Your emotional intelligence may be something you use unknowingly on a regular basis at work; picking up on other’s emotions and responding with empathy are two examples of using this skill set.

Your team members trustingly share their emotions with you, while you listen without judgment: this is the essence of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). At DDI we suggest some steps for increasing leadership EQ.


Self-awareness is one of the core competencies in emotional intelligence. It allows you to recognize and comprehend both your own and others’ emotions. Self-awareness helps identify strengths and weaknesses; exploiting those you excel in while compensating for weaknesses. For instance, if you excel at understanding big picture decisions but struggle with more in-depth details when making important decisions. Recruit people who specialize in that area to ensure all bases are covered when making important decisions.

Self-awareness involves more than being aware of others’ emotions; it requires being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine their feelings in any given situation. This enables you to empathize with others, which leads to inspiring and motivating them in turn. Empathy is key component of effective leadership; leaders who can empathize with their employees will be better at connecting on an intimate level as well as offering guidance and assistance.


Self-motivated leaders possess a powerful drive to meet personal and professional goals and take on new challenges with enthusiasm. Their positive outlook enables them to see obstacles as opportunities rather than hindrances, inspiring their teams with hard work.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence utilize their social awareness and regulation skills to cultivate relationships, motivate employees, create a supportive work culture that fosters productivity, effectively respond to workplace challenges, and resolve conflicts more quickly and successfully.

For optimal recruiting of candidates with high emotional intelligence, try employing behavioral interview questions and asking references for examples of self-motivated leadership. Look out for signs that the individual exhibited this trait during previous positions; such as how they handled difficult situations or conversations. Contact former employees who worked alongside this candidate to understand more of their experience and whether or not they remained motivated at work.


Strengthening interpersonal skills like listening and empathy enables leaders to gain a better understanding of their team members, effectively communicate with others, manage conflict resolution and ultimately build trust while creating an unrivalled culture.

Emotionally intelligent people possess an intense personal drive to overcome obstacles and constantly improve themselves, which often inspires others around them and motivates them to strive towards success. EI people can influence others by their dedication, inspiring team members to do the same.

Emotionally intelligent leadership allows managers to connect more personally with employees on an emotional level, such as when taking out the team for an enjoyable activity or acknowledging employee contributions. Furthermore, this form of leadership shows they care by offering employees opportunities to learn new skills or expand their potential – something difficult in companies that do not invest enough in training their managers; but SNHU online degrees offer tools and guidance necessary for transformational leadership.


Emotionally intelligent leaders excel at communicating with others. They listen sympathetically, then provide objective interpretation of what they hear, according to Pausic. Furthermore, such leaders understand how to set appropriate boundaries with colleagues – for instance if an employee becomes angry over being reprimanded from their boss, an EI leader would listen empathetically before providing an explanation as to why such anger might exist – it might have something to do with speeding tickets or an argument between partners, for instance.

Training and practice are effective ways of developing emotional intelligence (EI). Psychologist Daniel Goleman and other researchers have suggested that EI is more crucial for job performance than IQ.

Research has demonstrated that different models of EI correlate differently with job performance. One model, known as trait EI, focuses on self-reports of behavioral dispositions and perceived abilities while another model, ability EI, attempts to assess actual abilities which have proven resistant to scientific measurement.

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