The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Business Leadership

Often referred to as EQ, emotional intelligence is an essential skill that can influence how we communicate, relate to, and interact with others, as well as how we behave in social settings. For leaders, it can impact how others see us, as well as dictate how effective we are in managing our teams.

A licensed psychologist who has attained an online counseling psychology masters will tell you that emotional intelligence is critical to all aspects of life.

Let’s discuss how it relates to business leadership.

Emotional Intelligence: What is it?

Emotional intelligence is our capability to understand, manage, and navigate our feelings and emotions, as well as those of others around us. Developing this element of ourselves enables us to cultivate better understanding, compassion, and empathy for others. It also helps us build stronger personal relationships, as well as interact and communicate more effectively.

Emotional intelligence can be broken down into 4 areas of competence. The 4 pillars of emotional intelligence are:

Self Awareness

Being self-aware allows us to understand the impact of our emotions and behaviors on others. It facilitates greater insight into how to carry oneself in social situations, as well as how to behave in ways that are appropriate and socially acceptable. 

Social Awareness 

Social awareness, on the other hand, is the ability to empathize, relate to, and understand the emotions, motivators, and perspectives of others. Just like self-awareness, it also helps the individual better navigate social interactions and build positive relationships with others. 

Self Management 

Self-management relates to our ability to regulate our emotions, especially under pressure. It enables us to remain calm and in control in the face of stress and helps us navigate how to contain our emotions to express ourselves without causing friction or offense.

Relationship Management

Relationship management refers to our ability to relate to, influence, and manage our relationships with others. For leaders, this can help them more effectively direct their teams and deal with any conflicts that arise. 

Why is Emotional Intelligence an Important Business Leadership Skill?

If you want your business to succeed, you must lead by example. Cultivating emotional intelligence allows leaders to be sensitive to the needs of their teams, and also, act as emotionally-stable role models to their employees. 

Emotional intelligence also assists business leaders in:

  • Managing their stress and regulating their emotions.
  • Leading by example in social settings.
  • Maintaining a calm, composed demeanor.
  • Leading with integrity and acting ethically.
  • Empathizing with the emotional needs of their employees.
  • Navigating fair and effective conflict management.
  • Cultivating and fostering an environment of openness, honesty, and transparency.

How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence

Wondering how you can cultivate and develop your EQ as a business leader? Here are some strategies:

Tuning Into Your Emotions 

Learning how to listen to, acknowledge, and sit with our emotions is a skill not everyone prioritizes. But being emotionally attuned helps us better navigate our feelings, comport ourselves more professionally, and express ourselves more effectively.  As mentioned, this requires both self and social awareness, as well as self-management of our emotions.

Mindfulness and Journaling 

Mindfulness and journaling can also help us connect with our emotions. By practicing the central element of mindfulness – being consciously present in the moment – we can develop greater self-awareness about how we are feeling in that moment. Journaling also helps us tap into this by allowing us the space to express ourselves freely and without restraint. 

Learning How to Actively Listen 

Active listening is a key component of emotional intelligence. It requires us to be present with others, to pay attention, and to learn to read the non-verbal cues that imply true feelings.

How to do it? It requires effort. You need to train your brain to listen actively, and to pick up on unspoken meanings. Tune into the other person and the way they’re expressing themselves. Non-verbal cues such as body language, eye gaze, and other physical mannerisms can be especially telling, as they can indicate the specific emotions an individual is experiencing.

Taking a Leadership Course

Finally – are you still unsure how emotional intelligence can help you become a better business leader? 

Completing a course in business leadership can help teach you the ways EQ can support you in your work, as well as how to develop it.