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« 2. Emotionally intelligent leaders: 6 behaviours »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".

Every organisation, business, team, group or office needs people who role model and lead with emotional intelligence. But how would you know if you were an emotionally intelligent leader?

We hear a lot about bullying, socio-paths and nasty leaders, but less seems to be said or written about the emotionally intelligent ones. 

What are the characteristics of an emotionally intelligent leader?

This is the first in a two part series on the characteristics of emotionally intelligent leaders. This first article gives you six characteristics of an emotionally intelligent leader. The second article describes a further six characteristics.

Which of these features do you display? Are you the kind of leader who others want to follow? Do you role model emotionally intelligent behaviours for everyone else to see and be inspired by?

Here are six behaviours for you to assess yourself on.

1. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Have high self-awareness

They have self-awareness of their own emotions. In addition, they acknowledge and understand how important their own emotions are. This means that: 

  • When they walk into a stakeholder meeting they know how they feel.
  • When there are disagreements in Executive they know how they feel.
  • When they are facing the media they know how they feel.
  • When a general manager resigns they know how they feel.
  • When they have to lay off staff they know how they feel.

In other words they don't walk into difficult situations without understanding how they feel and how these feelings may influence their behaviour. 

Want to improve your skills as an emotionally intelligent leader? Then book into our smart leadership coaching package.

2. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Are impact aware

They know the emotional impact they are having on others and the impact they leave behind after meeting people.

Even further, they care about the emotional impact they have on people.

Some leaders, in my experience, simply do not know how they are perceived in the workplace and what impression they have left after talking to staff. This is not emotionally intelligent leadership.

3. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Ditch defensiveness

Emotionally intelligent leaders have the ability to listen to other people without getting defensive and without putting people down, trivialising their emotions, or belittling them.

It's not that they are just calm and tranquil, but that they know how to respond constructively when things aren't calm and tranquil. And more.

4. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Manage others' emotions well

Emotionally intelligent leaders manage the emotions of others. They don’t just tiptoe around someone who has gone into silent withdrawal or complain when the team is tense, they can help to shift others’ unhelpful emotions into productive ones.

They can foster positive emotions in the workplace so that people enjoy working with them, and thus can attract good staff easily.

Want to improve your skills as an emotionally intelligent leader? Then book into our smart leadership coaching package.

5. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Personally give praise

Emotionally intelligent leaders give balanced feedback. They can leave employees feeling valued, appreciated and rewarded, and thus foster employee engagement, staff retention and elevated levels of productivity.

We are not talking about feel-good emotions here, we are talking about bottom line impact.

6. Emotionally intelligent leaders: Develop organisational EI

When leaders display high levels of emotional intelligence and EQ they promote and role model emotional intelligence in the workplace.

They thus increase the chance of others in the organisation or team being emotionally intelligent too.

As part of this they may develop some kind of emotional management policy that stipulates what is expected emotionally within the organisation, business or team. For example:

  • "If there is anger, this is how we resolve it ... ",
  • "If people feel dejected - this is what we do ... ", or
  • "This is how we foster positive emotions and wellbeing ... ", and so on.

Many of the negative, destructive unwritten rules in an organisation, business or team would be brought out into the open and made more constructive and productive.

Featured Video

Learn more by watching our video on "Emotional intelligence and leadership".

Be a high EI leader and develop your emotional intelligence now.

Want to improve your skills as an emotionally intelligent leader? Then book into our smart leadership coaching package.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

Develop your emotional intelligence now.