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Leading with emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a crucial leadership skill that allows them to effectively manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around them.

Emotionally intelligent leaders can read and regulate their own emotions while intuitively grasping how others feel and gauging their organisation’s emotional state. By implementing emotional intelligence practices, leaders can create a more positive and productive environment for their teams, and they can do so by focusing on key elements:

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. Self-aware leaders understand their own emotions and how they impact their behaviour and decision-making. They can regulate their emotions and express themselves in a way that is appropriate for specific situations. To develop self-awareness, leaders can start by taking time to reflect on their own emotions and reactions, as well as seek feedback from others and be open to constructive criticism. As a result of developing a greater understanding of their own emotions and behaviours, leaders can become more effective in managing themselves and their teams.

2. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It allows leaders to connect with their employees on a deeper level and create a more supportive and collaborative environment. To develop empathy, leaders can start by actively listening to their teams and seeking to understand their perspectives. They can also practice putting themselves in their employee’s shoes, and considering how they would feel in a particular situation. By demonstrating empathy, leaders can build stronger relationships with their employees and create a more positive work culture.

3. Communication

Leaders who are skilled communicators are able to express themselves clearly and confidently and to listen actively to others. To improve their communication skills, leaders can practice active listening, which involves paying close attention to what others are saying and clarifying their understanding. They can also work on expressing themselves in a way that is clear, concise, and respectful. By improving their communication skills, leaders can create a more open and collaborative workplace where employees feel heard and valued.

4. Conflict resolution

Conflict is a natural part of any workplace, but it can be challenging for leaders to manage it effectively. Leaders who are skilled in conflict resolution are able to navigate disagreements in a way that is productive and respectful. To improve their conflict resolution skills, in addition to active listening and empathy, leaders need to seek to understand the perspectives of all parties involved. They can also work on finding common ground and exploring mutually beneficial solutions. By effectively managing conflicts, leaders can create a more positive work environment, with open communication and psychological safety for all.

By focusing on self-awareness, empathy, communication, and conflict resolution, leaders can create an engaged and productive workplace environment. Ultimately, the implementation of emotional intelligence practices can lead to a more motivated workforce, increased productivity, and higher employee retention rates.

At Acumen, we pride ourselves in offering training and development that gives managers practical tools to help solve real-life challenges. We offer an extensive menu of courses, workshops, and coaching programmes, ranging from communication skills to executive leadership development. In most cases, we design the interventions specifically for each client, but we also offer a wide range of off-the-shelf programmes for those who prefer this approach. For more information about our programmes please contact Simon at


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