Leading with emotional intelligence

By on March 6, 2012

As business environments change, so does the leadership styles and strategies. Over time, the kinds of challenges that business leaders face have changed and there has been a shift from formal to more informal leadership. Today’s cut-throat competition in the markets demands such leaders who are not only technically sound but also emotionally intelligent. Human resources are of extreme importance in any organization and an emotionally intelligent leader is more capable of attracting the best talents and retaining the human assets of the organization. It is because high level of emotional intelligence in the leader ensures empathy towards the team members. Being an emotionally intelligent leader is all about being concerned about the people around including employees as well as customers.

An emotionally intelligent leader builds strong personal relations with the team and always keeps an update of their personal lives. It is important for a leader to know what is going on in the personal lives of each team member because personal problems affect the work performance to great extent. If an employee is in trouble and the leader keeps an eye on employees’ personal lives, it helps him to make necessary adjustments on time so that there is no delay in work and the performance meets the standards. The leaders who track the team’s work performance without developing an inter-personal relation with them may found it very difficult to motivate and improve the performance.

Though there are conflicts among experts on whether emotional intelligence has a direct or indirect influence on the profits of the firm, but there is a consensus that EQ of the leader affects performance as well as productivity of the employees. Another disagreement relates to whether EQ is inherent or it can be developed. However experts have suggested the methods to develop the level of emotional intelligence among leaders.

Leading with emotional intelligence is never easy. All leaders are not gifted with high EQ and the leaders with low EQ need to develop this over time. In order to become an emotionally intelligent leader, one must assess his or her ability to perceive, understand and manage own as well as others’ emotions. There is a need for the leader to be open-minded and accept new ideas. The leader must trust the team and allow them a certain degree of freedom to carry on their work. The suggestions made by the team members should be acknowledged and there must be an open communication throughout the hierarchy. Today the success of an organization depends largely on the emotional competencies of the leader; on how well the leader can manage his relationships with the team. Thus, the efforts must be made to develop emotional intelligence among the leaders.


  • CIO magazine, Vol. 14, No. 15. (15th May, 2001)
  • Stough, C., Saklofske, D.H. and Parker, J.D.A. (2009). Assessing Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Research, and Applications. Springer.


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