Emotional Intelligence – The Mark of a Successful Leader and Manager


Every person aspires for that promotion to a higher rank, and access additional benefits. However, the reality is that not everyone succeeds in getting that promotion. The question is – what sets those achievers apart from those who fail at realizing their dreams of climbing up the corporate ladder?

That missing piece is emotional intelligence. According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of achievers in the leadership and management arena possess this gem of a trait in their personalities. Psychologist Daniel Goleman, who popularized the term more than 10 years ago, even specified emotional intelligence as a requirement for those who’d like to be promoted to top management.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

John Mayer and Peter Salovey, the researchers who first came up with the term in 1990,  defined emotional intelligence as the capability to understand one’s own emotions, and how they can influence or affect other people, vice versa. 

The idea is that, if you know how your emotions can make an impact, whether positive or negative, on the people around you, you can exercise better judgment and be more positive in dealing with others. Similarly, you also understand and can empathize with your co-workers’ feelings and sensibilities when faced with specific workplace situations. 

In other words, when you are emotionally intelligent, you can exercise self-control even in the most extreme of situations. You can leverage your own emotions, and your colleagues’, and provide the motivation that they need in times of extreme stress. 

As empathy and being a motivator are top leadership skills, it means good leaders are also emotionally intelligent aside from being technically proficient at their fields of work.

What Skills Are Necessary for Developing EQ?

There are four skills, or competencies, that you’ll have to develop for you to achieve high emotional intelligence. These competencies are as follows:

  • Self-awareness

This competency is central to the concept of emotional intelligence. Being self-aware means that you have a solid grasp of your own emotions, and understand what situations or circumstances could trigger an emotional response from you. 

  • Self-management

When you’ve mastered self-awareness, it’ll be a breeze for you to rein in your emotions even in highly stressful times. You can, for example, avoid outbursts or expressions of anger and, instead, formulate a calm response to stress in the office. This helps a lot in inspiring productivity and raising morale in the workplace. 

  • Social awareness

Similar to self-awareness, social awareness is understanding your colleagues’ emotions, i.e. what triggers them, how others react to emotional displays, and how they affect the team’s morale as a whole. Being socially aware helps managers practice empathy, as well as enhance team communication and collaboration.

  • Relationship Management

Last but not least, relationship management is a skill that helps managers foster positive relationships between themselves and the team members. This skill is useful in addressing conflict within the team, as well as in motivating and in passing on subject matter knowledge to the team.

Leadership is all about managing and influencing everyone on the team to become more productive and contribute to the organization’s success. However, this is only possible when you’ve developed good emotional intelligence. Fortunately, it’s not rocket science – anyone can work towards raising their EQ!