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The Essence of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership


What is the role of emotional intelligence in leadership?

  1. Self-awareness: Ability to Recognize Emotions
  2. Self-regulation: Ability to Manage Emotions
  3. Interpersonal: Ability to Communicate Effectively
  4. Empathy: Ability to Understand Others
  5. Motivation: Passion Beyond Rewards


A leader’s most significant tool represents their ability to be in tune with themselves and their emotions. With self-awareness, a leader is able to self-regulate and demonstrate empathy towards others. With a sound and deeper understanding of oneself, a person recognizes their strengths and weaknesses which affects their leadership style. To assess whether you possess emotional intelligence or need to improve it, here are the five attributes you must be aware of.


Self-awareness: Ability to Recognize Emotions

Without your ability to recognize your emotions, strengths, and weaknesses as well as your values, you retain no thorough grasp of your being. Without self-awareness, you will not quite recognize who you really are and why you perform what you do. With this, it might be challenging to recognize the impact you have on other people. One way to learn how to be self-aware is to observe your attitude towards the positive and the negative situations at work and even at home.

At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else. If you obtain confidence in your identity, you will know how to balance the good and the undesirable personality. Only when you recognize yourself, including triumphs and failures, will you be able to improve your character. This, by all means, is the precise definition of emotional intelligence that can support you to represent a great leader.


Self-regulation: Ability to Manage Emotions

Self Regulation Ability To Manage Emotions

With your ability of self-awareness, you develop a sense of accountability which leads to self-regulation or the ability to manage emotions. Without self-regulation, you will not have the capability to redirect disruptive emotions. In this manner, you might find yourself crossing the line from giving your team members a sense of direction to commanding them like puppets.

As much as positive and calm actions are contagious, panic is equally something that can cause team members or people working with the team to feel inferior. Without self-regulation, a leader may unconsciously present himself through inappropriate approaches that will result in negative impacts on the leader-member relationship.


Interpersonal: Ability To Communicate Effectively

Communication between the leader and the team members should always be kept open and must be treated with the utmost importance. The reason behind this is that misunderstanding in the workplace roots from lack of communication. Failing to communicate effectively will lead to confusion between the employees. With this, you must be able to establish open communication in the workplace. As a leader, you must instigate a culture of openness and transparency.

When initiating open communication in the workplace, make sure to establish a coherent definition of openness and transparency. You should be able to set the standards to prevent the members of the team from bringing their personal problems and going overboard the rules of transparency and openness.

Being transparent in the workplace means every problem should be raised to the right person. Letting people know other than the person concerned is a mere act of gossip. In which case, the issue remains unresolved. Instead, it is amplified to a point of no resolute unless confrontation occurs. To avoid any unnecessary dispute within the workplace, make sure to establish a culture of respect and trust through effective communication.


Empathy: Ability to Understand Others

Empathy Ability To Understand Others

Having the ability to understand others despite any given situation is having a sense of empathy. With your ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes, you gain a deeper understanding of the person’s situation.

Empathy and intuition are two skills applied towards recognizing team members who are struggling with their workload or have desires of moving upward and forward. Only when a leader is compassionate towards his or her team members will he or she be able to respond accordingly. Finally, a great leader will have a reasonable understanding of each member’s motivation and their own upsets.


Motivation: Passion Beyond Rewards

Being motivated by things beyond mere external rewards like fame, money, and recognition is what makes a leader emotionally intelligent. Great leaders search for internal rewards much like self-fulfillment that roots from being able to lead the team in the right direction.

Intrinsic motivation carries out a massive role in a leader’s level of emotional intelligence. They work tirelessly to put things in place, and words of praise are not their driving factor. An intrinsically motivated leader finds rewards from the success of his or her team members. Only when the entire team is successful on their own and as a group will leaders may feel rewarded.


Key Takeaway

The distinguishing factor of leaders is their level of emotional intelligence. In essence, it refers to the ability to identify, recognize, and act accordingly depending on personal emotions and the emotions of others. Moreover, a great leader with a high level of emotional intelligence acknowledges the impact of their behavior on others.

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