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How to be an emotionally intelligent leader: 7 key ideas

How to be an emotionally intelligent leader: 7 key ideas

June 24, 2024

Leading is more than creating the right conditions for team members to work hard. The logic of controlling workers to meet the minimum has been totally obsolete for a simple reason; focuses on individual work, rather than on the main thing in these cases: the relational processes of a group of people.

That is why emotional leadership is something relevant . Instead of being based only on the fulfillment of tasks according to objective criteria, emotionally intelligent leaders work so that the teams function as a unit in which everyone understands the meaning of what one does and others do. In the end, putting us to work in an organization does not stop us from being human, and that matters.


In this article we will see a series of key ideas that enhance the emotional leadership applied to companies, sports or any other field in which teamwork is required

  • Related article: "What is Emotional Intelligence?"

Keys to being an emotionally intelligent leader

It is increasingly clear that in the world of organizations, those who lead the best they always take into account the emotional aspect of themselves and of others . Fortunately the days in which to make a leader seemed to be synonymous with sending and enforcing the rules have been left behind.

For good and for bad, guiding teams towards goals is no longer reaching written goals, but taking into account the objectives and real needs of individuals and groups (or organizational departments).


On the other hand, it is also evident that emotional leadership is not applied following the theoretical instructions of a book or manual, but that getting it right requires practice and shooting. However, the fundamentals of this type of leadership can be summarized in simple ideas so that from them we have some notions about what to do. These basic foundations are, in broad strokes, the following.

1. Prioritize assertiveness

There are people who pretend to lead by letting, in general, the people in their charge detect and solve their own problems in terms of productivity and work dynamics. Although this does not sound crazy, if you only work with certain highly specialized and highly trained professional profiles, it is usually an error. Not everyone has such a proactive attitude by default , and less at the time of giving bad news.


For that reason it is necessary to have clear that in the majority of the occasions they are the leaders who must bring up any problem that they detect, although that can generate some uncomfortable moments until a solution is found. Avoiding these moments when talking to a team or a worker about things to improve will only cause problems to accumulate.

2. Avoid inconsistencies in communication

In organizations, the communication establishes how all the people and the teams that comprise them should be coordinated. Therefore, it is crucial that there is no inconsistency or contradiction in what is said, which requires putting yourself in the place of others and interpreting what is communicated by putting ourselves in their place.

An error in this aspect can cause dozens of people to work in what they should not or in a way that they should not, which generates a tremendous damage to the whole. We must also take into account the mouth-to-ear communication and that, before two versions of the same fact, people tend to stay with the one that entails more positive consequences for them .

  • Maybe you're interested: "Types of Leadership: The 5 most common leader classes"

3. Knowing how to limit the informal communication

Emotionally intelligent leaders distinguish themselves by connecting with their dependents, taking into account their needs, beliefs and motivations, but that does not mean that they should pretend to be the friends of the whole world. In fact pretending that only generates discomfort: overreaching can be seen as an abuse of power.

4. Know how to eliminate unnecessary protocols

An organization can not be an accumulation of initiatives that look good on paper but do not make sense to anyone or provide any practical advantage. For that reason, it is good to attend to those weekly joint routines that according to the point of view of the members of the team do not make sense for, knowing this, decide whether to better explain its usefulness, readjust its format or directly eliminate them .

5. Transmit the values ​​of the organization

Any organization is governed by a set of values, even if there is no manual document of Public Relations created expressly to establish what they are. Therefore, we must try that these values ​​are transmitted through all communication channels , both through joint actions and through the image and the aesthetic component that define the team or organization.

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 10 types of values: principles that govern our lives"

6. Do not obsess about mistakes

Errors can not be a taboo for the leader or the people he supervises and energizes. Otherwise, a culture of idealization and the hiding of imperfections will be promoted that will damage the progress of the teams as time goes by.

Also, promote the communication of problems and errors makes it possible to create useful diagnostics that they avoid that the chain of events that have led to that mistake does not continue to negatively affect the group.

7. Get used to learning constantly

Through emotional leadership we work with people, but also with theoretical and practical contents of all kinds that must be learned as the organization or team burns stages of its development. That's why emotionally intelligent leaders they must maintain an extremely flexible attitude when it comes to learning . Of course, always taking into account the feasibility of learning certain things and the opportunity costs involved in training in any competition.

How to train in this field?

As we have seen, emotional leadership is much more than following a series of perfectly specified steps to day by day and expecting them to pay off without further ado. It is oneself who must promote positive changes in a team, guided by the appropriate knowledge.

That is why it is important to gain quality theoretical and practical experience to deepen the art of being an emotionally intelligent leader. The Specialization Course in Emotional Leadership of the Institut de Formació Contínua-IL3 (Universitat de Barcelona) is a good way to get the fundamental tools to learn how to boost and energize teams and organizations in the best possible way.

The course, which consists of 3 ECTS credits and begins in Barcelona on October 19, 2018 (ending on November 10 of the same year), has the participation of leadership experts who are dedicated to this in the professional field and is designed to be a practical experience in which tools of individual leadership, teams and organizations are internalized and perfected. To know more about this training program, you can click on this link.

On the other hand, any process of improving one's own leadership requires practice exercised frequently. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with the right people and not waste our skills to get the best out of the work teams. Only by learning from the mistakes made and from getting in touch with everything that makes an organization a complex system, we get to grasp the dynamics to be applied in each case.


6 Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence | Ramona Hacker | TEDxTUM (June 2024).


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