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The Power of EQ: How To Develop Your Leadership and Management Skills

What comes to mind when you hear the word EQ? It conjures an image of an emotionally intelligent person bound to succeed in their career and life.

Emotional quotient has become an increasingly vital concept in leadership and management. While communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills remain essential, individuals with high EQ are better equipped to lead and manage teams successfully. That’s why emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in the workplace.


In this article, we’ll explore the power of EQ. Keep reading to learn how to develop your management and leadership skills through emotional intelligence.


EQ in leadership and management


How Emotional Intelligence Helps Build Leadership and Management Skills

The Harvard Division of Continuing Education defines emotional intelligence as a set of skills that help us recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions and that of others. This concept consists of four key components:


  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Social awareness
  • Social skills


Emotional intelligence is crucial in building and maintaining relationships. EQ also plays a critical role in influencing others and persuading people to take action. Its importance is especially true in the world of business.

That’s why leaders or managers must harness the power of EQ to win their employees’ hearts in the workplace.


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The numbers don’t lie. Take the vital statistics on emotional intelligence below:


  • Emotional intelligence is among the top ten in-demand skills through at least the year 2025. (World Economic Forum)
  • The demand for emotional skills might grow by 26% by 2030. (McKinsey)
  • Three-fourths of managers use emotional intelligence to assess the employee’s eligibility for a salary increase and readiness for promotion. (LHH) Managers say emotional intelligence is most important when leading teams through:


  • Times of change (44%)
  • Addressing personal employee issues (37%)
  • Giving feedback or performance reviews (31%); and,
  • Spotting talent (25%).


These facts and figures show how important emotional intelligence is among leaders or managers.


Unfortunately, most businesses focus more on IQ to improve leadership and management skills. They fail to realize that EQ makes a world of difference in the workplace. Here’s how emotional intelligence helps you become a better leader or manager:


  • Better Self-awareness: Self-awareness entails understanding your emotions, including strengths and weaknesses. Leaders and managers with high levels of self-awareness can better recognize their biases, manage their feelings effectively, and make decisions that align with their goals and values.


  • Improve Communication: Emotional intelligence can improve your communication skills by allowing you to understand the emotional needs of others and convey messages that resonate with them. By developing your EQ, you can become a more effective communicator.


  • Build Relationships: Emotional intelligence helps develop your empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This vital attribute can build trust, promote collaboration, and create a positive work environment. Ultimately, EQ can help you build stronger relationships with your team members.


  • Avoid or Resolve Conflicts: Conflicts are inevitable in any workplace, but emotional intelligence can help you avoid or resolve them effectively. Through EQ, you’ll be more skilled at recognizing the needs of others, identifying the root causes of conflicts, and finding mutually beneficial solutions. 


  • Enhance Decision-making: Emotional intelligence can help you make sound business decisions. EQ allows you to consider multiple perspectives, weigh the emotional impact of your choices, and align your judgments with your values.



8 Effective Ways to Improve Your Leadership And Management Skills through EQ

Leaders and managers require various skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. However, nothing beats possessing the power of emotional intelligence.

EQ works wonders in establishing solid relationships in the workplace. 


Unfortunately, only 22% of 155,000 leaders have high emotional intelligence. But here’s the good news: While some people are naturally adept at certain aspects, others can learn, develop, and enhance their leadership and management skills. And what better way to do these than to harness the power of EQ?

Explore eight proven ways to improve your leadership and management skills through emotional intelligence below.


1. Develop self-awareness

According to the Harvard Division of Continuing Education, self-awareness is identifying “what emotions you feel and why you feel them”. It’s a critical component of emotional intelligence, which involves understanding your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. 

Developing your self-awareness means being more conscious of your strengths and weaknesses. As they impact your leadership and management style, you know how to handle situations and deal with people better. 


To develop self-awareness, take personality tests, reflect on your past experiences, and seek feedback from others. Doing so can help you understand yourself better, making you a more effective leader or manager.


2. Practice mindfulness 

For the uninitiated, mindfulness entails being present and fully engaged in the current moment. It involves being fully aware of people and their surroundings.

By practicing mindfulness, you can become more attuned to your own emotions and that of others.


This practice can help you make better decisions, communicate effectively, and establish good relationships with your team members. For instance, you can better implement a change management process that will less impact your people.

To practice mindfulness, consider setting aside time each day for meditation or deep breathing exercises. Also, be mindful of your workplace and the employees around you. Lastly, strive to be fully present in every employee interaction.


3. Employ active listening

Active listening is more than just hearing what others are saying. It’s about intently paying attention to them and trying your best to understand their perspectives.

Active listening can help build trust, improve communication, and ensure collaboration with your team members. This practice entails making eye contact, asking questions, clarifying information, and paraphrasing. They show that you are intently listening.


Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing & Media Relations at Ninja Transfers, believes in the power of active listening. “There’s a line drawn between hearing sounds and comprehending the messages conveyed.

The latter is what active listening is all about, an essential component in effective communication.”


4. Develop empathy

The best way to define empathy is to distinguish it from sympathy. Sympathy is recognizing someone else’s emotions and feeling sorry for them. Meanwhile, empathy is deeply understanding and sharing the feelings of others.

By developing empathy, you’ll be more attuned to your team members’ emotions. More importantly, you’ll better understand their situations and needs. Practicing this can help you earn their trust and confidence, which leads to better working relationships.


Amy De La Fuente, Director of Public Affairs at Bosco Legal Services, suggests practicing empathy in the workplace. “It’s all about wearing the shoes of others, as you’ll never know what they are going through.

As a leader or manager, you are responsible for promoting the overall welfare of your team members.”


5. Open lines of communication

They say that communication is crucial to success, especially in the workplace. Effective communication is critical for successful leadership and management. 

In the psychology of sales, knowing what to say and how to say it helps you win new customers. But in the workplace, fostering open lines of communication creates a more collaborative work environment. It also helps prevent potential misunderstandings and resolve existing conflicts.


To ensure open lines of communication, provide opportunities for open dialogue and discussion.

If possible, hold regular meetings. More importantly, welcome employee feedback from your team, as it helps improve your management and leadership styles. 


6. Encourage collaboration

Collaboration involves working together to achieve common goals. Encouraging such coordination can build a stronger, more productive team that can achieve better results. 

Let’s take your telemarketing team, for example. Your sales agent does their day-to-day jobs to promote products or services. They strive their best to meet their sales quota.


But nothing beats working together towards common sales goals to keep your sales team happy and productive.

To encourage collaboration, provide opportunities for team members to work together. Set common goals for everyone to hit while ensuring shared responsibility and accountability. That will make you a more effective leader or manager.


7. Foster a culture of learning

Leaders and managers should continuously strive to learn and improve. Meanwhile, foster a culture of learning among your subordinates. Offer them opportunities and let them capitalize on the benefits of mentoring programs.

Promoting a learning culture can create a more dynamic and innovative work environment.


You’ll help your team members grow and hone their skills for the long term. You’ll also develop your leadership and management skills, making you a better leader.

To foster a culture of learning, provide opportunities for training and development, and encourage experimentation and innovation. Plus, don’t forget to recognize good performance and reward success.


8. Build long-term relationships

The last on the list is building long-term relationships with team members. Doing so is critical for effective leadership and management. 

To do this, start by getting to know your team members personally. Provide opportunities for employee engagement and team-building activities. Lastly, show that you value their contributions to the team. All these steps will create a more cohesive team with good working relationships.


Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, recommends building good relationships with your team members. “This strategy isn’t a one-time endeavor; it’s a way of life in the workplace.

You need to have a conscious effort and take deliberate action to engage with your team.”


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For Leaders and Managers: Harnessing the Power of EQ

In today’s business landscape, leaders and managers should possess high levels of emotional intelligence. As such, consider the top EQ tips recommended above for developing your management and leadership skills.

Developing emotional intelligence will help you become a more effective leader or manager. You’ll also build stronger relationships with your team members. That will translate to business growth and success.


Remember, EQ is not a fixed trait. You can acquire and develop this skill set through constant self-reflection and practice. So, harness the power of EQ to improve your leadership and management skills!

About the author

Rachel Melegrito left her career as a university instructor to become a full-fledged content writer. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and a budding SEO strategist.