How Leaders Can Nurture Their Emotional Intelligence

As a leader, you’re required to utilize more than your logical management skills. It is also necessary to connect and understand yourself and those around you to make informed decisions. In order to do this you need to be connected with your emotions and the emotions of the people you are managing.

One way to do this is to nurture your emotional intelligence. According to, “Emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most important ideas to hit the business world in recent years. It is based on the notion that the ability of managers to understand their own emotions, and those of the people they work with, is the key to better business performance.” So, how do you cultivate your emotional intelligence?

With Your Self

While it’s critical that you understand the emotions of those who you are managing, first you need to be in tune with yourself. Being self-aware is knowing your capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. Not only should you recognize these traits but understand their impact on how you lead and manage your team.

  • Bias: Are you subconsciously bias to certain people? This will have a significant effect on how you work with others – understand it and correct it.
  • Confidence: Are you confident in yourself? If you’re not, suggests, “You don't have to be confident to become confident. You can ACT your way into it.”
  • Emotional control: This includes being successful in self-management, as well. If you know this is a problem, take the most recent incident and assess how you can correct it in the future. Practicing self-management will make you a well-rounded leader.

In The Social Setting

Being in a leadership role in an office can put you on the sidelines of the employee cliques. Because of this, it’s easy for you to separate yourself from the group, which keeps you from understanding them. With an improved social intelligence you can run a smarter, more efficient business.

  • Understanding: This is key to nurturing your emotional intelligence as a leader; understand the group dynamics of the office setting to relate with those around you.
  • Patience: When you manage someone who likes to push you to your breaking point, how do you react? Assess their actions, so you can appropriately, and positively, push back.

Within Relationships

It’s important that you are able to connect with employees on a one on one basis. Being able to understand who they are will allow you to tailor your encounters differently for each person. Not only does this make you a better leader, but more approachable, as well.

  • Empathy: This is a critical aspect of your relationship intelligence in an office. Understanding the office dynamics and the emotions of each individual employee will allow you to empathize when approached with an issue. Ask questions and listen intently to improve this aspect of your emotional intelligence.
  • Open expressiveness: While it’s critical that you are open with yourself, it’s necessary to allow employees to be open as well. Nurture this by allowing yourself to recognize their emotional state and push them to a positive outcome.

As a leader, emotional intelligence is about you, the people you lead and how to manage them. When you nurture your own self-awareness and emotions, you can relate to your employees better. As an emotionally intelligent person, you’ll run a better, more successful business.

Photo Credit: