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Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

Leadership discussions now frequently include the concept of emotional intelligence. It is a leadership quality that can be assessed and improved and has vast consequences for successful leadership. Navigating the contemporary concept of leadership requires a thorough understanding of emotional intelligence and how it affects leadership. Emotional intelligence is fundamentally the capacity to understand, control, and successfully use one’s emotions to react to various events in the best possible way. Additionally, it calls for sensitivity to other people’s feelings and awareness of them. Individuals at all organizational levels should be emotionally intelligent, but leaders should pay particular attention. Emotional intelligence has a significant impact on a leader’s connections, teamwork, and overall effectiveness. Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for successful leadership. For instance, we can contemplate the difference between a leader who loses emotional control under pressure and yells at their team and one who keeps it together, calmly analyses the issue, and controls their own and others’ emotions. The latter is more likely to succeed in advancing the company. This essay will examine the connection between emotional intelligence and leadership, focusing on how it affects a leader’s effectiveness and capacity to deal with leadership issues. The paper will shed light on the critical role emotional intelligence plays in creating successful leaders and organizations by comprehending the elements of emotional intelligence and their significance in leadership.

By helping leaders to manage people’s needs, inspire workers, and foster a healthy work environment, emotional intelligence is believed to support effective leadership. An essential component of effective leadership skills, according to an earlier study (Palmer et al., 2015), is being able to manage emotions well. Studies have shown that effective leadership is significantly influenced by emotional intelligence. Approximately 90% of leadership performance, according to Fatt (2012), can be ascribed to emotional intelligence. Since they are socially skilled, leaders with higher emotional intelligence are thought to be more effective. A study by Nabih et al. (2016) revealed that selected components of transformational leadership, including inspirational motivation and individualized consideration, were significantly correlated with the ability to monitor and manage emotions in oneself and others. Leaders who demonstrated inspirational motivation and individualized consideration reported higher levels of emotional intelligence in terms of monitoring and managing emotions. This suggests that emotional intelligence is a crucial underlying competency for leaders who inspire and motivate their subordinates and consider their needs. The study found a significant and moderate correlation between the charismatic component of transformational leadership and the ability to monitor emotions in oneself and others. This indicates that leaders who possess charisma and inspire motivation in their subordinates are more likely to demonstrate emotional intelligence in monitoring emotions. Additionally, the results suggest that inspirational motivation relies on the ability to manage emotions effectively.

Leadership has been described as an emotional process where leaders recognize and manage the emotional states of their followers. Leaders who can influence the emotional climate are more likely to enhance performance and effectiveness (Humphrey, 2015). In business, emotional intelligence has been ranked as more important than other traditional leadership attributes, such as financial acumen and market orientation (Deshpande et al., 2016). Emotional intelligence contributes to effective teamwork, stress management, and leadership (Rosete & Ciarrochi, 2017). A qualitative analysis conducted by Neupane (2021) provides further insights into the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership across various industries. The study revealed that emotional intelligence is crucial for self-awareness, decision-making, enhanced empathy, effective communication, and conflict management. Cultivating emotional intelligence skills among leaders enhances their ability to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of team members, resulting in improved leadership outcomes.

Greater leadership effectiveness has been linked to higher emotional intelligence scores (Kerr et al., 2014). High emotional intelligence leaders are better equipped to keep track of their team members’ emotional states and respond appropriately. Self-awareness, an understanding of one’s and others’ emotions, and the capacity to effectively inspire, challenge, and connect with others are common characteristics of good leaders (Morehouse, 2017). According to Riggio & Reichard (2018), emotional regulation is a crucial aspect of emotional intelligence and effective leadership. It entails controlling both the expression and feeling of emotions. Change leadership requires effective management of emotions, and emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in driving successful organizational change. Issah (2018) highlights the significance of emotional intelligence in change leadership, emphasizing the ability of emotionally intelligent leaders to recognize and control their own emotions and those of team members. By leveraging emotional intelligence, leaders can effectively communicate the need for change, foster open communication, inspire team members, and navigate resistance. Developing emotional intelligence skills among leaders enhances their capacity for successful organizational transformation.

Emotional intelligence has also been linked to leadership performance and improvement. Leaders with strengths in multiple emotional intelligence competencies are believed to be more effective and achieve higher performance outcomes (Schumacher et al., 2019). Effective leaders possess various forms of intelligence, including emotional skills, which enable them to respond successfully to different situations (Stein et al., 2009). Transformational leadership, characterized by inspiration, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation, is positively correlated with emotional intelligence. Palmer et al. (2015) conducted a study that revealed significant correlations between emotional intelligence and specific components of transformational leadership. Leaders who possess high emotional intelligence are more likely to exhibit the ability to monitor and manage emotions in themselves and others. This suggests that emotional intelligence is an underlying competency of effective transformational leadership.

In Stein et al. (2009), Goleman (1989) stressed the significance of emotional intelligence and said that effective leaders have high emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, intellect, dominance, self-efficacy, self-monitoring, emotional stability, and extraversion are individual leadership traits that affect leadership effectiveness. Intellectual stimulation requires creative thinking and flexible planning, which have been associated with emotional intelligence in previous research. Further exploration is needed to understand the specific aspects of emotional intelligence related to intellectual stimulation.

According to Rogelberg et al. (2013), good emotional controllers make better leaders who can better serve the requirements of their followers. Since leadership depends on these qualities, it is crucial to cultivate self-awareness and emotions. Additionally, the ability to monitor and manage emotions was significantly related to the individualized consideration component of transformational leadership (Nabih et al., 2016). Individual consideration involves paying particular attention to the achievement and developmental needs of subordinates. Leaders who possess emotional intelligence are more likely to sense when subordinates need adjustments in task difficulty or feedback. Monitoring and managing emotions play a crucial role in identifying and addressing the emotional needs of subordinates, contributing to effective leadership.


Numerous studies have confirmed the influence of emotional intelligence on effective leadership. Leaders with higher emotional intelligence are perceived as more socially skilled, inspiring, and capable of managing emotions. Research has demonstrated correlations between emotional intelligence and critical aspects of transformational leadership, such as inspirational motivation and individualized consideration. Leaders who possess emotional intelligence excel in inspiring and motivating their subordinates while considering their individual needs. Furthermore, emotional intelligence has been recognized as a vital factor in shaping the emotional climate within a team or organization. Leaders who can influence the emotional atmosphere are more likely to enhance performance and effectiveness. Emotional intelligence surpasses traditional leadership attributes such as financial acumen and market orientation in its importance within the business context. It contributes to effective teamwork, stress management, communication, and conflict resolution. Cultivating emotional intelligence skills among leaders empowers them to understand and manage their own emotions, as well as those of their team members, resulting in improved leadership outcomes.


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