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Diet, exercise, emotional intelligence combo required for `good leaders`

Diet, exercise and emotional intelligence is a critical combination required for to be good and effective leaders, claims a new study.

Washington: Diet, exercise and emotional intelligence is a critical combination required for to be good and effective leaders, claims a new study.

University of Florida doctoral student Chris Mott, who was investigating how food and lifestyle impacted emotional intelligence for the first time, said that the latter was about knowing one's true self and using awareness to best respond and relate to others, which was vital to becoming a trusted and effective leader.

Mott studied the University of Florida IFAS Extension's county directors, but said his research in all likelihood applied to leaders everywhere.

Mott said that he surveyed the state's 64 Extension directors to assess their daily physical activity for the most recent week. The directors also assessed their own diets for the most recent 30 days.

He then combined and analyzed the data to look for correlations and found strong relationships between diet, exercise and emotional intelligence. He concluded that directors with healthier lifestyles also had high emotional intelligence.

Specifically, Mott found that leaders who ate more fruit and vegetables and exercised more were rated as having high emotional intelligence. Conversely, those who consumed high amounts of sugar received lower emotional intelligence scores.

Mott said though prior research had asserted many organisations needed emotional intelligence training, but never had it been investigated and published with a nutrition and exercise component. (