Why You Should Become an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

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Why You Should Become an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Emotional intelligence is defined as the innate ability to understand and manage your own emotions and recognize, categorize, and influence the emotions of others. The term was first coined in 1990 by two researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey, respectively, but was later made famous by psychologist Daniel Goleman.


Goleman highlighted and emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, stating: "The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as Emotional Intelligence."


Over the years, emotional intelligence [known as EQ] has evolved into a must-have skill and the strongest predictor of performance. Hiring managers have taken notice and stated that they value EQ over IQ. Employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under intense pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and even respond to co-workers with empathy.


When Leaders are Emotionally Intelligent


Emotionally intelligent leaders foster safe environments where employees feel comfortable taking calculated risks, suggesting ideas, and finally voicing their opinions. In such holistic environments, collaborative work is not just an objective, but is woven into the organizational culture!


When a leader is emotionally intelligent, they can use emotions to drive the organization forward. Leaders are responsible for effecting necessary changes in the organization. If they are aware of others' possible emotional reactions to such changes, they can prepare the most optimal and favorable ways to make change  happen.


Furthermore, emotionally intelligent leaders do not take things personally and are able to forge ahead with plans without worrying about the impact on their egos.


To learn more about importance of emotional intelligence & empathy check out this episode of the DH Podcast.


When Leaders are not Emotionally Intelligent


Personal vendettas between leaders and employees account for one of the most typical hindrances to productivity in many workplaces. Being a leader is naturally stressful. Being responsible for the fate of hundreds or even thousands of other people can take its toll. Leaders who are low in emotional intelligence tend to unravel and untangle in stressful situations because they fail to mange their own emotions. This generally can manifest as verbal attacks and passive-aggressive behavior.


The absence of emotional intelligent hampers collaboration within the organization. When a leader does not handle their own emotions and reacts inappropriately, most of their employees tend to feel nervous about contributing their ideas and suggestions for fear of retaliation from their leader.


Another aspect of a void of emotional intelligent can imply an inability to address situations that could be fraught with emotion. Most leaders deal with conflict, but a leader who isn't clued into others' emotions will often have difficulty recognizing conflict in the first place, let alone dealing effectively and resolving it.


Emotional Intelligence Helps Leaders Adapt


Leaders must adapt to circumstances within their workplaces, their roles, and their team. Emotional intelligence enables an individual to be more adaptable in society. Understanding and managing your emotions and the emotions of those around you will help you navigate through an ever-changing world and can help you become a successful leader.


As a leader with a higher degree of emotional intelligence, you will be more effective and successful. Emotions are always in flux; adaptability is the key to being an outstanding leader. 


Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for the Individual

  • Inspire and motivate those around you
  • Collaboration, synergy and a more positive employee experience
  • Authenticity 
  • Trust, integrity and honesty
  • Awareness and self-regulation
  • Increased empathy
  • Collaborative communication
  • Less stress 

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for the Organization

  • Better team engagement
  • Stronger workplace  
  • High performance-driven results

Leadership Styles Rooted in Emotional Intelligence


Servant Leadership: Emphasizes leaders' responsibility to serve employees. Putting your ego aside to empathize with others, building respect and sets up workers for success.


Humble Leadership: Humility and collaboration foster trust between leaders and team members that benefits the entire organization. Provide the backbone of understanding which strengthens team building, productivity, and morale.


Emotional intelligence builds better leaders and can prevent employee turnover. This creates an environment that you employees do not want to leave because they feel respected, understood, and valued.


Emotional Intelligence is the secret weapon behind several top organizations.  Investing in it now is a gift to your organization and your team members. 


Do the leaders in your company need help fostering emotional intelligence? DH offers on-site & virtual workshops for executive alignment, human communication and much more. 


About the Author

Trishna Patnaik

Trishna Patnaik earned a BSC in Life Sciences, an MBA in Marketing, and is a professional painter. She resides in Mumbai, where is conducts painting workshops throughout India. Trishna is a therapist and healer. 


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