Donald Trump's Seeming Lack Of Empathy Makes Him A Weak Leader

His comments on Orlando are just the most recent example.

Donald Trump brags about having a high IQ, but his "EQ" may be a major liability.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, the presumptive GOP nominee is severely lacking. Having a high EQ is defined by the ability to moderate and handle emotions judiciously and empathetically, according to psychologist and emotional intelligence researcher Daniel Goleman.

Clearly, Trump is not able to do either.

Take, for example, his statements on the mass shooting Sunday in Orlando. Instead of offering a message of hope following the tragedy, he was self-congratulatory about his racist marginalizing of entire community:

His behavior in the wake of this tragedy exposes a fatal flaw when it comes to his campaign tactics. Simply put, without more emotional intelligence, it's highly questionable if he can be an effective leader.

That's because emerging data suggests that successful leaders have high EQs.

"My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership," Goldman explained last year in Harvard Business Review. "Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader."

The Trump empathy gap

Empathy, a large component of emotional intelligence, also plays a role in leadership.

A 2014 study published in the journal Social Psychology & Personality Science found that being able to see another person's perspective is critical to successful management. Researchers discovered in one part of the experiment that empathetic managers were better able to communicate decisions respectfully.

This is where Trump wholly misses the mark as a presidential contender. As Chris Cillizza points out in The Washington Post, Trump's comments on Orlando are the exact opposite of what many individuals needed following the tragedy: civility.

"Trump’s tweet feels decidedly off in the context of the tragedy playing out in Orlando," Cillizza wrote. "Making a moment like this one about yourself -- 'I was right!' is the essence of Trump’s tweet -- is a giant swing and miss when it comes to understanding what the broader nation requires of its leaders."

Orlando is just par for the course

Trump's response to Orlando isn't the only clue when it comes to his EQ. His aggressive policy proposals and unapologetic attitude toward minority groups have been apparent in the whole primary election cycle.

Last year, he proposed building a wall to keep people from Mexico out of the country, calling them "criminals" and "rapists." In December, he called for an entire ban on Muslims from traveling to the U.S. There's simply a lack of compassion when it comes to people Trump doesn't identify with and he has no issue showing it.

And it's clear that even America agrees Trump is devoid of empathy. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that only 36 percent of people feel that Donald Trump "better understands the problems of people like [them]."

Sure, a leader needs to be tough on issues that affect a country's prosperity, safety and wellbeing. But they also need to relate -- or at least attempt to relate -- to the people they're governing. They need to exercise emotional sensitivity.

Trump, thus far, has not done that. And given his recent comments on Orlando, it feels like he never will.

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