Sofia has been a manager for two years. During this time, the performance of her team has been exceptional. What is her secret? Management based on ensuring the well-being of her employees and fostering good relations between team members. Moreover, although she is a strong leader, she knows that showing vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness.

On the other hand, she knows how to exploit the talents of each member of her team, she always tries to get the best out of each of them and praises their achievements. In short, Sofía is a manager who knows about emotional leadership.

What will I read in this article?


What is emotional leadership?

“Individuals are not isolated emotional islands; when people come to work, they also bring their traits, moods and emotions with them,” according to Sigal Barsade, professor of management at Philadelphia University’s Wharton School of Business, and Donald E. Gibson, an expert in conflict resolution.

Throughout the week (or day!) we’re faced with unforeseen events that can throw us off focus, stress us out, make us impatient, make us sad, etc.

In this sense, emotional leadership is based on knowing and being able to manage our emotions and those of our team. It’s an approach focused on people and how we relate to each other with the aim of promoting the best results.

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“Emotional leadership is based on knowing, controlling and managing our emotions”


The emotions, moods and temperament of professionals affect objectives, decision-making, creativity, talent retention, leadership and teamwork. And all because emotions “rub off” on the members of an organisation. We’re able to perceive how others feel and those emotions can affect us.


What should an emotionally intelligent leader be like?

The concept of a good leader must necessarily be linked to emotional leadership. How a leader perceives, understands and manages his or her own emotions and the emotions of others is extremely important. In fact, it is one of the World Economic Forum‘s top ten skills of the future employment landscape.

People who manage through emotional leadership are aware of their impact on others. They know that their emotional state greatly influences their team’s decision-making, learning and performance. And they use this to their advantage. They use this trait to generate positive emotions among their colleagues and help them achieve good results in the most efficient way possible.

They understand that emotions contain valuable information about the people they surround themselves with and are open to using it to facilitate problem solving and creativity. In short, they pick up on the feelings of others and strategically guide their state of mind to best match what’s required for optimal performance in a given task.


“Emotions contain valuable information about people that can be useful in facilitating problem solving and creativity”.


The 5 requirements of effective emotional leadership

Emotional intelligence goes beyond being empathetic or a good listener. In fact, emotionally intelligent leaders meet all 5 of these criteria:

* Seeking the well-being of colleagues: It is important that people in a team feel good in their working environment. Emotions such as anger or sadness absorb all the attention of individuals and hinder them from attending to work situations optimally.

Today, many organisations and companies strive to create and maintain pleasant environments. Be it through strategies that reshape organisational culture to foster creative environments and relationships, or simply through small gestures that boost the wellbeing of their team members, the leader will play a crucial role in inspiring, managing conflict and fostering teamwork. In this respect, the leader will have a crucial role to play in inspiring, managing conflict and fostering teamwork.

* They show their vulnerability when it is convenient. Leaders, despite the responsibility they carry, are people who feel, who sometimes make mistakes and need help. Showing your true self increases the group’s identification with the leader, increases levels of trust and generates positive states in the rest of the colleagues, as we saw in this article.

* Communication plays a crucial role. In emotional leadership, the way in which we address our team, whether by message, video call or in person, will have a big impact on the emotional climate we generate.

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A misunderstood or inappropriate tone can damage the relationship between two individuals or affect the work performance of the team. However, this point also includes the ability to convey difficult comments or criticisms in an appropriate and empathetic way as a group leader.


“Emotions can be a very valuable source of relational wealth if they are nurtured and given attention”


* They know how to motivate their team. This is directly related to the previous point. A word of encouragement at the right time or congratulating an effort or a job well done can be a great boost to productivity and staff engagement.

* They know how to exploit the talent of each member of their team. They are concerned with distinguishing the singularities of each person, what kind of approach they need, how they deal with conflicts, how they deal with unforeseen events… And with this information, the result of observation and empathy, they try to get the best out of each one of them in certain situations.

* Knowing and knowing how to manage our emotions allows us to adapt to certain moments. Facing unpleasant or tense situations and having to point out that something is not right is part of a leader’s job. If we approach these situations from the point of view of emotional leadership, we’ll know how to handle them in a relaxed way and we won’t let ourselves be carried away by emotions that could trigger a bad reaction.

In the office, as in life, it is not all about numbers and cold data. Emotions can be a very valuable source of relational wealth if they are nurtured and given attention. Understanding them and knowing how to use them to our advantage will not only help us to achieve the best results, but will also improve our relationship with others and help us to build an organisational culture based on respect, on understanding each person and on the fundamental principle that the core of a company is the people who make it up.