What Is Emotional Intelligence in Effective Leadership?

Emotional intelligence may be a new term for you – but you may be hearing it more often when the traits of leadership are discussed. Emotional intelligence has been found to be an important factor in effective leadership. More and more, organizations are seeking to recruit those who display a strong leaning toward emotional intelligence. This is especially important in online leadership because there is greater disconnection that requires special attention.

Employees experience more job satisfaction, retain more information and display better performances when led by emotionally intelligent leaders. But, what is emotionally intelligent leadership? Basically, it’s certain factors which leaders have that make them stand out and perform better than the rest.

Qualities of an Emotionally Intelligent Online Leaders

  • Recognition of emotions in others. Emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of others moods and feelings in the work environment. They’re tuned in, emotionally, to their employees. This is usually detected by body language, facial expressions, etc. However, online leaders may not always have access to this information so they need to be proactive in recognizing emotions in others. They may need to ask how others are doing or create some sort of survey so that the emotions of others are easily interpreted.
  • Emotions of others don’t affect them personally. Employees who express anger or are judgmental sometimes let their emotions get away from them. The emotionally intelligent leader doesn’t take such emotions personally. In order to showcase effective leadership, one must maintain a calm and unaffected center. This will allow one to lead without being swayed by emotions or opinions of others.
  • Remain calm in challenging situations. Expressing yourself in emotionally-charged situations can be damaging to others around you. It’s best to keep them to yourself and later address the problem or situation in a calm and reassuring way. Step back, take a couple of mindful, deep breaths and come back to the situation when you are in the correct headspace. Be aware of your state of mind so you know when to make the choice to step back and revisit the situation later.
  • Ability to put yourself in another’s position. Trying to understand the other person’s point of view when it differs from your own is sometimes difficult, but the emotionally intelligent leader can look at a situation from another’s perspective and gain more knowledge of how to address the problem. It is this quality of being empathetic that greatly contributes to effective leadership and overall fairness when leading.
  • Ability to regulate himself. A leader also leads himself and is able to regulate his or her feelings and emotions in a positive manner. The first step to this is becoming aware of personal emotional states. Once you are aware of the emotions you can track them back to their origin. What caused the emotion? What is the most effective way to process the emotion?
  • Motivates others. Motivating others through positivity is another quality of the emotionally intelligent leader. When a person leads through threats and intimidation, nothing productive can occur. It may seem like you’re progressing and meeting goals, but if it isn’t handled in a positive way it will be like a structure built on sand. Keeping others in mind is necessary when exercising effective leadership.

An Effective Leader Needs to Focus on Understanding People

To become an effective, emotionally intelligent leader, you must develop a true understanding of how people are affected by their emotions and the actions and decisions of others. Working with your subordinates rather than dictating the job to them is the difference between being successful – or failing at your leadership responsibilities.

Working on key areas of emotional intelligence can help you excel in all areas of leadership and ensure success in your future endeavors.


Very best wishes for your every success,