Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: Top Traits to Hone in On

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Are you looking to take your leadership to the next level? Whether you run a company, organization, or not-for-profit, exceptional leadership is an essential asset that will allow your team to grow and develop and achieve your objectives successfully. While there are many different qualities that make a great executive or leader, one of the most undermentioned but highly important attributes a leader can have is emotional intelligence. Calm, cool, and collected under pressure, emotionally intelligent leaders know how to steer the ship with purpose, while simultaneously making sure their team feels heard and valued. Study after study has shown that emotional intelligence (EI) is often the secret ingredient that allows certain CEOs, executives, managers and team members to excel and positively influence their peers for the benefit of the entire organization.

At Pivot HR, we’re proud to partner with business and organization leaders, as well as their team matters to help teach and demonstrate the value of emotional intelligence in today’s workforce. Based in Vancouver BC, we offer Human Resource support services as well as dedicated training and coaching to clients all across Canada, with custom programs designed to help your team succeed. Below, we’ll cover some of the basics of EI and explain why you should work to integrate them into your daily practice. Read on to learn more!

What is Emotional Intelligence?

In the simplest of terms, emotional intelligence refers to your ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as the emotions of those around you. Those with high emotional intelligence (also referred to as EI or EQ) are more apt to be in tune with how they feel, how their emotions are influencing them, and how their emotions may affect other people. In the corporate world, EI is often neglected or even ignored as a core skill set, despite the immense value it has to offer. While we can often easily think of examples of poor emotional intelligence (shouting, bullying, or passive-aggressive behaviour), it’s important to acknowledge the tangible benefits offered by exercising EI in the workplace.

From a leadership perspective, emotional intelligence is a useful asset that can allow you to navigate difficult interactions and situations with grace, setting a positive example for your team and maintaining a healthy, productive atmosphere for everyone. By avoiding or minimizing conflict, maintaining control, and ensuring everyone feels valued, emotional intelligence equips your managers with the ability to lead and inspire effectively while also reducing friction in the workplace.

What Are the Core Components of Emotional Intelligence?

There are many different attributes that fall under the umbrella of emotional intelligence; some of the core traits of an emotionally intelligent leader are:


The ability to identify and understand your own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around you, take a high level of self-awareness. EI savvy leaders are always aware of where they stand, how they’re presenting themselves and the subtle cues that indicated how others are receiving their words/actions.


Acknowledging your emotions is one thing, but being able to exercise control and self-regulate during stressful situations is the next level of EI. In a conflict based situation this may look like walking away from a tense conversation and revisiting it later, respectfully disagreeing with another’s opinion without escalating things to an argument, or even knowing when you may need to book a day off to recharge if you’re feeling burnt out and agitated.


Being in touch with your emotions is a great way to find internal motivation and drive. Those with high EI are often extremely productive since they know what pushes them forward and how to focus on motivating themselves to get there.

Empathy and Understanding

Emotional intelligence means knowing how to extend compassion and understanding to your team members, even when you may not feel inclined to do so otherwise. Being able to recognize faults, differences, and growth opportunities without taking things personally is a huge asset to both the individual, as well as their team.


Finally, communication is one of the most important parts of emotional intelligence. Those with enhanced EI will typically strive to establish clear, positive communication both with peers and leadership/employees. By facilitating the freedom to express themselves openly, the chance for conflict is greatly diminished and you’ll often see a positive ripple effect for those in the immediate circle with high EI.

Need Help Getting Your Team On Track?

Is your team showing signs of division or strain? Feeling the pressure of working remotely and/or returning to the office? Emotional intelligence training, as well as leadership coaching, can be a great way to get everyone back on track and to start with a fresh slate that leaves everyone feeling aligned. Learn more about how Pivot HR can help create positive cohesion and communication in your office by contacting us today!

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