Exceed Excellence

Emotional Intelligence Leadership

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: Leading with EQ

emotional intelligence in leadership

In this era of rapid transitions, organisations deal with all sorts of challenges and curveballs. Think about developments in AI, the diversity of your team, or the curveball that was the pandemic.

In these times of constant uncertainty, leaders who bring strong emotional intelligence to the table are better at guiding their teams toward success, come what may.

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: Leading with EQ

What is Emotional Intelligence?

These 4 pillars collectively empower leaders to navigate the complex landscape of emotions in the workplace, fostering a positive and productive environment.

  • Self-Awareness
    Identifying and understanding your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and their impact on your work and relationships.

    In a leadership role, self-awareness means recognising not only your emotions but also acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses.

    For example, knowing that you tend to become impatient under tight deadlines allows you to proactively manage this and remain composed, setting an example for your team.

  • Self-Management
    Controlling and directing your emotions and behaviors constructively.

    As a leader, self-management involves staying in control, especially during challenging situations.

    For instance, when faced with a sudden crisis at work, self-management enables you to respond calmly and thoughtfully, inspiring confidence in your team rather than adding to the chaos.

  • Social Awareness
    Perceiving and understanding the emotions and needs of others.

    Leaders must be attuned to their team’s emotions and needs. Social awareness in the workplace means not only listening to what’s being said but also picking up on non-verbal cues.

    For example, you notice a team member who seems quiet and withdrawn during a meeting; social awareness allows you to recognise this and reach out to understand if there are concerns that need addressing.

  • Relationship Management
    Using your understanding of emotions, both your own and others, to cultivate positive connections and collaborations.

    In a leadership role, relationship management is about recognising conflicts within your team and addressing them constructively.

    For example, if there’s tension between two team members, you can mediate a conversation to resolve the issue and restore harmony.

Signs You Need Emotional Intelligence in Your Leadership Team

If you notice any of these signs within your leadership team, it’s a clear indication that investing in the development of emotional intelligence is what you need:

  1. Communication Gaps: If there are frequent breakdowns in communication, it may be a sign that emotional intelligence needs improvement within your leadership team.
  2. Low Employee Morale: Leaders with lower emotional intelligence may struggle to connect with their team members and fail to address their emotional needs, resulting in a disengaged workforce.
  3. Conflict Escalation: If conflicts within your team tend to escalate quickly and remain unresolved, it suggests a lack of emotional intelligence among leaders.
  4. Resistance to Change: Leaders with limited emotional intelligence may struggle to navigate and address this resistance effectively, leading to disruptions in the workplace.
  5. Stress and Burnout: Are leaders and team members experiencing high levels of stress and burnout? Leaders who can’t recognise and manage stress may inadvertently contribute to a stressful work environment.

Strategies for Developing Emotional Intelligence in Leaders

By implementing these strategies and creating a supportive environment, you can play a significant role in nurturing emotional intelligence among team members. 

This not only enhances individual growth but also contributes to a more emotionally intelligent and harmonious workplace.

  1. Encourage Self-Reflection: Promote the practice of self-reflection among your team. Encourage them to analyse their emotions, triggers, and how these affect their behavior and decision-making.
  2. Foster Active Listening: Stress the importance of active listening within your organisation. Create a culture where team members listen to one another attentively, fostering understanding and empathy.
  3. Promote Empathy Building: Organise empathy-building workshops or activities encouraging team members to see situations from different perspectives.
  4. Provide Training in Emotional Regulation: Offer training sessions on emotional regulation techniques. Equip your team with tools to manage emotions effectively, especially during challenging or high-pressure situations.
  5. Seek Coaching and Training: Arrange emotional intelligence coaching and training programmes tailored to each individual’s growth. 

Invest in Emotionally Excellent Leaders

Leaders who embrace emotional intelligence are investing in their leaders and shaping a workplace that thrives on understanding, collaboration, and success.

At Exceed Excellence, we understand the transformative power of emotional intelligence. That’s why we created FEEL – a comprehensive Emotional Intelligence Learning experience designed to empower leaders like yours.

Check out our other game-changing programmes to begin your leadership team’s transformation today!


Emotional intelligence can be measured using various assessment tools, such as the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI). These assessments help individuals and organisations evaluate their ability to recognise, understand, and effectively manage emotions, providing valuable insights for personal and professional growth. 

Leaders with high emotional intelligence tend to be empathetic, self-aware, self-regulating, skilled in communication, and able to build strong relationships. They can also manage conflict effectively, remain calm in stressful situations, and inspire and motivate their teams.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence tend to create a positive work culture, which can lead to lower turnover rates and increased employee retention. Emotional intelligence can also improve team collaboration, communication, and conflict resolution.

Both emotional intelligence and technical skills are important in leadership, but leaders who possess a high level of emotional intelligence are better equipped to handle difficult situations, navigate conflicts, and make tough decisions.

Emotional intelligence can be incorporated into leadership development programmes through assessments, coaching, and training. These programmes can help leaders understand their own emotional intelligence strengths and weaknesses, develop targeted development plans, and receive ongoing feedback and support.