The role of emotional intelligence in extraordinary leadership

LAST UPDATE ON May 31, 2023

Extraordinary leaders inspire and motivate their people. Extraordinary leaders build trust, engage employees, create a positive culture and foster collaboration.

But what is it that makes some leaders extraordinary? Their authority? Or maybe their charisma?

What about both, as well as something arguably more important in today’s workplace: emotional intelligence (EI).

What is emotional intelligence (EI)?

Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to understand, assess and manage our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.”

Not only is emotional intelligence about how you feel, but it’s about how you perceive emotions in yourself and others, and use this awareness to guide your thinking and actions.

Why does emotional intelligence matter for aspiring leaders?

An increasingly critical part of leadership, emotional intelligence is how you use your emotions to motivate yourself and your team, make crucial decisions based on the right level of emotions and understand how others feel.

As a future leader, you’ll be dealing with many different situations where you need to use your emotional intelligence to lead your team effectively.

How to develop my emotional intelligence as a leader?

Fortunately, you can develop your emotional intelligence. You can read books on the subject, take courses, and go to seminars. 

What’s even better is working with a leadership coach or mentor, and practicing what you’ve learned in your job, in real life.

Be aware of your feelings. Observe your own behavior. Work on building valuable relationships with others. 

For example, if you’ve just been through a stressful situation and feel like you’re losing control of your emotions, take a step back and analyze the situation. Try to understand why things went wrong and how you might be able to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

How can a leadership coach help develop my emotional intelligence?

While there are many coaches who specialise in helping people develop their emotional intelligence, you should always start with some research, so as to find one that you feel comfortable with. 

A good coach will first ask you about your goals and then develop a working plan for you. A leadership coach will help you understand what emotional intelligence is, how it is relevant to you, and how it can be used in the workplace.

Then you will need to identify the areas where you feel like your emotional intelligence is lacking. The coach will guide you through exercises and coaching sessions that will allow you to understand how to use your emotional intelligence more effectively when leading others. They will also provide mentorship even after the end of your coaching sessions.

Is there a correlation between emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness?

Emotional intelligence is a better predictor of leadership effectiveness than IQ, with a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership finding that emotional intelligence is the most important factor in determining leadership success.

Leaders who are highly emotionally intelligent have more success in developing their people, delivering results and driving change.

Emotional intelligence is key to becoming an extraordinary leader

To lead people, you need to be good at your job and core responsibilities. 

To lead people well, you need to treat your teams with respect, honesty and fairness.

Emotional intelligence helps you better understand what motivates people so that they will be more productive in their work environment or feel valued by you.

If you want to be an extraordinary leader who inspire others, developing your emotional intelligence should be your top priority this year.

Let us support you in your leadership journey. Reach out now for a quick discussion.

©Published by Lifeskills Institute Pte Ltd

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