Emotionally Effective Leadership: What You Need To Know

Posted in Emotional Intelligence, Insights, Motivational, News

Emotionally effective leadership undeniably makes a difference to your organization's bottom line. Many leaders are unaware of how vital emotional intelligence is to their success, including how it positively impacts relationships with their team members.

Mastering Emotions for Leadership Excellence by Honing Emotional Effectiveness

“The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way…they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.” – Goleman, Harvard Business Review

Marshall Connects blog, Emotionally Effective Leadership: What You Need To Know

Do You Walk The Talk?

Being a positive role model and leading by example is crucial to leadership. Leading with emotional intelligence (EI) differentiates leaders through their ability to connect emotionally and sets them apart in the world of leadership. Those who lead with emotional intelligence tend to create healthier, more productive work environments, foster stronger relationships with their team members, and ultimately achieve better results.

My Experience With Emotionally Effective Leadership Is Extensive.

I have worked under numerous leaders, some much more effective than others. Regardless of their ability to lead, I learned from each of them. The leaders who influenced me the most were the ones with high emotional intelligence. Many left me in awe as they showed their ability to self-regulate and read the room during challenging times. I watched them grow as they navigated their role. The powerful thing about EI is that it's something we can learn and improve upon, resulting in well-balanced individuals who recognize, understand, and manage their emotions and those of others. If you'd like answers to the four most frequently asked questions about emotional intelligence, look at this post.

Training leaders on the revolutionary benefits of elevating EI and the direct effect on their team relationships and professional careers is encouraging. Watching leaders increase their emotional awareness and hit their goals as they grow their EI and strengthen their leadership skills is inspiring. Emotionally effective leadership has a profoundly positive ripple effect throughout an organization.

What Qualities Do Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Have?

Leaders with advanced emotional intelligence are socially aware and consistently demonstrate empathy and compassion authentically.

EI is known as "the other kind of smart." It's also the number one predictor of personal AND professional success. Can you think of someone who is academically book smart but lacks social skills? These individuals must increase their emotional intelligence to build relationships and lead dynamic teams to success.

By acknowledging team members' feelings and addressing challenges by showing they genuinely care, emotionally intelligent leaders employ specific emotional and social skills that positively impact relationships.

Basically, by leading with compassion, you can relate and interact authentically. At the same time, every leadership style has pros and cons. One of the most significant advantages of leading with compassion is authenticity. Moreover, leaders who practice frequent self-reflection and make necessary changes possess skills essential to effective leadership.

However, there are many misconceptions about this leadership style. It's not just about being nice or kind to people.

In truth, compassionate leadership is about being aware of how we relate and interact with others. It's about genuinely reflecting upon our conduct and making changes as needed.

How Does Leading With Emotional Intelligence Differentiate Leaders?

Leading with emotional intelligence differentiates leaders by emphasizing the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions in themselves and others. It involves empathy, self-awareness, and effective communication. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can build stronger relationships, resolve conflicts, inspire trust, and create a positive work environment. They excel in adaptability, decision-making, and motivating their teams, leading to better organizational performance and employee satisfaction. In contrast, leaders lacking emotional intelligence may struggle with team dynamics, communication breakdowns, and morale issues affecting overall success.

Leaders with high EI: 

  • communicate more effectively because they are attuned to their own emotions and those of others. They can tailor their communication style to suit the emotional needs of their team, leading to better understanding and cooperation.
  • empathize with their team members, understanding their perspectives, concerns, and emotions. This skill helps build trust and rapport, as employees feel valued and heard.
  • are better equipped to handle conflicts. They can remain calm under pressure, manage their emotions, and facilitate constructive conversations to resolve issues within the team.
  • know their strengths and weaknesses and can regulate their emotions effectively. This self-control allows them to make more rational decisions and set a positive example for their team.
  • often have a strong intrinsic motivation. They can inspire and motivate their team members by connecting with their values and aspirations, fostering a more engaged workforce.
  • are adaptable and open to change. They can navigate uncertain and rapidly changing environments with resilience, helping their teams adjust to new challenges.
  • excel at building cohesive teams. They can recognize and leverage their team's diverse skills and personalities to create a harmonious, high-performing group.
  • often prevent conflicts from escalating. By being attuned to emotional cues. They can identify potential issues and address them proactively.

How Can You Build A Team Of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders?

“Emotional Intelligence assessments are an inexpensive, simple and very effective way to impact leadership development. Sixty percent of those who use Emotional Intelligence assessments say they are effective or very effective. Equally efficient methods of development include executive coaching, job rotations, and global assignments”.- Human Capital Institute

So, would you like to build an emotionally intelligent team? Or develop an emotionally effective leader?

I've outlined three simple steps to ensure leaders enhance their emotional intelligence. These steps will ultimately result in emotionally effective leadership and an emotionally intelligent team:

  1. Provide leaders with an EQ-i 2.0  Leadership Self-Assessment
  2. Use that assessment as a developmental tool to leverage areas of development
  3. Provide them with professional development opportunities, like attending a EI Effectiveness Leadership Academy workshop (all one-day workshops include a EQ-i 2.0: Leadership Self-Assessment).

Would you like to read four interesting statistics about emotional intelligence? Have a look at this post.

Also, I recommend that potential new hires take a leadership assessment to confirm their skill set meets your organization's needs.

Undoubtedly, an emotionally effective leader skillfully guides their team to success. Their ability to connect on an emotional level sets them apart from average leaders and builds and maintains lasting relationships. Here is a tool to assist individuals in increasing their EI: my newest book, The Power of Emotion.

Enjoyed this article? Check out these:
Compassionate Leadership: How to Learn and Grow as an Empathetic Leader
Building a Culture of Appreciation: Impactful Ways to Recognize Employees
Conflict Resolution 101: Essential Strategies for Leaders in the Workplace

This article was originally published on October 12, 2018, and has been updated (September 2023).

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