Emotional Intelligence & Leadership

by  Marvin Magusara  |  Self Leadership
Emotional Intelligence & Leadership

Many will argue about the importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership. Some believe that a high EQ is absolutely necessary in order to be a successful leader, whereas others believe that you can be a good leader even with a low level of emotional intelligence.

Can a high level of Emotional Intelligence help you become better in your role as a leader?

Logically, one thing is easy to conclude for sure; having a high level of emotional intelligence can definitely help leaders in their aspirations to become better at their jobs.

Here we’re going to take a look at the established domains of emotional intelligence and how they affect the leadership style. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ and Working With Emotional Intelligence, there are five main domains of emotional intelligence.

These domains are part of the emotional intelligence model which is based on the two primary competencies: personal competencies and social competencies. You can read a detailed article by Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, who writes about the four core skills of the emotional intelligence primary competencies model.

What Kind Of Leadership Traits Do You Exhibit?

  • Self-awareness – What does self-awareness mean for you as the leader? Are you aware of your own emotions and reactions? How do you react to situations with your co-workers? If you are someone who is aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you will know how to deal with your feelings in most situations. Self-awareness is the domain in which we all should seek growth personally and professionally. As a leader, a high level of self-awareness will allow you to deal with criticism and conflicts in a more constructive manner.
  • Self-Regulation – How do you manage your emotions? Do you over-react or under-react? If you want to be a good leader, you should know how to express your thoughts and feelings in a mature and controlled way. If you can’t control your negative emotions and you explode in moments of conflict, or yet you keep your negative feelings inside of you; you risk creating an environment of disunion and poor communication within your team.
  • Motivation – No matter how many people you have on your team, you need to be able to motivate them. But if you can’t motivate yourself, how will you motivate others? A good leader needs to continuously motivate and inspire team members.
  • Empathy – The ability to feel “with someone” gives a leader a huge advantage in knowing how to connect with people and how to approach people in problematic situations. When you’re able to understand someone’s perspective of a situation you’re much more likely to achieve your team goals; working in harmony, reaching a mutual agreement, exploring new innovative ideas and so on.
  • People Skills – People skills are actually essential in order to be a good leader. If you don’t know how to organize and communicate with your team, how will you reach your team goals? If you can’t manage your relationships within your team, what kind of a work environment will be created? A successful leader is able to pick up on people’s feelings and thoughts thus being able to approach the people and situations in the best possible way.

Daniel Golman’s EI Model

Daniel Golman's EI model

What’s Your EQ?

There are a lot of tests out there for determining your EQ. But these tests aren’t scientific, which means it is very easy to lie and to fool them in order to get the results you want. If you want to get real results, you need to look at your real life situations and be honest to yourself.

If you work on a job position which is of leadership character, then revise your real life behavioral patterns at work in accordance with the above mentioned domains of Emotional Intelligence. This way you will be able to see where you are at with emotional intelligence. Further on, if you want to improve and become a better leader, look at your stronger domains and your weaker domains and work on them.

I have always set myself up for leadership positions in whatever domain, whether it be in sports, games, organisations or running a Web agency in Graftene. I believe that leadership skills can be learned by modifying our behavioral patterns and it takes self awareness to understand just how effective or ineffective we are at our role.

Can a high level of Emotional Intelligence help you become better in your role as a leader?
Photo Credit: Pixabay

About The Author

Articles By marvin-magusara
A Web Developer and SEO expert, Marvin Magusara founded Graftene, a Web agency, and acts primarily as Project Manager. Marvin has a keen interest in the digital marketing business and is always looking to expand his knowledge.

What People Are Saying

John E. Smith  |  14 Sep 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Marvin – nice post on an important subject:)

I like your summary of EQ – one of the best and most useful I have seen. Very clear and to the point. The chart is very helpful.

To your question, my response is an unqualified “Yep”.

Effective leadership and management is about influencing people to accomplish tasks at a consistently high level, even when the environment works against them. We tried a more autocratic leadership style, which has its advantages, but does not translate well for our current corporate and organizational cultures.

Awareness of the emotional aspects of employees, customers, and society seems to be a truly effective way for a leader to accomplish their goals. We can do things without concern for the internal dynamics of our employees, but I believe we can do much more when we recognize that other person is a complete human being.

Emotional intelligence is accepting that reality and becoming skilled at working with the complete person.

Thanks for a good starting post for our week:)


Marvin Magusara  |  14 Sep 2015  |  Reply

Thank you John!

I completely agree with you, however like with all things, knowing is not enough, we must apply. I know that from personal experience I could have handled employees or situations better, more tactfully – however at the time had complete disregard for their feelings or perspective, only focused on mine and what I believe to be logically correct. Sometimes that is effective, most of the time, not so much.

And I think that would be the most qualified “Yep” we’ll get here :)

Jesse Silva  |  15 Sep 2015  |  Reply


I join the applause and answer your question with, “When you’ve hit a Leadership plateau E.I. is exactly what you need to continue your ascent”. A little wordy, I know.

I strongly agree with John – your summary pulls the pieces together nicely. I too am a long time re-reader of Goleman’s work and truly appreciate E.I. 2.0’s adds.

I further agree with you, learning the concept should only be the beginning. Employing emotional understanding of our own actions, words, and feelings moves us towards understanding other’s. Thank you for the great article!

Jesse Silva

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