Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

The World Economic Forum reports that emotional intelligence is one of the most crucial
skills for leaders. A recent survey study shows that 37% of businesses use emotional
intelligence evaluation protocols to streamline their leadership development programs.
According to Career Builder, about 71% of businesses focus on valuing emotional
intelligence over intelligence quotient (IQ), and 59% of employers avoid hiring people with
a high IQ and low emotional intelligence.

The corporate world has recognized that the most influential leaders offer more than IQ
and traditional intelligence. Organizations turn to emotional intelligence to build strong
leaders and give them a new type of intelligence edge beyond technical aptitudes. Emotional intelligence is about understanding your own feeling, empathy for others, and
regulating your emotions to enhance living. It helps you perceive, understand, and
manage your own emotions and feelings for others.

Besides, emotional intelligence helps you facilitate relationships with others, handle
stress state, overcome obstacles, and achieve goals. The most common emotions in the
corporate world for leaders are:

• Satisfaction and Joy
• Enthusiasm and Confidence
• Fear, worry, and anger
• Frustration, sadness, and anxiety
Emotional Intelligence Competencies

A growing body of research evidence shows that emotional intelligence for leaders is
more than an amorphous concept. It comprises a unique set of observable and
measurable social and emotional skills that impact the way leaders perceive and express

Likewise, it helps develops and maintains social relationships, use emotional information
effectively and meaningfully, and cope with challenges. Leaders who build sustainable
organizations have:

• A higher degree of business acumen
• Planning and control skills
• Emotional intelligence skills
• Motivation and engagement skills

Self-Perception Self-actualization, self-regard, and emotional self-awareness
Self-Expression Emotional expression, assertiveness, and independence
Interpersonal Empathy, interpersonal relationships, and social responsibility
Decision-Making Reality testing, problem-solving, and impulse control
Stress Management Flexibility, wellbeing, stress tolerance, and optimism

According to Daniel Goleman, a renowned American psychologist, emotional intelligence
has five crucial elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social
skills. As a leader, when you manage these areas, you streamline your emotional
intelligence. Let us now explain each component in more detail and analyze how you can
develop leadership skills. Continue reading!

1. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness means becoming aware of your mood and thoughts about your attitude.
It is your ability to read and comprehend your emotions and determine their impact on
your employees.

In simple words, it is the basic understanding of how you feel and why you feel that way.
The more you become aware of your feelings, the more you can manage them and dictate
how you respond to others. Self-awareness follows the following sequence:

• Feelings or sense of emotions
• Feeling acknowledgment
• Identifying more facts
• Accept your feelings
• Reflect on emotions
• Notice your feelings
• Ask yourself the purpose
• What do these emotions:
o Communicate, demonstrate, and teach you
• Streamline your thoughts to take appropriate action
• Reflect on the usefulness of emotional response

The sequence happens throughout the day as each thought and feeling comes into the
picture. Therefore, as a leader, you need to understand that these feelings constantly
come, meaning you have to deal with them appropriately.

Besides, it is essential to assess how this impacts others’ moods and emotions. For
instance, your feelings can become contagious, and you may share them with others, even
if you don’t want to share them.

2. Self-Management

Self-management is all about emotional self-control, adaptability, transparency, initiative,
achievement, and optimism. It enables you to manage your actions, feelings, thoughts in
flexible ways to achieve your desired results.

Remember, optimal self-regulation plays a crucial role in promoting your overall
wellbeing, a sense of confidence of self-efficacy, and a sense of connectedness to others. Therefore, your goal as a leader is to take your emotional responses as cues for action
and coping in relationships.

Moreover, emotions can swamp your brain, leading to overwhelming thoughts and
frustrated feelings, a concept known as “Amygdala Hijack.” The Amygdala is a vital area
in your brain that controls your emotional behavior.

Research shows that the Amygdala often overdrives and causes you to manage your
distress. For example, you plan with your fellow leaders on planning an upcoming
business meeting.

Another counselor shares your idea with the team and takes credit for it. Because you
focus on the unfairness of the situation, you miss what the other counselor said in the
planning session.

The primary objective of self-management for leaders is to determine these feelings as a
hijack, analyze the situation and bring their brains back to mental concentration and
clarity. We recommend learning strategies to enable your brain to bring mental clarity
before responding to negative stimuli or emotions.

3. Social Awareness

Social awareness is a crucial component of emotional intelligence for leaders, allowing
them to notice others’ emotions and understand situations appropriately. You need to
sense what other people think and feel to take their perspective according to your
empathic capacity. Your ability comes from neuronal networks in an extended circuitry
connected to the brain’s Amygdala. These neurons read other people’s faces, voices, expressions, etc., for emotions and help you how you should speak to them.

A research study published on NCBI states that
empathy refers to emotional and cognitive processes, binding individuals in different
relationships and allowing them to share experiences and understanding of others. For

“He is getting frustrated by that last remark; the manager looks tired. Am I boring him?
Oh, that’s better – I think he likes hearing that.”
Bear in mind that empathy is not sympathy because it takes the feelings of others into
thoughtful and meaningful considerations, allowing you to make informed and intelligent
decisions in response to those feelings.

Besides, strong empathy skills make you a better leader, enabling you to get along better
with others, especially those who see things differently from you. Empathy with careful
listening can help you avoid misunderstandings.

4. Relationship Management

Relationship management refers to managing your own emotions, others’ emotions, and
contextual management of social interactions. It pulls the three dimensions or
components given above and creates relationship management, the final product.
If you manage to figure out the other three dimensions, your relationship management
will flow more naturally. For instance, this is friendliness with purpose or getting adequate
responses when working with your team.

Remember, relationship management depends on the situation, which is why this
component has seven competencies, including:

• Influence
• Inspirational leadership
• Developing others
• Conflict management
• Change catalyst
• Building bonds
• Collaboration and teamwork

You can use relationship management to influence people around you and make an
informed decision. You can also sense other people’s reactions to the situation and
streamline your response to transform the interaction in a positive and fine-tuned
direction. Therefore, we recommend making a genuine attempt to help all your team
members reach the best possible outcome. Avoid all acts of manipulation for self-interest.
Conflict resolution is another example of relationship management. If you are strong in
this area, you can determine conflicts and take essential steps to move your team
members from this situation positively. Active listening, brainstorming, and empathizing
are crucial skills to deal with difficult conversations.

Collaboration and teamwork are crucial components of relationship management. When
you use these skills from the first three dimensions (self-awareness, self-management,
and social awareness), you can steer your team toward their goals.

5. Motivation

Motivation is essential for employees’ productivity and speed of work, leading to higher
returns on investments (ROIs). Although it is pretty challenging, as a leader, it is crucial to motivate your team, allowing you to improve your teams’ confidence, discipline, work
performance, health, vision, and purpose.

You must develop a sense of accountability to motivate yourself and complete tasks
within the available resources and stipulated deadlines. A self-motivated leader derives
pleasure and implements innovative ways to make the work more enjoyable and

Therefore, set goals, learn from your team members, reflect on your progress, be open to
organizational change, and balance your emotions. Focus on ways to inspire your team
with passion, agility, and enthusiasm.

Make your team members feel valued by learning about their needs, strengths,
weaknesses, and priorities. That way, you can recognize your employees’ hard work and
encourage them to cope with potential challenges. The purpose is to achieve your goals.

Final Words

Emotional intelligence is the foundational aspect of successful leaders, allowing them to
strengthen team building, improve productivity, streamline business operations, and
optimize morale in the workplace. Not only does emotional intelligence makes you an
inspirational leader, but it also prevents employee turnover in your company.

Understanding emotional intelligence competencies and focusing on its five crucial
components can help you manage your emotions, increase motivation, and promote
positive social interactions. Until Next Time!

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