The Importance of Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

by Swati Karanjai in Articles

DatePosted on April 04, 2023 at 11:50 AM
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“We are all emotional beings just by virtue of being human, and we can’t separate from that at work “

– Mark Craemer, author of the book, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence or "EI" is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. Going forward, it will be quite evident that a leader who is calm and composed, is deemed to usually succeed.

According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

The importance of Emotional Intelligence

It is commonly known that leaders are the ones who set the tone of their organization. Lack of emotional intelligence quotient can lead to far reaching consequences like resulting in lower employee engagement and a higher turnover rate. Effective communication with the team is indeed a vital part of a leader’s responsibility. While one might excel at their job technically, if they are unable to effectively communicate with the team or collaborate with others, those technical skills are bound to get overlooked. By mastering emotional intelligence, a leader can effectively continue to advance his/her career and organization.

Empathy Is the Most Important Leadership Skill According to Research

Global leadership development firm DDI ranks empathy as the number one leadership skill, reporting that leaders who master empathy perform more than 40 percent higher in coaching, engaging others, and decision-making. In a separate study by the Center for Creative Leadership (pdf), researchers found that managers who show more empathy toward their direct reports are viewed as better performers by their boss.

It is correctly believed that by communicating with empathy, a leader can better support his/her team, all while improving individual performances.

Amy Bradley, a member of Faculty at Hult International Business School and whose research work has been published in academic and practitioner publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes Magazine and Management Today and in the press, including BBC online and The Guardian, rightly says:

Workers with high levels of emotional self-awareness and self-regulation are better able to look after their own wellbeing

How can SALT Help?

The team at Star Anise Leadership & Training (SALT) can help new/existing leaders to acquire new skills to develop their EI quotient and help them to implement these into their day-to-day work and to enhance their personal and career development.

What SALT can do:

  • Connect you with experts in EI leadership and training
  • Organise online (webinars) or face to face, either one on one or group sessions as per your convenience and requirements
  • Work closely with experts in this area to design a training plan to fit the needs of your new and existing leaders to help them develop their EI skills
  • Arrange training and workshops related to areas such as effective communication, presentation, executive presence, collaboration and influencing skills for emerging/existing leaders and more 

For more information, you can contact us



About the Author

Swati Karanjai

Swati is a senior research consultant in the Star Anise Group, covering market research in our in-house legal recruitment team at Star Anise Legal and research in our training and development company, Star Anise Leadership & Training (SALT).

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