The experts agree – emotional intelligence is the foundation of successful leadership

While an effective leader has traditionally been characterised as a dominant competitor, someone with an assertive, stern or hard exterior in their authority, a strong body of the latest research suggests otherwise. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognise, manage and respond to the emotions of ourselves and others – and EQ is now recognised as a crucial leadership quality by experts in the field. So, why is EQ so important in the modern workplace? And how can you foster EQ in your leaders?

Leaders EQ reduces staff stress and improves motivation

Being more emotionally literate helps leaders to not only understand their strengths and weaknesses, but to also recognise how their emotions as a leader affect the workplace. Research shows that working with managers who are self-aware decreases stress and increases staff members motivation [1]. EQ can also drive a culture of self awareness amongst employees, which has flow on effects and fosters a more effective working environment [2].

High EQ leaders understand staff intentions to make informed decisions

A major task of any leader is to make decisions that both benefit the business, but also accommodate the needs of their employees. Those with a higher EQ are better able to recognise the emotional requisites of both their collective team and the individual members, enabling a more nuanced decision making process. Moreover, a higher EQ and greater self-awareness prevents “incidental anxiety” which can sometimes result from decision making, allowing leaders more space to engage in objective outcomes [3].

High EQ leaders motivate staff through emotional engagement

The modern workplace, and the introduction of hybrid and work-from-home, depends on a high degree of autonomy and flexibility. As such, the motivation of employees is key. High EQ leaders have been shown to form much stronger motivational links with their teams. They do this by showing true emotional understanding of their staff which creates a closer allegiance motivating staff to perform as part of the team.

Harness EQ – Reconnecting with one’s own emotional state and purpose has flow on effects for successful leadership

It is common for C-Suite leaders of today to have the desire and ability to operate from a position of high EQ, but often something along the way has relegated their emotional intelligence. This can often be attributed to the high pressures and stress of balancing many tasks over the years. Purposeful EQ training or Executive Coaching can help reignite EQ among leaders. This is achieved through reconnecting individuals to their values, vision and purpose to support strong leadership development and form impactful leadership models – with the positive reverberations felt across the organisation. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help mould your leaders to be their very best.


[1] Landry, L. (2019). Why Emotional Intelligence is Important in Leadership, Harvard Business School Online.

[2] Forbes, (2020). 14 Leaders Share Their Insights On The Importance Of EQ.

[3] Ideas for Leaders. (2020). Decision-Making with emotional Intelligence.

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