What Is Emotional Intelligence In Leadership And Why Is It Important?

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Emotional intelligence in leadership offers a new perspective for leaders to gauge and track the productivity of their staff members – a model that fosters development, inventiveness, and ingenuity in leadership. The importance of emotional intelligence in leadership will be emphasized in this article to better your perception of it.

Table of Contents

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Scholars John Mayer and Peter Salovey first used the term in 1990, while psychologist Daniel Goleman made it more well-known. 

Long-term relationship stability depends on having solid emotional intelligence. Understanding and controlling your emotions and being able to identify and affect the feelings of the people around you are all examples of having emotional intelligence. So emotional intelligence can encourage lifelong friendships, partnerships, and professional relationships. 

What is Emotional Intelligence In leadership?

The most successful leaders value emotional intelligence as a crucial competency for identifying and resolving teammates’ problems. Because of this, several leadership philosophies place a high value on emotional intelligence. 

The capacity to comprehend, regulate, and understand others’ emotions and views is described as emotional intelligence in leadership. Although the term was coined in 1990,  the emergence of leadership responsibilities in the last ten years has increased its appeal.

Emotional intelligence is an excellent way to gauge how effective a leadership style is. According to experts, a leader’s intelligence, technical proficiency, and communication abilities are meaningless if they don’t possess emotional intelligence. 

Many leaders have been obliged to learn about and incorporate emotional intelligence into their leadership styles to encourage creativity, job happiness, and a healthy work environment in their organization.

Also Read: 10 Best Books On Emotional Intelligence

Why Is It Important?

When workplace tensions flare up or unfavorable feelings fester below the surface, and a toxic work atmosphere is created, somebody must keep everything together. A leader with vital emotional intelligence can also support the development of a positive work environment that doesn’t start out unpleasant.

Emotional intelligence becomes essential to the skill set as leaders establish the organization’s atmosphere. Despite having strong technical and communication abilities, many leaders lack emotional intelligence.  

A leader lacking emotional intelligence cannot steer an organization through the turbulent waters of an increasingly challenging business environment. Here are some reasons emotional intelligence is crucial:

    • Positive workplace culture is created by emotional intelligence, which indirectly boosts productivity and effectiveness.

    • It spurs development, creativity, and innovation among the team and company.

    • Team members and leaders are continually inspired to perform at their highest level.

    • Emotional intelligence makes making the appropriate decisions under trying circumstances easier for managers and staff.

    • It forges a solid relationship between a leader and their team.

Four Components Of Emotional Intelligence In leadership?

Here are the four main elements of emotional intelligence.

    1.  Self-awareness

    1. Self-management

    1. Social awareness

    1. Relationship management

The four categories are described in further detail below:

1. Self-Awareness

Everything revolves around self-awareness. It reflects your potential to identify your thoughts and the impact they make on your productivity and the efficiency of your team, in addition to your understanding of your talents and shortcomings.

95% of individuals believe they are self-aware, while just 10 to 15 percent genuinely are, as per a study, which might cause issues for your employees. Working with coworkers who lack self-awareness can reduce a team’s success by 50% and, in Eurich’s studies, create anxiety and low motivation.

Self-awareness is critical because it helps you realize your own potential before you can help others. By conducting a two-way unbiased assessment, in which you analyze your performance and compare it to the perspectives of your employer, colleagues, and immediate supervisor, you can quickly gauge your level of self-awareness. You will learn about your own conduct through this approach and how you are viewed within the company.

2. Self-Management

Self-management is the capacity to control your emotions, especially under pressure, and to keep a positive attitude in the face of obstacles. Lacking self-control, leaders are more likely to react and struggle to control their emotions.

Reactions frequently occur automatically. But the easier you switch from reaction to response, the more emotionally intelligent you are. To deal with stress and difficulties more effectively and deliberately, it’s critical to take a moment to stop, breathe, gather your thoughts, and do anything it needs to control your emotions. This may involve taking a stroll or visiting a friend.

3. Social Awareness

Understanding and controlling your own emotions are crucial, but you also need to be capable of comprehending a situation. Your capacity to discriminate the emotional state of others and the organizational factors at work is called social awareness.

Do you know empathy is the top leadership skill according to the global leadership development company DDI? Leaders who have mastered empathy outperform others by more than 40% when mentoring, communicating with people, and making decisions. In addition, Researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership discovered in a different study that managers are perceived as top ones by executives when they demonstrate greater empathy for their immediate supervisor.

Empathic leadership is a trait of successful leaders. They try to comprehend their colleagues’ opinions and viewpoints to work together more successfully. Empathic communication will help you support your team more effectively while enhancing your performance.

4. Relationship Management

Relationship management is the capacity to persuade, educate, advise, and successfully resolve disagreements with others.

While some people want to avoid conflict, it’s crucial to effectively handle problems when they come up. According to research, every unresolved argument can cost the organization eight hours of gossiping and other useless activities, wasting assets and enthusiasm.

You must have those difficult conversations if you want to maintain the happiness of your team. Since it boosts job satisfaction and professional development, employees prefer working for companies with fewer conflicts. As a result, one of a leader’s primary responsibilities is to keep the peace within the organization.

Also Read: What Makes A Good Team? Here Are 8 Significant Qualities


Leaders determine the atmosphere of their organization. A lack of emotional intelligence could have more severe repercussions, such as reduced employee satisfaction and a higher likelihood of resignation.

Technical prowess is one thing, but people will ignore your brilliance if you can’t work well with others or communicate with your team. You may develop your career and company by acquiring emotional intelligence. 

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Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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