Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Posted by The Jacobson Group

In today’s complex and often tumultuous environment, high emotional intelligence is one of the hallmarks of a great leader. By being emotionally aware, leaders can better engage their teams, communicate more effectively, enhance performance and increase retention.


The term emotional intelligence has been around since the mid-80s, but became prominent in 1995 due to the work of Daniel Goleman. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, and then use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. According to Goleman, IQ is only responsible for 20% of one’s success. The other 80% is due to emotional intelligence (or EQ). However, unlike IQ, EQ can be learned and continually improved.

TJJ-blog-compass14.1teaser-01In a recent issue of Compass, Senior Vice President of Executive Search and Corporate Strategy Judy Busby discusses the four quadrants of emotional intelligence and tools for growth in each area.

  • Self-awareness enables you to understand and recognize your own emotions and triggers. By accurately identifying your feelings and why they are occurring, you are able to create a more neutral response to a situation, rather than being controlled by emotion.
  • Self-management is the ability to redirect or neutralize your emotions in a positive way. Both self-awareness and self-management skills make up your personal competence. Once you have a better understanding of yourself, you can begin to understand others in a way that builds stronger relationships.
  • TJJ-blog-compass14.1teaser-02-1Social awareness is accurately identifying others’ emotions. This is through listening and observing.
  • Relationship management is how you use this knowledge of your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, to effectively interact. By focusing on relationship management, leaders are able to tackle challenging conversations in a proactive and productive way, rather than avoiding conflict.

As you strengthen your abilities in each area, you’ll be able to collaborate and communicate more effectively, ultimately leading to better business outcomes. For more on how to incorporate emotional intelligence into your leadership strategy, view our recent issue of Compass.