Emotional Intelligence Is Important (here’s how you can improve it)

Every source defines emotional intelligence differently. Understanding emotions can you to keep your ego and stress in check. It can also help you to better respond to the needs of superiors and motivate your employees to do their best. Think of emotional intelligence as the ability to easily adapt to different situations and personalities.


Below are a few signs of a leader who may have high emotional intelligence:

  • Someone who cheers on others and roots for the success of the team.
  • A person who gives credit to others.
  • Their staff shares a sense of camaraderie.
  • The team is often ahead of objectives or on-target.
  • A leader who is grooming employees to take on more responsibility.
  • Someone who does not make decisions out of fear.
  • Someone who is well respected.
  • Team members can easily name 5 things they know about their leader and vice-versa.
  • A leader who listens and asks questions.
  • No one would describe this person as a “hot-head” or “rude.”
  • A leader who quickly “nips issues in the bud” by being predictably transparent and straightforward.
  • A leader who knows how to be assertive without being condescending


If you’ve checked some items off of the list above, but feel like you might have some work to do, check out my top tips below:

  1. Listen more.
  2. Ask more questions.
  3. Try your best to be open and honest.
  4. Keep your word.
  5. When an employee has a problem, don’t leap to fix it. Provide them with the resources they need to address the issue while you stand back and observe.
  6. Avoid jumping to conclusions. Practice viewing one situation in multiple ways before responding.
  7. If fear of rejection or failure plagues your mind, try remembering a positive affirmation each day. [Related: 21 Positive Affirmations That Actually Work]
  8. Don’t take it personal! When someone does something that upsets you, pause your reaction and try to see the situation objectively. Understand that people behave a certain way because of them, not you.
  9. Understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Take a walk in nature on a trail or visit the beach, watch the stars at night. Nature has a way of making us all feel tiny and connected to others.
  10. Listen to feedback and watch body language for feedback.
  11. Learn to accept that failure is an inevitable condition of success. Admit when you contributed to a failure, “I was wrong.”
  12. Always aim to be proactive rather than reactive.
  13. Say “please” and “thank you.”
  14. Be clear about objectives and expectations from the beginning and communicate these expectations and objectives regularly. Acknowledge milestones!

Believe it or not, emotional intelligence or “tact” is something that many people struggle with. It can be difficult to put things in perspective when you are alone at the top of the leadership hill. Hire Art to discuss your leadership strategy.