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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Successful Leaders – All You Need to Know

April 28, 2021

What is Emotional Intelligence?

In 1990, the world-renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman popularized the concept of emotional intelligence.

Today, emotional intelligence (EQ, emotional quotient) is a widely accepted concept in the personal and professional fields.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the 5 pillars of emotional intelligence and cover the benefits of promoting this personal trait.

The five pillars of emotional intelligence

1.     Self-Awareness

Self-awareness represents the skill to understand how emotions affect your actions. Developing this trait can help you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses to engage in growing your team.

2.     Self-Management

Goleman states that self-management allows you to cope with negative emotions effectively. By regulating your emotional responses to these situations, you will have fewer outrage attacks and less rushed decisions, even during heated situations.

Self-management is not only about controlling one’s emotions. It is also key to hold leaders accountable when they lose control.

3.     Empathy

Empathetic leaders have the ability to understand the feelings of others.

Asking your team members questions about their feelings and how you can improve their lives can be pivotal in the workplace.

When your employees feel like you care about them on a personal level, their performance skyrocket.

4.     Social Skills

Social skills take many forms. However, in the context of EQ, it refers to creating and maintaining healthy relationships by a leader. This manifests the leader’s ability to communicate bad news, manage conflicts, address major changes, collaborate with new members, and influence the behavior of the team.

5.     Motivation

A leader with the skill to motivate people despite the challenges and adversities they face will undoubtedly improve the performance of the company.

The benefits of improved emotional intelligence

Focusing solely on IQ will not guarantee success. Having the ability to communicate with other people, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and managing challenges are all important indicators of successful leaders.

Including emotionally intelligent individuals in your team will undoubtedly serve as a great advantage.

Many CEOs of Fortune 500 companies state that differentiating leaders based on raw talent or skills may not be sufficient anymore. You need to take into consideration the way they handle their emotions and how they interact with other people.

If we go back 10 or 20 years earlier, people would most likely refer to these traits as soft skills. However, in today’s age, they’ve become imperative.

Takeaway message

Emotional intelligence is an indispensable trait to have in leaders. While many people lack this set of skills, you can always work on improving the way you cope with your emotions and how you treat team members.

We hope that this article managed to highlight the pillars of emotional intelligence, as well as the benefits of having a leader with a high EQ.

If you want to learn more about improving your EQ, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


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