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The importance of emotional intelligence in leadership

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North East chapter.

Leadership is a complex concept that requires various skills, including technical, interpersonal, and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is a crucial component of effective leadership. It involves the ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions and those of others to build stronger relationships, foster collaboration, and inspire others towards common goals.

Leaders with high emotional intelligence are better equipped to handle challenges and navigate through difficult situations. They have the ability to remain calm and collected under pressure and can make rational decisions that take into account the emotions of their team members. Leaders who lack emotional intelligence, on the other hand, may react impulsively, leading to conflict and miscommunication.

One of the key benefits of emotional intelligence in leadership is the ability to connect with team members on a personal level. When leaders understand the emotions of their team members, they can build trust and empathy, creating a positive work environment. This, in turn, can lead to higher levels of engagement and motivation, resulting in improved productivity and job satisfaction.

Another advantage of emotional intelligence in leadership is the ability to manage conflict effectively. Leaders who are skilled in emotional intelligence can identify and address conflicts in a way that is respectful and constructive. They can also resolve conflicts in a way that ensures everyone’s needs are met, creating a win-win situation.

In addition to managing conflict, emotional intelligence can also be used to build strong teams. Leaders who are skilled in emotional intelligence can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and assign tasks accordingly. They can also provide constructive feedback that motivates team members to improve their performance.

Emotional intelligence can also help leaders to be more adaptable and resilient in the face of change. Change can be stressful and challenging for team members, and leaders who are skilled in emotional intelligence can help to ease this transition. They can anticipate potential challenges and communicate effectively to keep team members informed and engaged.

In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of effective leadership. Leaders who are skilled in emotional intelligence can build stronger relationships with team members, manage conflict effectively, build strong teams, and be more adaptable in the face of change. By developing emotional intelligence, leaders can create a positive work environment that fosters collaboration, motivation, and productivity.

Leena Joshi

Delhi North East '24

Leena Joshi is a social entrepreneur, climate advocate and author. She is the founder and executive director of Ethereal, a youth-led climate nonprofit, with 9000 volunteers in 60+ countries. She has sat on boards and advisory councils for various organizations. She has been a member at Harvard Business Review Ascend Select and has provided insights to editorial, marketing and product teams of HBR and has contributed to research projects by HBR. Leena's work has been featured by World Bank Group, United Nations Climate Change, United Nations Foundation, Climate Reality Project, Her Campus Media, Feminist and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. She was previously a Member at Global Leadership Challenge at Oxford University. She has been an Ambassador for organizations including World Bank Group, Greenpeace USA, 4ocean and Plastic Pollution Coalition. Leena is a prolific public speaker who has spoken at universities across the world including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. She has authored books including 'The Climate Awakening' and 'Ethereal' and writes poetry about social impact.