Using Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

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  • 0:05 The Functional Aspect…
  • 1:00 Aspects of Emotional…
  • 3:18 Applying This to Leaders
  • 5:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rob Wengrzyn
Many times managers or leaders focus on the functional aspects of the job you do, as opposed to the emotional intelligence that drives the way you do your job. We will discuss emotional intelligence and how it relates to leadership in this lesson.

The Functional Aspect of Your Job

Take a moment to think about the functional aspects of your job. When I say that, what I mean is the functional things you do each day as part of your job. For example, if you are a landscaper, every day you have to get the leaf blower and the lawn mower into the truck (among other gadgets and gizmos) and when you get to the house or business, you have to blow all the leaves off the grass and cut the grass, bag it all, and cart it away. Those are the functional aspects of your job.

However, there is growing thought and research that a manager should not only manage the functional aspects of the job a person does, but also relate to the emotional intelligence of the person and work that into how they manage the person. You see, emotional intelligence is how a person handles their emotions when dealing with others and doing the functional aspects of their job. Thus, it makes sense that a manager is in tune with these aspects and employs them to help a person grow in their job.

Aspect of Emotional Intelligence

There are several aspects that are associated with emotional intelligence, that a manager or leader needs to know. They cannot lead a person or manage a person effectively without knowing the five main aspects of emotional intelligence. Those aspects are:


This aspect relates to the person's ability to recognize the situation or group that they are in and act accordingly. A fantastic example of this is a person you run into at a party that starts talking to you and just will not stop. You show them signs of wanting to get away or having them leave, but they just keep on talking. They are not self-aware of the situation and basically put you off.


In many ways this is tied to self-awareness, but self-regulation is the ability to handle disruptive impulses or moods. The reason it is different than being self-aware is that this aspect is more impulsive, more driven by immediate issues or surroundings, where being self-aware relates to being constantly aware of your surroundings as they relate to the interaction with people.


Bluntly, this is how driven an individual is to go after goals and achievements. Individuals need or require some type of internal motivation to be present to be motivated at all. If our landscaper is not motivated by getting another house done in a day to get an extra amount in his or her paycheck, then the internal motivation is not there. A manager can motivate to his or her heart's content, and that landscaper will just not do what you want them to do.


When we speak about empathy, we are talking about the ability to understand the emotional makeup of another person and treating or dealing with them using that understanding. Think about if your son or daughter came home after working hard to join a team and did not succeed. You would empathize with them and help them through it. That same thought process is needed in the business world as we will constantly come across success and failures of others, and need to be in touch with those feelings and emotions.

Social Skills

This might sound like something we already spoke about, but here we're talking about the ability to manage relationships. If we meet the person (or customers or fellow workers) and have developed an initial relationship, now we need to maintain and foster that relationship on a social level.

Applying This to Leaders

Now that we understand the aspects, we can begin to see how emotional intelligence comes into play when being a leader.

If you have a person that is not self-aware, you have to help them out and get them over that so they can work with people and make those same people want to work with them. People usually run from someone who is not self-aware, and that will hurt that person's growth. A leader needs to help an individual connect with those aspects so they can have individuals want to work with them.

Let us say we have a person prone to outbursts or mood swings. A leader must address that in a person to help them get in touch with their self-regulation. A leader cannot have a manager flying off the handle to his or her employees all the time. Sometimes, those people need to be led so they can understand that issue and become better managers.

When it comes to motivation, a leader needs to recognize that, indeed, some people do not have the same level of motivation (internally) as others. Thus, they will not or should not waste the time in trying to motivate those individuals and position them in jobs that correlate to their level of or lack of motivation.

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