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The Need for Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Updated on January 13, 2022
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Nyamweya is a Kenyan scholar who has done many years of research on a diversity of topics.

The role of emotional intelligence has been greatly underplayed over the years both as a tool in management and in social skills. Emotional intelligence refers to the identification, the assessment and the development of awareness in emotions in order to understand and manage them so as to enhance social relationships among people of different and same categories.

For starters, leaders with skills in emotional intelligence are able self aware and make decisions objectively during crisis moments or other related moments as they see fit. They are able to recognize the variance in emotions both for themselves and others as they happen and this helps them distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of the situations without any obstructions. It is a very vital skill that helps the leaders identify the immediate cause of the situation rather than wallow in their own emotions themselves hence finding creative ways of handling the situation in general.

The leaders with high emotional intelligence are also able to be able to control their own emotions and stay in control of the situation. This helps solve the problem without interference from emotions such as anger, happiness or sadness. They don’t rush into making hasty decisions that might have serious repercussions to the situation in the long run.

Moreover, high emotional intelligence and management can help the managers, exhibit effective communication skills as they are able to clearly express their thoughts and ideas in a manner that can be understood by all the relevant people involved in the particular circumstance. They are usually able to give directions and have decisive motivational talks that are able to motivate or inspire others into doing what is required in order to handle the given situation. Emotional intelligence can even help managers to be heard by their respective teams as it shows the value of true leadership.

How leaders can use emotional intelligence to handle crisis situations

When running any type of enterprise, there are always bound to be certain unavoidable circumstances that face that enterprise which is up to the leaders to handle. During such a situation, it is paramount for the leaders to act in confidence since the people working under these leaders look up to the leader for specifications and directions of how to handle the particular crisis presented. The leaders should be able to trust themselves despite the crisis and by doing so instilling confidence among the workers into following the leader into the unknown. The leader cannot afford to second guess himself as this will be taken as a sign of weakness and the workers will not be a hundred percent in the output when solving the situation. Emotional intelligence helps these leaders master confidence and take control of the crisis accordingly.

The leader with effective emotional intelligence skills is also able to establish the element of respect. The leader first off, needs to matter self-respect before they expect to be shown respect by their subjects. The element of respect is very important as a leader who respects himself reflects this to their respective subjects who are then open to following their leadership despite the circumstances that have been presented to them. In solving crisis situations, the leaders inspire the workers through mutual respect into following their every directive in order to avert the crisis.

Furthermore, emotional intelligence helps leaders with authenticity. This refers to knowing oneself in terms of one’s own strength and knowing others in general. According to Tzu L., knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering oneself is true power. It is then clear that emotional intelligence provides the leaders with the necessary tools to truly master themselves and it is from learning this concept that prompts a leader to act in the truth of self-discovery and hence drawing the workforce into believing in them hence proving to be very helpful in crisis situations where the workers or subjects will act accordingly on account of the leader’s directives.

Emotional intelligence also allows leaders to read very fast into crisis situations through analysis of the immensity of the crisis and how it affects the workforce as well. This knowledge helps them to solve problems related to the situations by showing passion in the employees’ emotions and vulnerabilities hence connecting with them at n emotional level and inspiring them to handle the situation as required.

In addition, leaders with high emotional intelligence skills are very perceptive and intuitive in handling the presented crisis. With the mastery of their emotions, they can act on the situations that have arisen and come up with cleverly inventive ways of handling the situation. The solutions offered sometimes might be unorthodox and this is owing to the fact that the leader has a clear mind and hence can rely on his/her gut to navigate through the situation. The workforce, which will no doubt follow the leader into these unknown territories, does so as they have complete confidence in the leaders and thus help in the solving of the problem.

Once the action plan has been properly identified, then the leader has to engage in strategy formulation and processes to ensure that the action plan is realized. This involves the establishment and analysis of strategic plans that have been formulated in order to enhance the organization’s mission and vision statements, the smart goals and analysis as well as the industrial analysis. The SWOT analysis also plays a very important role in reviewing the viability of strategic plans. All these will be encompassed within the four sections of the HBY company so as to increase the organization’s overall output.


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