Date of Award

Spring 4-4-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jeffrey Lee, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Kathleen Rose, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

George Giokaris, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Patrick Ainsworth, Ed.D.


Purpose: This phenomenological research aimed to identify and describe the lived practices of California community college executive leaders who lead their institutions using Emotional Intelligence (EI) through the lens of Goleman’s four EI domains.

Methodology: This study used phenomenological research that identified and explained California community college executive leaders’ lived practices associated with the leaders using EI in the workplace to determine their EI skills and emotional awareness. The community college executive leaders participated in interviews in formal and informal settings to identify and describe their lived experiences.

Findings: Examination of the qualitative data from 15 community college executive leaders in the current position of chancellor, vice-chancellor, executive vice chancellor, president, interim president, vice president, and executive director in higher education yielded 15 significant findings. The findings were divided into three categories: personal competencies, social competencies, and unexpected findings. The findings included important revelations related to the study’s research questions and aligned with significant facts described by Daniel Goleman’s (1995) four EI domains as well as how community college executive leaders s’ leadership skills and using the four domains of Domain I: Self- Awareness, II: Self-Management, Domain III, Social Awareness, and Domain IV: Relationship Management.

Conclusions: Twelve conclusions were drawn in this study based on the data. These conclusions focused on the California community college executive leaders as they related to their leadership skills by using Goleman’s four EI frameworks of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended on the topics related to California community college executive leaders developing their leadership skills and understanding the benefits of EI training opportunities. Recommendations include exploring attributes of highly successful community college executive leaders’ leadership skills and developing assessment instruments to determine the congruency between community college executive leaders’ emotional abilities and the emotional demands of the community college executive leaders’ positions.