+61-409-869-664 jan@brainpotential.net
Why emotional intelligence is important for leaders Blog Image

As a leader in today’s business landscape, effective leadership goes beyond technical knowledge and skills.  To be truly top of your game and to leverage results from your team, emotional intelligence is a critical trait in achieving that.

In this article I’m exploring the idea of why emotional intelligence is important for leaders and how you can develop it.


What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EI or EQ (emotional quotient), is our ability to recognise, understand, and manage our own emotions as well as those of other people.  It is the foundation on which we build relationships, navigate social interactions, make decisions, and cope with the demands of daily life.

It incorporates four primary components:

Self Awareness

Being aware of and understanding our own emotions and how they impact our thoughts, behaviour, and interactions with others.  Self aware individuals are usually in tune with their strengths, weaknesses, values, and goals.


Self Regulation

Our ability to manage our own emotions, impulses, and reactions in any given situation.  Maintaining composure under pressure, adapting to change and regulating disruptive emotions, are all part of self regulation.


Social Awareness

Your ability to empathise and understand the emotions, needs, and perspectives of others.  Reading verbal and nonverbal cues, active listening, and demonstrating empathy, are signs of social awareness.


Relationship Management

The skills associated with navigating social interactions, build and maintain positive relationships, and influence others towards common goals.  This involves effective communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, and leadership.


Why is emotional intelligence important for leaders?

Improved decision making

Leaders with emotional intelligence are able to take the emotional implications of a decision into account rather than just the rational ones.  As these emotional factors can heavily impact the outcome of a decision, these considerations can lead to a more balanced and effective decision making process.


Conflict Resolution Skills

The potential for conflict exists anywhere that humans interact, particularly where there are frequent interactions such as the workplace.  Leaders with emotional intelligence are usually much more adept at navigating such conflicts and can mediate disputes, enable understanding, and find solutions to maintain harmony within the workplace.


Create a Positive Workplace Culture

Leaders who have high emotional intelligence are able to create a positive and supportive environment where employees feel motivated, empowered, and valued.  The results of such an environment are reduced staff turnover, improved employee satisfaction, and greater outputs.


Adaptability and Resilience

In a fast paced, ever changing world, successful leaders have flexibility of behaviour and leadership styles, the ability to recover when things don’t go according to plan, and inspire confidence in their team during uncertain times.  Emotional intelligence is key to developing such adaptability and resilience and ensure the right leadership approach for any given situation.


Build Trust and Rapport

Empathy, authenticity, and understanding are the foundations for building trust with team members.  When a leader exhibits these qualities with their employees, team members are more likely to be engaged, loyal, and motivated to achieve team goals.


Self Awareness and Self Regulation

Burnout is real.  Especially for leaders.

Emotional intelligence is vital for leaders to effectively manage themselves, stay calm under pressure, make the right decisions, and set a positive example for their teams.


How to develop emotional intelligence for leaders

Emotional intelligence is like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger your skills.

There are a several ways you can exercise your emotional intelligence muscles such as:

  • Journalling for self-reflection
  • Seek constructive feedback from team members, peers, and mentors
  • Practice active listening
  • Role-playing exercises
  • Practice mindfulness (see more here)
  • Breathwork
  • Spend quality time with team members
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Gratitude exercises
  • And of course, complete the Brain Potential Leadership Training Program



It’s not enough to ask someone if they are ok and accept “I’m fine” as an answer.  If you want to effectively lead people, developing your emotional intelligence skills is crucial.  Leaders with exceptional emotional intelligence are happier, have more successful teams, and produce better results in the long term than those who don’t.

If you are ready to develop your own emotional intelligence, let’s chat.


Kind regards,

Jan Sky