Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Development

Emotional Intelligence is a set of abilities that help us perceive and understand the way we feel, and the way others feel- a set of abilities to do with how effectively we regulate and manage emotions. These abilities help us pick up on the way we are feeling and modify our decisions and behavior and performance at work so that we are thinking our best, behaving our best, and performing our best at work.” -Dr. Ben Palmer

The way we feel influences first the way we think and the decisions that we make, both productively and unproductively. Second, emotions influence the way we behave. Because of this, they are fundamental to how we interact, collaborate, communicate, and work in a team in the workplace.  Finally, the way we feel influences the way we perform.

While emotional skills may come naturally to some people, there are things that anyone can do to help improve their ability to understand and reason with emotions. This can be particularly helpful in the workplace, where relationships and business decisions often rely on interpersonal understanding, teamwork, and communication.

It’s no surprise that success in a career is a lot about dealing with other people. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “75 percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust.”

Emotional intelligence helps you understand and manage yourself. The more you understand yourself, the more differences you recognize in others. This helps you understand others and meet them where they are. How are your “people” Emotional Intelligent skills; are they holding you back, or helping you move forward?

Research confirms that leaders with high EI are better able to deal with stressful situations, overcome conflict, and motivate and inspire others to work towards team goals.

Emotional Intelligence is responsible for more than 85% of star performance in top leaders. While more than twenty years of research prompted the Harvard Business Review to report that Emotional Intelligence accounts for nearly 90% of what moves people up the ladder.

But Emotional Intelligence is not something just for CEOs and senior managers. It’s a quality that is important at every level of a person’s career. If you want to succeed in the workplace and move up the career ladder, emotional intelligence is critical to your success.

Hillary Elfenbein, an assistant professor at Berkley, conducted a study between Emotional Intelligence and team performance and found that teams with greater average Emotional Intelligence had higher team functioning than groups with lower Emotional Intelligence.

When leaders tune into their emotional intelligence to manage and develop their employees, they can better engage employees because they are demonstrating they care about the employees as people and not just workers. In turn, the employees are more likely to support their coworkers, use their creativity at work, and advocate for their employer. Vanessa Druskat, internationally recognized expert on team effectiveness, team leadership, and emotional intelligence at the University of New Hampshire, has done extensive research that shows the more collective emotional intelligence a team has, the better its business performance.

Above all, engagement comes down to human connection, which is where EI really matters. When we do good work with people we trust, and when we align our work with our sense of meaning and passion as a team, performance soars.


If you exercise high EI in the workplace, not only will it aid in company success, but it also creates a better work environment, and the employees stay happy.