Why is Emotional Intelligence Important for Leaders?
Leadership may be about leading and inspiring others, but it begins inside.

Emotional intelligence has long been known to be a key component of effective leadership. It is the act of knowing, understanding, and responding to emotions, and overcoming stress in the moment. It is also being aware of how your words and actions affect others. To understand this further, let’s look at what it means to have emotional intelligence as a leader:

1. Compassion

Compassion is empathy and caring in action. Being open to others enables us to face tough times with creativity and resilience. It also enables us to connect with people, as well as get things done and deal with the sacrifices inherent in leadership.

2. Effective communication

Emotional intelligence means effective communication skills. Leaders who can communicate better find it easier to get their team excited about a new project or objective. They are also better at handling bad news such as late deadlines or lost clients.

3. Self-Awareness

If you’re self-aware, you always know how you feel. You also know how your emotions and your actions can affect those around you. Being self-aware in a leadership position also means having a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. And it means behaving with humility.

4. Authenticity

Leadership may be about leading and inspiring others, but it begins inside. The ability to achieve greatness as a leader hinges on your ability to know yourself, know what matters and act in accordance with who you are.

5. Respect

Not everyone will automatically give you the respect you deserve as a human being. But there is a simple principle that those with emotional intelligence know: to earn respect, you’ve got to give respect first.

6. Confidence

Confidence is a positive and balanced attitude. It comprises a basic belief that we can do what we need to do, to produce a desired outcome. When obstacles occur, a person with a confident attitude continues to work to overcome the barriers. Conversely, someone who lacks confidence is less likely to persevere and may not even begin a project.

7. Intuition

Intuitive leaders make quick decisions based on a lifetime of accumulated wisdom and understanding. They get a gut feeling or a heartfelt sense. There’s wisdom in the body. And a leader who trusts these sensations will use them to their advantage.

Emotional intelligence is a powerful tool. It assists in achieving goals and building stronger relationships. And it facilitates a more healthy and productive workplace and organisational culture. Reviewing how you’re performing in these seven areas, will help you to become a more effective leader.