Emotional Intelligence for Leadership

Emotional Intelligence for Leadership

In “What Happy Companies Know,” Dan Baker defines Emotional Intelligence as “the active management of your thoughts and feelings to bring out the best of your own abilities and to create positive interactions with other people.”

Simply put, when you have the ability to relate positively to others it changes EVERYTHING. Personal relationships are improved. You stay resilient and agile while navigating change. Your team will make more money because you know how to handle conflict productively and work with others cohesively.

Here’s how to make this a reality for YOU using the five components of Daniel Goleman’s Theory on Emotional Intelligence:


Self-awareness is the ability to speak accurately and openly about our emotions and the impact they make on the world. People with this quality are comfortable talking about their strengths and weaknesses and love constructive feedback. A person who sees themselves truthfully and continues to strive for growth is a powerful one.

I always encourage my clients to schedule time daily to check in with themselves and where they want to be. Journaling. Meditate. Ask others for feedback. Utilize personality assessments like the DiSC Assessment.  Through these activities, you’ll gain a clearer sense of your strengths, weaknesses, and passions – empowering you to craft a professional life that plays to your strengths and regularly lights you up.


Human beings are a species made of impulses and charged emotions – the only thing that keeps us from being held captive by them is our amazing self-regulation. When you can control your response to your feelings, you can create fair environments, roll with any change, and even lead the way.

One of the most immediate ways you can practice this skill is by giving yourself space to examine your initial reactions the next time you’re in an emotionally charged moment. You can then use that reflection to craft a solution-focused response that takes all parties into consideration – instead of mindlessly reacting.

I also encourage my clients to determine their values and practice mindfulness. (Here’s a great resource for this!) Knowing your instinctual cognitive and physical reactions will help you better predict and subvert them.


Motivation is that internal drive to achieve beyond expectations – without the promise of external reward. It may be fueled by passion, curiosity, or values. Your motivation has the potential to empower others and allow you to achieve things you never thought possible.

Find what makes you tick. Identify the work that lights you up – then, go out and do that. If you don’t currently have that freedom within your company, collaborate with your superiors to learn how you can do more of that work in your current role.

Social Skills

Social skill is not just the ability to be friendly with others – it’s the ability to be friendly with a purpose. Socially skilled people are great at managing teams, are incredible persuaders, and are some of the most effective cheerleaders you could ask for!

To up your social skill, practice networking. Identify talented people you admire in your life and start building those connections. You never know when you could help each other out in the future!


Empathy – the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and treat people according to their emotional reactions – is one of the most important skills a leader can have at this time. Between the pandemic, an overseas war, and two years of social isolation, we’re all more than a little anxious and worn down. Empathy is having the compassion to take that into consideration when navigating our personal interactions and keep a cool head in the chaos.

One of the best ways to practice empathy is by truly, actively listening to those around you, considering their perspective, then using your discernment to take action on what you hear.  After all, people that feel heard are more open to hearing you out, in turn.

Want to start using emotional intelligence to level up your leadership, but need more personalized guidance and/or accountability? Let’s chat!