Emotional intelligence hasn’t generally been as revered as general intelligence, particularly in the workplace.


What mattered is how well someone could do their job and how well they could follow orders. With leaders and managers, it was all about making smart decisions and directing the employees.

But times have changed and we see emotional intelligence as something more important than ever.

People have many employment opportunities. And if leaders are not empathetic and sensitive to their needs, they will leave their job.

Top talent and people that bring the most value to the companies are the ones who would most likely do this, and companies can’t afford to lose them, especially not to other companies or their direct competitors.

This leads to emotional intelligence of leaders becoming one of the most important factors in hiring them.

So, What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage your emotions and understand both your emotions and the emotions of people around you.

People who are highly emotionally intelligent are aware of their own feelings, what those feelings mean, and how they affect other people around them.

This is an important trait in all people, especially when it comes to employees, and even more so concerning leaders.

Having emotional intelligence is crucial for leader success. No one is more likely to succeed and earn respect than a leader who stays in control, has a calm approach, and a positive personality.

They also have the ability to handle other people’s emotions, which is crucial for the right leader.

There are five important elements to emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

The more of these you have in check, the better a leader you are and the higher your emotional intelligence is.

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness means always knowing what you feel and what your feelings mean. You should also know how your feelings are affecting other people in your surroundings.

You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses and be aware of what you need to to use them both appropriately.

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2. Self-regulation

Next step after understanding your emotions is being in control of them. Sure, a leader gets a lot of stress.

But they need to be in control of their negative feelings and use them constructively to solve problems, not yell or be angry.

This is a mark of a good leader. They also hold themselves accountable.

3. Motivation

People with high emotional intelligence are also very good at motivating themselves without needing external support.

This means that they have a high quality standard for themselves and others.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence set goals and motivate themselves to reach those goals. They also have a great ability to motivate others by understanding what motivates them on an individual level.

4. Empathy

Empathy is an important part of any mindset, especially with leaders. You have to be able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, understand them and approach them with something that they can relate to.

Empathy plays an important role in handling conflict, making people see the bigger picture, and motivating others.

5. Social skills

Leaders who have great social skills are good communicators both in the sense of translating ideas to their team and listening to their needs and complaints.

They are very good at recognizing problems and very open to hearing both good and bad news. They also know how to praise others and how to criticize them constructively.

A Great Leader

Eventually, all of these elements play together in making a great leader.

They need to be equally intelligent in the traditional sense and have the emotional intelligence to handle their job.

How Does Emotional Intelligence Help Leaders?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Martha Jameson
Martha Jameson is a psychologist at PhDKingdom and NextCoursework. Before she chose psychology as her calling, she was a writer. Martha’s main goals are to share her experience, motivation and knowledge with her readers.
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