emotional intelligence in leadership

What’s the Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership?

We become so busy learning technical skills that we often forget to learn the basic soft skills. Your technical skills may help you quickly climb into a management position, but your soft skills are what will help you successfully lead teams and foster positive workplace relationships. 


Emotional intelligence, in particular, is a key leadership skill that will help you effectively coach team members, solve problems, and collaborate with colleagues. Here’s a closer look at what emotional intelligence is and why it is such an important quality for leaders to possess.


emotional intelligence in leadership

The Definition of Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the glue that can hold relationships tight and close in the long run. Experts define emotional intelligence as the ability to manage and control one’s emotions and to possess the ability to control others’ emotions as well. 


As a result, it can foster long-term relationships with friends, partners, and colleagues. In this article, you will learn about emotional intelligence and its importance in leadership.

What Is the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership?

The most effective leaders consider emotional intelligence a critical skill to recognize and solve their team members’ problems. That’s why emotional intelligence is an important part of many leadership styles. 

Emotional intelligence in leadership is referred to as the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions as well as recognize and control others’ emotions and perspectives. The term is believed to have been first used in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey. 


However, it has gained popularity in recent decades with the advent of leadership roles. Interestingly, emotional intelligence is a great parameter to check a leadership style’s effectiveness. 


Experts believe that an intelligence quotient (IQ), technical skills, and communication skills are irrelevant if a leader lacks emotional intelligence. The growing importance of emotional intelligence has forced many leaders to learn and implement it into their leadership style to incite innovation, job satisfaction, and a positive working environment in their company.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership.

While many leaders have prolific technical and communication skills, they lack emotional intelligence. As leaders set the organization’s tone, emotional intelligence becomes an inevitable part of the skill set. 


An organization led by a leader who lacks emotional intelligence cannot survive the tide of the complex business environment. Here’s why emotional intelligence is important: Emotional intelligence develops a positive work culture in the organization, which vicariously increases efficiency and productivity. 


It instigates growth, innovation, and creativity in the organization and its team members. It constantly motivates team members and leaders to put their best foot forward. Emotional intelligence helps leaders and employees make the right decisions in difficult times. It develops a strong bond between a leader and their team.

The Key Pillars of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is often broken down into six key components: 


  • Self-awareness 
  • Self-Management
  • Social awareness 
  • Relationship Management
  • Self-motivation
  • Social skills

By improving in each of these areas, managers can improve their overall emotional intelligence and become better workplace leaders.

Core Components of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

We’ve listed below the components of emotional intelligence in leadership:

1. Self-awareness 

It refers to the ability to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, being self-aware makes a leader control their emotions, which helps them understand complex emotions that affect their team members. 


Moreover, leaders need to be self-aware of their abilities to guide and control a team. It helps them make sound and profitable decisions that bring prosperity to the company and instigate personal growth among team members. 


There is no litmus test to evaluate if an individual is self-aware or not, but 360-degree feedback is the best way to estimate the self-awareness quotient of a leader. In addition to it, being conscious of one’s behavior is another way to check the self-awareness quotient.

2. Self-management 

Self-management is a vital component of emotional intelligence that plays a significant role in challenging business situations. It refers to the ability of leaders to manage their emotions during a difficult situation. 


It also refers to the positive outlook a leader maintains in adversity. Therefore, self-management is an imperative and inevitable part of a leadership style. It equips a leader with ways to tackle a difficult situation. 


In addition, it teaches them how to react in a predicament, emphasizing mental peace and a calm attitude.

3. Social awareness 

A business organization does not operate in solitude; therefore, leaders must be aware of their business environment. Moreover, it helps them formulate business strategies and implement plans to adapt their employees to heterogeneous market conditions, among others. 


However, social awareness is not limited to external factors. It also refers to a leader’s capability to understand and manage the emotions of people acting inside an organization. Therefore, leaders who excel in social awareness practice empathy. 


It helps them understand the perspective and emotions of others, enabling them to communicate and collaborate effectively. Interestingly, empathy is a critical leadership skill that leaders adopt across industries. 


Experts believe that empathic leaders are effective and influential because they understand human behavior and cognition.

4. Relationship management 

Relationship management consists of abilities nestled by a leader that help them play an active role in resolving conflicts, mentoring, influencing, and coaching their team members. 


It also refers to a leader’s ability to keep conflicts and miscommunication to the bay of the organization. Employees prefer business enterprises with fewer conflicts because it increases job satisfaction and growth. 


Therefore, maintaining peace between all parties of the organization is one of the main functions of a leader. In order to improve emotional intelligence, leaders must learn about these components. 


The leadership courses of Australian Institute of Digital Technology will help leaders understand and practice these components. It also equips them with skills to tackle difficult business problems. 


Therefore, to learn more about emotional intelligence in leadership and other skills required for becoming a great leader, enroll in our certification courses offered in association with leading educational institutes.

5. Self-Motivation 

The ability to self-motivate is a critical skill for managers to possess. Leaders need to be constantly working towards their personal and professional goals, as well as the goals of the organization as a whole. 


Successful leaders should also be able to effectively motivate their employees and maintain high standards for productivity and efficiency.

6. Social Skills 

Social skills are essential for a successful leader.  Social skills include your ability to effectively communicate, collaborate, influence, coach, and mentor others. It also refers to your ability to successfully resolve conflicts and manage difficult situations. Leaders with developed social skills are able to build and maintain positive workplace relationships to the benefit of themselves and their colleagues.

Developing your emotional intelligence will make you a better leader as you are able to inspire confidence, communicate effectively, and successfully collaborate with others in the workplace. 

This key skill ensures you can get the most out of your team while achieving your own personal and professional goals. If you need help mastering your skills in leadership, then contact the Australian Institute of Digital Technology today.

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