The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

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Leadership requires lots of admirable qualities, one of which is possessing the right amount of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is known as the ability to perceive one's own or others' emotions. It means comprehending what the other person is feeling through their sentiments and their signals. 

Emotional intelligence is the crux of becoming a successful leader. Even though one's technical skill might guarantee them the job interviews, to become efficient in management in future, emotional intelligence plays a critical role. 

In this article, let's learn in detail about the significance of emotional intelligence as a leader in the workplace and how you can also be a part of an IIM Leadership Programme

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

Emotional intelligence or EQ was first coined in 1990 by Professor John D Mayer and Peter Salovey. It is often thought of as a 'glue' that can help bind relationships in the long run. They have defined it as an ability to manage and control one's emotions. This, in turn, would foster long-term relationships not only in personal life but also in one's professional life. 

What is Emotional Intelligence in Leadership? 

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Every effective leader in a workplace is an embodiment of being the most emotionally mature individual ever. It is an essential skill that helps to solve and recognise the problems of one's team members. 

Emotional intelligence enables the individual to understand and manage one's emotions and put themselves in the other one's perspective. It is also an effective parameter that checks the leadership effectiveness of an individual. Sometimes IQ, technical skills and communication skills fall short in a corporate sector if the candidate lacks emotional intelligence. 

Thus, the use of emotional intelligence has now been popularised. Many leaders enforce emotional intelligence in their leadership style to incite innovation, and job satisfaction and create a positive work environment. 

Components of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership 

Various components of emotional intelligence should be reflected in leadership roles. Let's find them out. 


This is the ability to understand the individual's strengths as well as their weaknesses. It also makes the leader control their emotions to understand complex emotional turmoil easily affecting the team members. This in turn makes the leader sufficiently self-aware to guide and control their team. 

Moreover, self-awareness also has tons of admirable qualities. They are: 

  • Helps the leader to make a profitable and sound decision to bring prosperity to the company. 
  • To instigate personal growth among the team members for smooth functioning. 
  • Taking 360-degree feedback which in turn is the best way to estimate the self-awareness quotient of the leader. 


This is also considered to be a crucial component when it comes to emotional intelligence as a leadership quality. Even in challenging business situations, this component comes in handy to test one's leadership skills. It is an admirable quality that keeps emotions in check even during difficult situations. There are also other upsides of self-management in the workplace. They are: 

  • It helps in maintaining a positive outlook in the leaders even during adversities. 
  • It equips the leaders with various ways to tackle different situations. 
  • It also helps the leader to know how to react during a tough predicament by emphasising calmness and mental peace. 

Social awareness 

Since a business organisation does not operate in solitude, social awareness is an essential factor for emotional intelligence. This would help the leaders to be well aware of their work and business environment. There are several upsides to social awareness. They are: 

  • It helps to formulate business strategies and implement potent plans to adapt their employees to heterogeneous market conditions.
  • Social awareness is not only limited to its external factors: it also enhances the leader's capability to understand and manage people's emotions in the workplace.
  • Leaders who excel in social empathy help them to understand the perspective and emotions of the people which promotes effective communication and collaboration. 

Relationship management 

This component comes in handy when it is time to resolve conflicts in the workplace. This is a vital component for influencing and coaching the team members at the workplace. This is also an admirable ability to keep conflicts and miscommunications at bay in an organisation. 

Relationship management also talks about increasing job satisfaction and promoting growth. It also helps to maintain peace between all parties within the organisation. 

Emotional Intelligence: Scope in Leadership 

Even though several leaders prolifer in technical and communication skills, they often overlook emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, becomes an inevitable part of a managerial skill set. Any leader who might lack emotional intelligence will not survive within the tides of a complex business environment. The scope of emotional intelligence in leadership are: 

  • Positive work culture: Emotional intelligence amongst the leaders produces a positive work culture which increases efficiency and productivity vicariously. 
  • Instigates growth: Emotional intelligence promotes growth, creativity and innovation in an organisation and their stakeholders. 
  • Team motivation: Emotional intelligence helps in motivating team members and also encourages them to put their best foot forward. 
  • Correct decisions: Emotional intelligence is an important component which helps in making correct decisions even during difficult times. 
  • Strong bond: Emotional intelligence promotes a strong bond between leaders and their teams. 

Conclusion n

Be it communication skills, technical skills or anything else, nothing surpasses emotioal intelligence. Since it is the most important part of leadership, it is now being incorporated into many management courses. 

If you are interested in learning about leadership and its essential to become a potential global leader, check out Imarticus Learning's Global Senior Leadership Programme with IIM Lucknow. This IIM course for working professionals is specifically designed to transition one's career to a high-potential business leader. It makes it easier for your journey to become a CMO, CFO or COO

To know more, check out their website right away! 

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