Leading with Emotional Intelligence


We've all been around someone who is not emotionally intelligent, right? When you read that sentence, you probably had someone come to mind. Someone can be the smartest person in the room, yet when it comes to emotional intelligence, they come up a little (or a lot) short.  

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the “ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others." Not being emotionally intelligent doesn’t mean someone doesn’t care. They may be this way for several reasons; they are unaware, they were raised a certain way, they are uncomfortable with emotions, etcetera.  

In leadership, the stakes of EQ are even higher. We want to be a leader and build leaders who are easily approachable, empathetic, collaborative, and self-aware. These qualities are priceless. We want to create a space for our team to be open and vulnerable and we can’t expect that without going first as leaders.  

Here are a few reasons why emotional intelligence is so vital in leaders:

EQ Creates a Positive Culture

When a team feels supported, heard, and appreciated, they are much more likely to be more productive and loyal to their company. As leaders, we set the emotional temperature in the room, and it takes a lot of energy to counter a negative or a positive attitude.  

EQ Opens Communication

Leaders with high EQ communicate well. They can convey their message in a way that resonates with everyone, leading to clearer communication and fewer misunderstandings.

EQ Helps Diffuse Negative Situations

Conflicts are bound to arise in any workplace, from disagreements, to project setbacks and miscommunications. Leaders with EQ remain calm and composed in high-pressure situations, looking at the big picture, which leads to better outcomes and less strain on everyone involved.

EQ Promotes Creativity and Risk-Taking

Leaders with high EQ understand there are various ways to approach problems, and they're not afraid to take risks. This encourages team members to think freely and try new ideas without the fear of criticism, leading to higher levels of innovation and progress.

EQ Breeds Loyalty

Strong bonds and relationships are formed when a leader consistently shows empathy, concern, genuine care, and interest in the lives of their employees. This leads to loyalty and in turn higher productivity, higher job-satisfaction rates, and higher retention rates.  

According to Vantage Circle, emotional intelligence has a 58% influence on job performance and each additional point in your EQ score means an additional $1,300 to your salary! Now that we understand how important it is, you might be wondering how you can become more emotionally intelligent.

Forbes says it best here, so let’s look at those ideas:  

1. Manage your negative emotions – your negativity has a ripple effect

2. Be mindful of your vocabulary

3. Practice empathy

4. Know your stressors

5. Bounce back from adversity

Let’s get crazy and add a sixth to the list as well, which is to address conflict directly and swiftly. Often, when we avoid conflict, we give ourselves more time to stew and end up making the problem larger than it really is. It also becomes tempting to draw others into conflict, which adds gasoline to the fire.

To wrap up, I’ll say one more thing. We can always seek the Lord for guidance in becoming a more emotionally intelligent leader. He was the ultimate in EQ and is the greatest leader, after all.  


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