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Illustration showing a leader listening attentively to their team, exemplifying empathy and understanding, highlighting the role of emotional intelligence in conscious leadership.

How Conscious Leadership Uses Emotional Intelligence to Lead?

How does emotional intelligence benefit leaders? Technical skills and know-how are crucial for leaders to get into their current position. But it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be effective in being a leader if you rely on your skills alone. Conscious leadership is what you need to master because it adds the emotional component you need in becoming a successful leader. What is the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership? And how can you use your emotional intelligence to become an effective leader?

Four Components of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a measure of a person’s ability to understand and manage their emotions. It also means having an ability to influence and become aware of the emotions of those around you, such as your employees if you are a leader. 

A 2015 Harvard Business Review article cited the importance that emotional intelligence plays in a leadership role. Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, is a must-have skill for leaders. This type of skill enables leaders to remain calm under pressure, resolve conflicts in the workplace, and show empathy to co-workers.

To make that happen, a leader must have the following competencies: 

1. Self-Awareness – A conscious leader must be self-aware. It goes beyond knowing your strengths and weaknesses, but also acknowledging your emotions and how they affect your work performance and that of your co-workers. A lack of self-awareness can result in a multitude of work-related problems, such as higher levels of stress and a lack of motivation. A conscious leader who is also self-aware knows how to receive feedback from others and use that to make the necessary improvements. 

2. Self-Management – With self-awareness comes self-management; at least that applies to conscious leaders. Your ability to manage your emotions is crucial so that you can overcome setbacks at work and thrive in stressful situations. Leaders who have good self-management skills do not react based on their instincts or initial emotional reaction. Instead, they pause and reflect on their emotions to address stressful situations in the best way possible.

3. Social Awareness – Being socially aware is one of the distinctive characteristics of a conscious leader. You must not only be aware of your own emotions and feelings but also of those around you. This type of leader can read the room and know how to diffuse any tense situation to encourage collaboration and productivity within their team.

4. Relationship Management – Leaders hold a lot of influence over others, especially their co-workers. A conscious leader who has high emotional intelligence knows how to identify and resolve conflicts. Instead of sweeping them under the rug, they confront the issues head-on to avoid negatively impacting the team’s productivity level. 

relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership
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Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

The four key components of emotional intelligence cited above overlap with the conscious leadership style in many areas. But why is it important for a leader to possess emotional intelligence?

The first reason is that the demands of society are constantly changing and team dynamics are changing, too. For example, many organizations have shifted their company culture to promote diversity and inclusion. Conscious leadership requires emotional intelligence to understand the different needs of every individual who’s a part of the team. It takes emotional intelligence to understand how your co-workers feel to show them empathy. 

The effects of the pandemic have made a more significant impact on the employees’ view of leadership and how it affects the rest of the organization. Empathy and putting priority on well-being are something that employees expect from their organization and its leaders. If they don’t get that, many of these employees won’t think twice about resigning and looking for other job opportunities that offer a more conscious leadership approach.

Developing emotional intelligence to become a conscious leader.
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How to Become a Conscious Leader with High Emotional Intelligence

The good thing about emotional intelligence is that you can develop it over time. If you want to adopt a conscious leadership style, you can take steps to make that happen and improve your interaction with your co-workers.

    • Make an effort to connect with your co-workers through feelings and thoughts. You must be sensitive to non-verbal communication cues so you understand what your co-workers are saying without them verbalizing it.

    • Tune in to your core instincts. Practice each day to slow down and reflect on the messages that you are sending and receiving. You can achieve this by saying a prayer or doing a meditation.

    • Develop your empathy. Empathy is one of the best characteristics that a leader can possess. Your ability to see a situation through another person’s lens will help you identify their needs and be able to fulfill those.

    • Pay attention to your emotions. The more you practice being aware of your emotions, the more you can control them (instead of the other way around). Managing your emotions can help you make more sound decisions in the workplace and to handle issues as they arise more effectively.  

Developing emotional intelligence not only benefits your leadership skills, but can also benefit your life. Just as not everyone is born with leadership skills, emotional intelligence is something that you develop through time and practice.


Emotional intelligence connects to leadership by enabling leaders to understand and manage emotions and build strong relationships.

 Emotional intelligence is considered a key leadership trait as it enhances communication, empathy, and collaboration, leading to better team performance.

Yes, leadership needs emotional intelligence as it helps leaders manage emotions, build relationships, and drive organizational success.

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