Kate Palmer portrait

Kate Palmer

Kate is a thought leader on HR and employment law. She is the director of HR advice and consultancy at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.

From global pandemics to national lockdowns–overall, we have collectively been through societal trials and tribulations.

More of us are quickly adapting to new socio-economical changes–and this hasn’t escaped the business realm.

When changes like these happen, having emotional intelligence is key. For the welfare and the health and safety of employees. Without a supportive network, you risk more than legal liability or duty of care.

Read all about emotional intelligence, why it’s an important tool to own, and how leaders can incorporate it into the workplace.


What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (or EI) is the ability to read emotional states within yourself or around others. People with higher emotional intelligence understand:

  • What their feelings are.
  • What caused them.
  • How they can affect those in direct contact.

Possessing emotional intelligence distinguishes a vast difference between good and great leaders. Through this, a healthy and empathetic surrounding is formed. And in return, successes and achievements grow in abundance.


Why is it important to have emotional intelligence?

Some leaders might argue against having emotional intelligence or empathy. It might seem like a waste of time, effort, and resources.

But emotional intelligence is a powerful tool, which regulates workplace conditions, beyond comprehension.
You provide a unique level of understanding, care, and support–creating stronger relations with employees. Emotional intelligence:

  • Allows staff to learn at their own pace, without worrying about making mistakes.
  • Encourages positive performance, behaviour, and conduct.
  • Helps identify issues and provides appropriate support.


How do leaders incorporate emotional intelligence?

For leaders, having emotional intelligence is applicable in both personal and professional lives. But how do you incorporate it into real working life? Here are simple checkpoints to use:

One of the most important methods for growing emotional intelligence is having empathy. It’s so important when it comes to managing teams and businesses.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes allows you to see differing viewpoints. By understanding your team on this level, you can develop skillsets whilst boosting loyalty and respect.

Leaders who empowered and self-motivated set the best example for those working with them. It’s not about constantly working overtime or on weekends to complete a job. It’s about caring for the quality and value of your output.

Aim to reach goals and aspire to improve yourself along the way. You can easily accomplish this, by understanding the value of your job. Always protect your worth; and be optimistic through high and low times.

Leaders must dedicate support and care towards subordinates. They need to be able to read rooms and spot signs of growing troubles. Being aware of external feelings and behaviours, can set the precedence for your own state.

To help manage self-awareness, keep a journal of your own thoughts and actions. You can also examine intense states of emotion. Acknowledging where stress or anger may be coming from can help you control and minimise its effects.

Regulating ourselves ensures rational and control over excessive emotional states. Leaders who practice self-regulation will rarely make emotional judgments or statements.

Shouting, mistreating, compromising–if you regulate external emotions, you gain respect and value from others.

Social skills
Another skill which personifies great levels of emotional intelligence, are social skills. These can be found through all sorts of workplace formats.

Solid communication skills, managing conflicts democratically, even providing fair feedback. These all come about from having great social skills.

You can simultaneously develop grow workplace relations, too. And in return, employees will present loyalty, respect and value for the business.


Strive for successful leadership

For leaders of all kinds–professional and personal–understanding the importance of emotional intelligence is a must.

Recognising emotional states and atmospheres allows you to form better, more interconnected relationships.

Focus on implementing different elements of emotional intelligence. With stronger bonds, leadership success and achievements will undoubtedly blossom.