emotional intelligence

More Than a Buzz Word: What is Emotional Intelligence & Why Do You Need It As a Leader?

Emotional intelligence is one of the core qualities of great leaders, but what does it mean, and why is it so important? 

When you think of someone you regard as a perfect leader, you probably think of a person who hardly loses their cool regardless of the situation. You may also think of someone who has gained the complete trust of their followers. 

The truth is that for someone to have all of these and more, they must possess emotional intelligence at very high levels. This post will show you what emotional intelligence is and why you need it as a leader.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

EI is important to every leader

Emotional intelligence is a phrase that has grown in popularity in recent times. Many schools of thought have attempted to define it so we will look through a few to see what the phrase truly means.

Emotional intelligence is also known as EI, and it is a person’s ability to understand and properly manage their emotions as well as the emotions of those around them. Another school of thought sees it as the ability to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions and those of others. 

A school of thought sees emotional intelligence as the glue that helps to hold relationships together. Without having a grip on your emotions and being able to condition the emotions of others around you, effective leadership may be complex. This is why it is a crucial ingredient for successful leadership. Consider a leader who is always brash when experiencing stress and pressure and a leader who remains calm under similar circumstances. Who will get the better results?

An American psychologist, Daniel Goleman, helped to make emotional intelligence popular, and he split it into five core elements, namely:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Social skills
  • Empathy

Let’s discuss why you need emotional intelligence as a leader. 

Reasons Why Every Leader Should Be Emotionally Intelligent

EI helps leaders to establish, build, and maintain strong relationships. It also helps to promote teamwork and a positive work environment. Because of this, we consider emotionally intelligent leaders to be highly inspirational. Here are a few reasons why you need emotional intelligence as a leader:

Effective communication

Communication is core to the leadership process. Every leader needs to possess strong communication skills to pass across information regarding goals, expectations, vision, and mission. Communication is a two-way street, so the leader also needs to be able to listen effectively. With high emotional intelligence, a leader can communicate with each of their followers more effectively.

Conflict management

It is almost impossible to have different people work together without conflict. Conflict exists everywhere, from families to workplaces and even religious organizations. EI helps a leader to manage conflicts in a positive, constructive manner. This is because you can remain calm when everyone is going haywire so that you can find the best way to address involved parties. In the end, you can improve the relationships among your followers and ensure better teamwork.

Inspiring followers

Your followers need you to keep them inspired and motivated so that they can achieve their goals. As a leader, you need EI to understand how your followers feel properly, recognize their needs, and view situations from their perspective. Once you can achieve these, you can create a better environment for them to thrive. They also look up to you, see how you perform in different situations, and follow your example to become better at what they do.

Decision making

As a leader, you will always face the challenge of making decisions. The quality of your decisions will determine the kind of results you will achieve. A leader with high EI understands their emotions and are able to make rational and more informed decisions. They also take the emotions and needs of their followers into consideration before making any decisions.


You can be a better and more effective leader with emotional intelligence. This post has explained this phrase and explained why you need EI as a leader. Visit GodKulture to learn more about effective leadership.


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