Top 5 Emotional intelligence Skills to Improve as a Leader

Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage one's own feelings and emotions and to recognize and interpret those of others. This concept was popularized by Daniel Goldman in 1995 in his book “Emotional Intelligence”. Companies increasingly demand leaders and employees who, in addition to having the technical skills and know how, also have the ability to work well with others.

People who have developed emotional intelligence are characterized by recognizing the importance of feelings and emotions as they deal with others. This aptitude and skill is not only important on a personal level, but also affects the way we perform at work.

In order for you to improve as a leader, here are the top 5 emotional intelligence skills you need to develop:


Self- Awareness is the ability to identify and manage your own feelings and emotions. Daniel Goldman said it this way, “If you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”


This is a technical sounding term but Andrea Bell has a very simple definition, “Self-regulation is control of oneself by oneself.” Self-regulation allows us to manage our own emotions and impulses or to restrain ourselves when necessary and beneficial for the situation. Self-control allows us to respond to situations more calmly and communicate more effectively.


Motivation is the desire in people for progress, challenge and goals to attain. People who understand the why behind their work are more apt to achieve their goals, to enjoy what they do, and remain optimistic even in the face of a setback or failure. Intrinsic motivation comes from inside a person and provides the fuel to overcome challenges, to produce high quality work and to effectively interact with others.


Empathy is one of the most important and necessary traits of a good leader. The ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s position and relate to how that might feel is essential in understanding and communicating especially during times of stress. Goleman says, “In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels.” Empathy is the ability to sense what another person is going through and what they are feeling in order to spark compassion in us.

Social Skills

Paying attention, really listening, and knowing how to respond are just a few of the social skills needed to utilize our emotional intelligence. Effective social skills enable us to manage and grow relationships with the people in our life, both at home and at work. They help us to build rapport with those we work with and earn their trust and respect. The easiest way to measure your social skill is to analyze how you deal with disagreement or confrontation with another person. Do you compromise or find some way to cooperate with each other or do you take a stand and try to prove that you are right?

Other social skills include persuasion, communication, handling change, and team building skills. As you might guess, these social skills are very powerful when used with sincere caring and authenticity.

Emotional intelligence is something that every leader should develop. Our desire to continue learning and growing as an individual helps each of us become more effective and approachable as a leader.

At the Angel Advisors, we help business leaders achieve their vision and accomplish their purpose for starting their business. We use personality assessment tools, such as the Birkman method to help business entrepreneurs and C-level executives perform at their best.

If you need more information, please contact us here.