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Why emotional intelligence is vital for leaders

Andreas Patikas Founder of The Grey Cotswolds explains more,

Having emotional intelligence, is possessing an awareness and control over your emotions, meaning that you are able to handle interpersonal relationships with more care and thought.

For business leaders, emotional intelligence is essential, as a heightened focus on personal wellness creates mental clarity. Personal wellness can equal an improvement in productivity, commitment, better planning and decision making as well as community within the workplace. Emotional intelligence is a key professional capability, particularly for those in a position of leadership, as an awareness of personal emotions is what makes us better communicators. Recognising how we are feeling, rather than rejecting it and continuing on regardless of feelings of stress or unhappiness, is imperative to the success of a business.

A competitive advantage

Having emotional intelligence will set your business apart from others, especially as the world progresses further into the digital age, because an understanding of the importance of personal wellbeing will ensure you lead with understanding, creating unlimited success as a result. Leadership in the digital age is evolving, as it is essential for developing human connections, improved mental wellbeing and more meaningful connection. Leading through a screen is one issue, but providing your team with real emotional interactions can be another.

If you are emotionally intelligent, you are normally able to excel in four different ways:

  • Self-management

  • Self-awareness

  • Social awareness

  • Relationship management.

Self-Management is having a firmer grasp on your feelings and your behaviours. As a leader, you need to be calm and collected in times of stress, especially when you are in charge of a team. Therefore, the ability to control your emotions in a mature, concise and healthy way is vital, because you always want to make the correct decisions, without feeling overwhelmed. In a UK wide survey, it was revealed that 74% of adults have felt so stressed over the past year that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. These feelings will impact the way in which you work, and the way you run your business, because you won’t be able to focus on every decision without being level headed.

Self-Awareness is when you are conscious of your behaviours, recognising your strengths and weaknesses, and having the confidence that you have something to offer. As a business leader, awareness within the self is essential, as you need to know that you are a standout individual.

Social awareness is all about remaining empathetic, being able to pick up on emotional cues, feeling comfortable socially, and recognising the powder dynamics within a collective. This awareness of the wellbeing of your team, will only create benefits for your business, as when everyone is happy, a stronger bond will be created amongst the cohort. If you lead with an understanding of how to integrate emotionally aware people, then there will only be success.

Finally, relationship management is all about knowing how to upkeep good relationships, through clear communication. Making sure there is no conflict in the team, comes through emotional intelligence, and an ability to pick up on how everyone is feeling. If you notice someone is looking deflated, or in a different mindset, knowing how to pick them back up again and provide much needed support, is key to maintaining positive working relationships. As a business leader, you want every member of the team to thrive, so that they can bring their individual talents to the bigger team. No jigsaw is complete without every single piece, and no business is successful without all the team members working together to create a profitable and sustainable enterprise.

For leaders who feel like they or a team member is struggling in one of these areas, it is important that you seek some professional help and support. Just as you may have a business coach to help with your growth planning, a professional to support your personal development is as, if not more, important.


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