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Emotional Intelligence: 7 Actions for Better Leadership


7 Actions you can take to increase Emotional Intelligence to be a better leader
Emotional Intelligence 7 Actions for Better Leadership

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Most good leaders have traits like decision-making, communication, empathy, and courage. But emotional intelligence (EI) is the trait that separates a great leader from a good one. With time, it has become a must-have skill for leaders. Studies have indicated that it is the most powerful predictor of success or failure. In tense conditions, those with higher emotional intelligence tend to be more composed. So, they usually handle conflicts better. In this article, we have given you the basics. We have also given you 7 actions on emotional intelligence (EI) for becoming a great leader.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, process, and manage our emotions. It helps us to deal with problems and conflicts. It’s been first articulated by Salovey and Mayer in the year 1990. In 1995, Goleman described it in his bestseller, Emotional Intelligence.

5 Models of Emotional Intelligence Model

  1. Ability model: Mayer and Salovey gave this model. It sees emotions as valuable resources. They guide a person to understand and operate in society.
  2. Mixed model: Daniel Goleman developed the mixed model. According to him, many abilities together make a leader efficient. This model describes five main parts of emotional intelligence. They are empathy, social skills, self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation.
  3. Trait model: Konstantinos V. Petrides presented this model. It is about a person’s emotional self-belief and how they can work with emotions.
  4. Bar-On model: Reuven Bar-On proposed this model. This model demonstrates that 15 emotions and social skills have interrelations. They regulate our self-awareness and relations with others. They also help us handle routine things.
  5. Genos model: Ben Palmer and Con Stough first had the idea for Genos Emotional Intelligence at Swinburne University. They proposed a unique model for business managers, HR officers, or psychologists. The organization can use it to identify employees who need development.

Increasing Emotional Intelligence to Be a Better Leader

Whether you follow servant leadership, transactional or transformational leadership, these 7 actions will help you boost your EI to be a great leader:

These 7 actions will boost your emotional intelligence to be a great leader:
Emotional Intelligence: 7 Actions for Better Leadership
  1. Self-Awareness:

    • Meditate: So that one may observe their emotions.
    •  Journal: Have a journal that contains what happened in the day. Write about how you felt about everything around you.
    • Get feedback. Confide in workmates or your best friends. Ask them for an honest opinion of your emotions and your actions.
    • Triggers: List down any event or individual who always triggers strong emotions in us.
  2. Develop Will Power:

    • Control: Pause before acting. Practice this act of self-regulation. When something annoys you, it’s important to count to ten or take several deep breaths about it.
    • Hobbies, physical exercises, or relaxation techniques, including yoga, can help manage stress.
    • Set individual targets: Spot your lack of self-control and set goals to improve. For example, find ways to stay calm in meetings.
    • Feelings: Track your mood throughout the day to keep a check on your feelings.
  3. Be Ambitious:

    • Objectives: Objectives are motivating because they provide clear ambitions. Plan them according to what motivates you most.
    • Celebrate: Anytime you achieve a goal, it’s essential to appreciate yourself so that you remain motivated.
    • Set individual targets. Spot your lack of self-control and set goals to improve. For example, find ways to stay calm in meetings.
    • Positive Thinking: Take the time to review those things that keep you fruitful and happy at all moments of your life.
  4. Enhance Compassion:

    • Care: Show that you care, and be a good listener when others are talking to you.
    • Another Perspective: Get a new viewpoint or advice from a third person, which could be a friend or a family member.
    • Gestures: sometimes people show their emotions without words. Observe all nonverbal cues.
    • Real Interest: Take an interest in the well-being of your team members and listen to their concerns.
  5. Improve Interpersonal skills:

    • Show clarity: Be unambiguous in your communication; say what you mean instead of beating around the bush.
    • Grow friendship. Cultivate good relations with old pals. Also, find new friends among those around you, like friends or relatives.
    • Resolve Disputes in Friendly Ways. When disputes arise, resolve them without getting angry.
    • Teamwork: Encourage teamwork by accepting and promoting the ideas of your team.
  6. Apply Emotional Intelligence:

    • Team Activities: Engaging in team-building activities to establish trust and collaboration in team activities.
    • Decisions: Factor in the emotional consequences of your decisions for the team and ask for their contributions.
    • Support: When your colleagues endure personal or career-related hurdles, you give them a hand.
    • Appreciate: acknowledge and appreciate your team’s efforts to boost morale.
  7. Continuous Learning:

    • Read Books: Grabbing different EI books and articles will keep you updated.
    • Attend Workshops: Participation in various EI training sessions, workshops, and seminars.
    • Seek a Coach: It is important to find a coach with high EI abilities who you can learn from.
    • Self-Evaluation: Use self-assessment tools to test your EI and adjust your strategies.

Test your Emotional Intelligence through:

  1. Self-Assessment: Get in touch with your feelings by taking a self-evaluation assessment and finding out where to put more effort. 
  2. 360-Degree Feedback: Get a comprehensive view of your EI by asking your friends and colleagues to give you feedback.
  3. Emotional Assessment Tools: For a deeper examination and a correct definition of your EI, use professional emotional assessment tools.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) to Check:

Monitoring KPIs will enable you to determine if a supportive and satisfying workplace has been nurtured due to your emotional intelligence.

  1. Employee Engagement: Track employees’ involvement and motivation by tracking their engagement levels. This will help you know how much your emotions matter to team motivation.
  2. Team Performance: Measuring team performance will help you understand how your EI affects the team. It will also show how it affects their productivity.
  3. Employee Attrition: Watch employee attrition rates. They show whether your EI creates a workplace where workers feel supported and happy.
  4. Team Innovation and Creativity: Rate how innovative and creative your team is. This will help find out if your EI triggers fresh ideas and spreads them.
  5. Employee Satisfaction Surveys: Surveys will help you assess the impact of your EQ changes on team morale. They measure employee satisfaction. They will show the effect on job satisfaction. 

More Resources

Books on Emotional Intelligence

Research Papers:

Emotional Intelligence Quotes

  1. “Feelings are something you have; not something you are.” – Shannon L. Alder
  2. “The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.” -Voltaire
  3. “Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.” -Anonymous


Good leaders move on to become the best leaders if they are emotionally intelligent. EI, when well developed, enables one to develop exceptional leadership skills. Leaders can use EI to build their organizations’ culture in other ways too. They can increase self-awareness. They improve self-regulation, raise self-motivation, and boost empathy. They also hone social abilities. Additionally, it promotes cooperation among staff. It improves conflict resolution, which in turn boosts the organization’s effectiveness. This boosts employee satisfaction levels.

Leaders can know the impact made by their EI if they keep watch of crucial performance indicators such as employee engagement, team performance, and retention rates. To keep on advancing their EI skills, they can read, attend workshops, and get any other necessary information. Thus, they should start cultivating a more empathic, resilient, and effective leadership style by mastering emotional intelligence; this will improve their team dynamics and enhance their leadership abilities.

FAQs About Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

Leaders can show emotional intelligence by listening to team members, empathetic interactions, managing stress, solving conflicts, and motivating employees.

It is assumed that emotional intelligence is crucial for effective communication as well as crucial in team building, conflict resolution, and the attainment of high job satisfaction and performance by the staff members.

Practicing mindfulness, seeking feedback, engaging in regular self-reflection, and participating in training programs that focus on emotional intelligence are some ways in which leaders can improve their EI.

In leader-speak, being emotionally agile entails handling your emotions while adjusting according to various circumstances. It also involves engaging one’s brain before making decisions so that there are no hasty decisions.

Employee engagement surveys, team performance metrics, retention rates, and feedback from 360-degree reviews can measure how intelligent someone is with emotions.

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