Exploring the Importance of Emotional
Intelligence in Workplace Leadership

See also: Understanding Other People

In the current landscape of work, having emotional intelligence is one of the more integral parts we need as individuals, but even more so for effective leadership. It might sound surprising at first but emotional intelligence is interconnected with our day-to-day behavior and how we approach every situation. These qualities help us navigate the complexities of business and motivate teams for success in any endeavor, whether you're the leader of a multinational corporation or a local store.

So, if you're already a business owner or you’re someone who is aspiring to become one, this article will explore why emotional intelligence is essential and give you some tips on how to develop emotional intelligence for effective leadership.

Group of people sitting around a large table for a meeting.

Gaining an Understanding of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is not only an understanding of our emotions but also the skill that helps us regulate and manage our emotions, both in ourselves and in other people. It is an important skill to have in a business setting, as well as in life, as most of our interactions involve others. This ability comprises multiple aspects, and when they all come together, we can effectively use emotional intelligence to respond in a reasonable, measured way.

Self Awareness

You need self-awareness to be emotionally intelligent, and this is probably the first step in understanding emotions. This involves recognizing your emotions and paying attention to how you feel from an observant perspective rather than reactively. You will need to develop the ability to acknowledge and understand your strengths and weaknesses and how they influence the actions and decisions you make in your daily life.

Self Regulation

After developing the ability to be aware of your emotional state, the next step is to learn to regulate your emotions. The best leaders and performers in the world have an incredible capacity to control their emotions and use them to their advantage, rather than let their emotions control them. They also perform well under pressure and make good choices despite the chaos that might be happening outside.


To direct your energy in the right way, you must understand your motivation and where you want to go in your life or business. Those motivated by simple desires such as money or recognition can only go so far as opposed to those motivated by values and higher goals. You should understand your motivations so that your emotional compass is directed in the proper fashion during your time in leadership.

The Advantages of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership at Work

Having the right emotional intelligence can significantly influence leadership behaviors and outcomes in any organization. Leaders with this skill can establish work environments that promote trust, collaboration, and innovation by connecting with their team members and fostering loyalty within their organization.

Enhanced Communication

It can take something as small as communication to make or break a business or organization, and that's why an emphasis needs to be placed on having clear and effective communication. Leaders who have high emotional intelligence can communicate effectively and encourage open dialogue and understanding with team members. Being too cold, not understanding, or not wanting to understand the needs of the staff and business can spell disaster in the wrong scenario.

Better Decision Making

If you're a leader with good emotional intelligence, you're in a better position to make measured and mature decisions rather than one that is purely focused on reacting with their emotions. When your skills in emotional regulation are developed, you're going to be better empowered to make your choices based on reasoning and logic rather than how you’re feeling in the heat of the moment. If you can build and foster this control, better decisions will grow as a result, and your business will develop further.

Establishing Trust and a Positive Environment

You may not think that your personal ability to manage emotions will help empower others, but when you're a leader, your impact can be underestimated. When others in your organization see that you're level-headed and focused, they are able to trust you, and you establish better credibility and rapport with employees and colleagues. This will reflect in your staff, customers, and even potential investors, so don't discredit your impact.

The word 'emotions' spelt out on a board with plastic letters.

How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence

While having the knowledge a formal qualification like an online MBA provides is crucial to being a leader in the workplace, it’s equally as important you possess emotional intelligence. If you're not that developed in the realm of emotional intelligence, luckily, there's a lot that you can do to develop this skill. It is something that can be honed over time and through practice, just like any other skill or ability.

Now, unless you live in a vacuum, you probably have pressures or triggers from the outside world that can bring up emotions. This can be a challenging work colleague, a stressful situation, or a family problem. Whenever you experience these, you need to develop the ability to remove yourself from the fire and analyze what you are feeling at that point in time. It might be difficult at first, but allowing that space automatically lessens the impact of those feelings.

When you've developed the ability to remove yourself from your reactionary phase, you're better equipped to make the right decisions or work on areas of improvement. Listen to what others might be saying and start to imagine the best outcome for both of you. It's important to be logical and pragmatic in this situation. Then, make the decision and observe the outcome. You will get better at this over time.


To summarize our article, emotional intelligence stands as one of the most vital elements of workplace guidance, and by cultivating these abilities, leaders can shape workplace environments where everyone thrives. As your personal emotional management improves, so too will your team and your success in the company. If we all embrace emotional intelligence, we will spark better empathy and understanding of one another and steer a better world for everyone both in the workplace and beyond.

About the Author

Caitlyn Bell is an arts student whose experiences in life make her tougher than anyone else. She can lend you expert tips on diverse topics ranging from relationships to fashion, making money, health, and careers.