Why Emotional Intelligence Is Indispensable For Leaders

When most people imagine intelligence, they picture a mathematician solving equations, a novelist writing great works of literature or a philosopher expounding on wise principles.

But brilliance takes many forms, not least of which is the ability to comprehend and manage emotions. Known as emotional intelligence, this trait is often overlooked, yet crucial for success as a business leader.

Here’s what having emotional intelligence provides you with:

Acute Awareness

One of the defining features of emotional intelligence is the ability to comprehend the effects of your feelings. This is crucial for making sound, objective decisions when your pride and self-esteem are at stake. All leaders must face situations where their emotions make a decision seem better than it is.

If you previously expressed support for a certain strategy, for example, your pride will be tied up with that strategy, making it harder to recognize if it isn’t working. Leaders who have emotional intelligence are more likely to realize when pride and other emotions are influencing their thinking, allowing them to make more rational, impartial choices.

Impact Interpretation

In addition to reigning in your own feelings, emotional intelligence makes it easier to anticipate and respond to others’ sentiments. As much as we may want for it to be objective, business is an emotional experience.

Bad news from work can shock or dismay your employees, while good news may make them unreasonably optimistic. Emotional intelligence means you can tell ahead of time how others will react and develop a strategy to keep them grounded.

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