How to Develop Emotional Intelligence Skills

Leadership is a crucial component of business. You should be able to manage and recognize your own emotions as well as influence others.

One of the most vital pointers of workplace success is high emotional intelligence. Research shows that 90 percent of top performers are high in emotional intelligence.

In this article, we focus on what is emotional intelligence and how to improve emotional intelligence.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognize and appreciate your own and others’ feelings, as well as how they influence actions, and also to inspire others using that information.

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In the world of business, technical skills are only so good. What truly makes a leader is emotional intelligence which is the ability to bring out the best in everyone on a team and develop high-performing employees.

To develop your leadership skills, here are five emotional intelligence skills you need.

Emotional Intelligence Skills Leaders Need

1. Self-Awareness

Leaders need self-awareness. Self-awareness is having a perfect understanding of your strengths, limitations, emotions, beliefs, and motivations. It sounds simple enough, yet 79 percent of leaders surveyed by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry reported at least one blind spot.

Leaders who are skilled at perceiving and expressing their emotions can better understand team members’ feelings and motivate employees. Those who aren’t could face difficulties.

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Research found that teams with people who lack self-awareness make worse judgements and are less effective at conflict management.

Admitting your weaknesses can help build trust and transparency with your team. You can handle your professional development by acknowledging the areas in which you need to improve.

2. Self-Control

Self-control refers to how you manage your emotions, yourself, and your impulses. If you can identify what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it, you can manage your feelings and respond appropriately.

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It’s essential to be careful when you’re reacting emotionally. If your someone who frequently overreacts or has a hard time holding back your emotions, here are some ways to improve your self-regulation:

Pausing Before Responding. Take a deep breath and pause for 20 seconds before responding to a customer. This is a simple way to feel more composed and make sure you aren’t responding emotionally.

Taking a step back. It’s good to take a step back sometimes. For example, it can be better to take a walk, drink some water, or call a friend than it is to lash out at your team or make a snap judgment.

Identifying Your Emotions. Take a moment to write down what you’re feeling and what’s causing this emotion which will help you identify trends. If you know what triggers you, the subsequent time a similar occurrence happens, you’ll be better placed to handle it in a healthy, positive way.

Give yourself time to process your emotions. Once you process them, you’ll carefully craft how you respond.

3. Empathy

Today’s leaders have an essential set of skills to master: the ability to listen and respond with empathy.

Research from the global consulting firm DDI has found that leaders who excel at listening and responding with compassion perform over 40 percent higher in coaching, planning, and decision-making.

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Take the time to keenly pay attention to your employees and understand what they want and need.

It will be easier for you to coach them through challenges and help them be more invested in what they do, thus boosting engagement, building trust, and boost morale.

4. Motivation

A leader’s ability to inspire others is a crucial element in shaping the future of the organization. The most motivated leaders are those who motivate themselves.

They set objectives, take the initiative, rise to the challenge, and stay confident during tough times.

If you stay positive, you will make your team confident. You will have a better understanding of how to empower the team.

5. Social skills

Social intelligence is the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions in oneself and others. Socially intelligent leaders can walk into a room of employees with furrowed brows and clenched fists and not only sense the tension but understand it and address it before it escalates.

The more you recognize your emotions, the easier it will be to assess other people’s. If you can consider others’ feelings, you can build and maintain relationships more easily.

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Leaders with strong social skills understand that they can’t achieve success alone.

Collaboration, communication, and a shared vision are all necessary to surpass goals and reach milestones.

How To Improve Emotional Intelligence

Whether you are a manager or employee, emotional intelligence skills are necessary. Here are tips on how to improve emotional intelligence.

1. Write it down

Ponder on the meetings, projects, and interactions you had, which can pinpoint the patterns in your behaviour and other people’s.

You may write about productivity and frustrating situations at work. The more reflective you are, the better. For example, you can become more aware of avoiding future outbursts or identifying work conditions that boost employee morale.

2. Take a look at what others think

In a 360-degree assessment, you ask for feedback from your manager, colleagues, and peers. You can find out what they think your strengths and weaknesses are, and you can discover and address your blind spots.

Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman, claims that more than 85 percent of all Fortune 500 companies use 360-degree feedback.

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This feedback helps leaders develop self-awareness, resulting in improved workplace effectiveness, less stress, and stronger relationships.

3. Take an Online Course or Training

A leadership course or training online could be the next step for businesses who want to enhance their emotional intelligence and leadership capabilities.

Today, online courses allow professionals to acquire new skills and knowledge anytime, anywhere. They can connect with a global community of like-minded peers and complete coursework on their schedule.


Building your emotional intelligence can help you become a better leader, coach, and communicator.

In turn, you can boost morale, productivity, and communication in your business, enabling you to advance your career and your organization simultaneously.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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