5 Behaviours of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Deepa Nagarajan

Deepa Nagarajan

Long before the dawn of corporates and modern business setups, Aristotle realized the value and importance of having leaders or executives who are emotionally intelligent. He says-“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” John Mackey, the CEO and founder of Whole Foods finishes this with a perfect modern touch in his quote-“ A leader can be either very destructive or very inspiring. It all comes down to their level of emotional intelligence.

As a leader, one’s duty isn’t only to guide and show his or her teammates a better way to achieving goals and significant results. A leader bears the responsibility to deal with his teammates in an emotionally intelligent manner to bring out the best in them and encourage them further. It all boils down to a single quote by leadership guru, Simon Sinek, where he says “Book stores have an entire ‘self help’ section but not a ‘help others’ one.” A good leader helps others and motivates them to view their better aspects and simultaneously work on areas that call for improvement.

They say that learning through example has a better impact on understanding and sinks in or inspires better than theoretical points. To understand the importance and benefits of developing traits of emotional intelligence in leaders and executives, let’s briefly observe the top 5 behaviours of emotionally intelligent leaders.

1.   Self-Awareness and Awareness of others:

Every emotionally intelligent leader bears a great deal of awareness not only of his actions and responsibilities but others’ too. As a leader, it is important to understand that you are accountable for your teammates’ actions and in order to execute effective action, it is necessary to develop self-awareness and be aware of your teammates’ thoughts and concerns. By doing this, there is an environment of open communication and better understanding created, which makes it a conducive environment for sharing of ideas and having more fruitful discussions.

2.  Better Listening Skills:

Leaders who have better listening skills are generally found to have better communication and management skills as well. Good listening is the key to a lot of successful outputs in an organisation and It is an essential requirement of a successful and responsible leader. Better listening helps in better understanding, better understanding leads to better solutions and better solutions lead to a more successful and popular business. Acknowledging of efforts, ideas and progress of others is another outcome of good listening skills which helps enhance leader-teammate relationships and creates a more positive and a motivational environment

3.  Eliminating Negativity and Stressing on Endurance/ Patience:

In any leadership role, a good leader focuses on the importance of being patient, in order to gain and observe positive results from an effort. To put it in simple words, Rome was not built in a day. Many young people tend to get frustrated and expect to achieve unrealistic targets, which they create for themselves when they are in a work environment. This can result in building up of negativity and stress in a person, which can affect the quality of his or her efforts. A leader’s task therefore stands in highlighting the importance of realistic goal setting, patience, and step by step progress.

4.   Empathetic and Accommodating Behaviour:

Research has shown that empathy, while being one of the most sought after traits in leaders, is also as rare. A successful leader is observed to have a good deal of empathy in his daily interactions with others. Most people listen to respond but when it comes to empathy, listening to understand rather than respond is a far nobler trait. When a leader displays empathy and understanding behaviour towards his teammates, there is an environment of harmony, trust and successful teamwork that is created and undoubtedly results in better output .

5.  Better Interpersonal Relationship Management:

When it comes to emotionally intelligent leaders, they realise and emphasize on the importance of relationship management. With good relationship management skills, better customer service and support , and better HR systems are created and observed in a company. There is better conflict resolving and inter-team support between the teams.

To effectively conclude, having observed the top 5 behaviours of emotionally intelligent leaders, we learn that it is the responsibility of a leader to equip the most important resource and component of any business- it’s people. Our emotions are a powerful force and when employed at the right time and in the right quantity, they can propel our personal and professional growth to greater heights..