The role of Emotional Intelligence in effective leadership

Emotional intelligence concept.

Vision, a focus on developing others, ethics and self-awareness are all notable traits of an influential leader. However, there’s one trait that’s often overlooked by many professionals striving towards becoming a reliable leader – and that’s emotional intelligence.

For individuals wanting to progress in their career and lead their organisation to achieve success, emotional intelligence is a trait they need to utilise. But why is it so important and what effects can it have on your business as a whole?

Well, it’s the hierarchy and leaders who set the tone of an organisation.

If your leaders are lacking in emotional intelligence, it could set the foundations for an underwhelming and underachieving workplace, resulting in low employee engagement and high staff turnover – and that’s something you want to avoid at all costs. Therefore, leaders who possess high emotional intelligence can help craft a positive and productive workplace where colleagues can freely collaborate, trust each other and feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement.

Similarly, an emotionally intelligent leader should be an individual who can positively influence their colleagues. Being able to motivate teams and individuals, competently resolve conflicts and inspire those around them to take positive action, will create a collaborative culture that every organisation wants to achieve.

However, business operations aren’t always smooth sailing. Employees (and leaders) can find themselves going through challenging times where motivation levels can drop, and self-doubt can kick in. But leaders with high emotional intelligence can recognise this due to their empathy. They’re able to effectively identify those who may be lacking self-motivation or who may be going through periods of uncertainty. From there they can invest extra time and effort into checking-in with employees and consciously make more of an effort to help them overcome their struggles.

Finally, leaders who make impulsive decisions or who fail to control their own emotions can regretfully say or do things in the heat of the moment, which can ultimately affect how their colleagues perceive and respect them. However, emotionally intelligent leaders are skilled in self-regulation, so the chances of them acting on emotion is mitigated.

Fundamentally, the higher your leadership team’s emotional intelligence, the more innovative and successful your organisation can become. While there are multiple components that form emotional intelligence, focusing on just one element can increase your business’ performance and create a working culture that encourages employees to become the most creative and hardworking versions of themselves.

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