational, financial or academic matters. In any case, the perception is that little value has been given to aspects related to healthcare and to clinical practice. This distancing from daily life, often involving technocratic language, ends up in decisions that are often neither understood nor shared by health professionals, since the centre of their discourse …

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  • Contributors All the authors contributed to the design of the manuscript. OY and GT wrote the paper draft and MI reviewed and made significant contributions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.