What do Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Have in Common?

 In Leadership and Management

Some people say that leaders are born, but we at Forme we believe that you can develop your leadership skills to communicate with emotionally intelligent focus.

With the right guidance you can become an influencer who motivates, builds respect, show compassion and communicates effectively with your team of employees.

So what are the traits of an emotionally intelligent leader? Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, established a framework of 5 elements that define emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy and;
  • Social skills.

Let’s walk through this framework – maybe you can spot some elements that you are nailing and some elements that you could refine or polish to become a more effective leader.


Emotionally intelligent leaders know their strengths and weaknesses. They know how to work with their strong points, and get the most out of their weaknesses. These leaders don’t try to feign strength, they are honest and admit when they are wrong. Once they identify their weaknesses they do everything they can to improve themselves.


To lead with emotional intelligence you need to know how to regulate yourself. Daniel Goleman describes self-regulation as ‘the ability to control emotions and impulses’. He says that self-regulation is ‘the quality of emotional intelligence that liberates us from living like hostages to our impulses’. Leaders who self-regulate always think before they act.


‘Be the leader you would follow’ – Unknown

Leaders with high emotional intelligence are motivated to succeed. They focus on their goals and want to achieve them. They aren’t just motivated by money or the prospect of a promotion, they truly want to achieve their goals because they are passionate about the outcome. Emotionally intelligent leaders embrace change and aren’t scared to adapt to meet their objectives. They look for solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.


Emotionally intelligent leaders have empathy. Daniel Goleman says people with EI ‘understand the wants, needs and viewpoints of those around them’. They ‘avoid stereotyping and judging too quickly’. They show genuine concern for other people, pay attention to how others feel and take time to help people when they are needed.

Social Skills

Leaders who have high emotional intelligence would prefer to watch others have a win, and never put themselves up on a pedestal. They are team players that can communicate on many different levels. They encourage employees to build relationships, and help manage conflict in the workplace. Emotionally intelligent leaders are good at setting boundaries, both in workplace relationships and projects, and they aren’t afraid to say no if it doesn’t help them reach their goal.

Opportunity to Grow

If you are a leader in any capacity – whether its in a corporate, voluntary or relational arena – you will benefit from our Mindful Leadership program. Over 12 weeks, delve into the techniques that surround emotional intelligence and begin to positively affect relationships around you.

Next intake commences:04 January 2017

Check out the program

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