Forms of leadership have been evolving to adapt to the needs of human beings. Characteristics that were once considered primordial, such as levels of knowledge and analysis, are now surpassed by skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, change management and empowerment. This, without taking away the obvious relevance of cognitive intelligence, for the performance of a position, but highlighting the importance of both skills (hard and soft).


In fact, in a study conducted by Daniel Goleman in Harvard Business Review, he found that almost 90% of the leaders who are considered the best were differentiated from others by their levels of emotional intelligence, rather than by their cognitive intelligence. 

In this article, you will be able to identify the great contribution of emotional intelligence for the execution of an effective leadership.

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What is emotional intelligence (EI)?

Emotional intelligence is a term introduced by Peter Salovey and John Mayer in 1990 and popularized by Daniel Goleman in 1995. It is defined as the ability of people to understand and manage their emotions, while being able to understand and influence the emotions of others

It is part of the group of soft skills that facilitate people’s interrelationships. And that in the workplace has gained greater relevance especially in leadership positions. By directly impacting the performance levels of teams.  According to a survey conducted by Talent Smart, emotional intelligence is directly related to 58% of the successes obtained by teams in different areas.

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Key skills of Emotional Intelligence 

For the development of emotional intelligence there are four key components that must be mastered, and that will allow leaders to grow personally and their teams within organizations. 


Self-awareness is fundamental to understand one’s weaknesses and strengths as an individual. When we are fully aware of the variables that positively or negatively affect our responses or behaviors, we understand the values and principles that underlie them.  We can manage our responses and understand the impact our behaviors have on others.

This will translate for the leader into having the ability to:

  • Recognize and address paradigms that may be limiting.
  • Generate awareness of opportunities for self-improvement.


The ability to manage impulses by understanding their origin, ceasing to react to external stimuli, and instead, to act consciously from the rational and not from emotion

Once we are aware of our emotions, the next step is to learn how to manage them. Identifying in time when we are in a stressful situation, and in front of them to keep silent to generate the correct response, based on the objective analysis of the situation

For leaders this ability to stop and analyze will bring as a result:

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure, and thus make better decisions.
  • Greater ability to adapt to change and manage uncertainty.

Social awareness

When one’s own emotions are recognized and managed, the ability to detect these emotions in other people is sharpened. This allows us to empathize and adapt our own behavior to the reactions that are generated. Trying to generate a connection of trust and understanding.

The ability to recognize the origin of each emotion and the dynamics it generates in the team. Develops in the leader,

  • Effective communication skills.
  • Strong relationships with team members.
  • Ability to recognize and manage the needs of each team member.
  • Ability to empathize with the team, through the recognition of emotions.


Relationship Management

By understanding the dynamics of one’s own and others’ emotions and how they affect the environment. This provides the basis for the development of skills that allow guiding or influencing others in a positive way. Avoiding the development of conflicts due to communication errors. 

This component within the leadership allows leaders:

  • Be able to manage conflicts successfully.
  • Generate a positive and respectful work environment.
  • Promote team integration.

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Emotional intelligence and leadership

According to the publication made by the web portal Gitnux, 82% of global companies use emotional intelligence (EI) tests for leadership positions. This shows the importance of the role played by emotional intelligence in the effective leadership of work teams. 

Being aware of the needs, feelings and emotions of the team allows leaders to balance the needs of the company with those of the team, through a vision that connects with everyone. Thus, teams will be motivated, aligned, and committed to the objectives in a natural way.

Contribution of emotional intelligence to leadership

  • Critical thinking. When you can identify emotions and the moods they generate. Effective thinking can be generated, generating assertive decisions.
  • Problem solving. Emotional intelligence provides the tools to channel the conflict towards dialogue and negotiation. Allowing an approach from respect and empathy, to find the common ground that will drive the resolution of the conflict.
  • Effective communication. Recognizing the emotions that drive the team’s responses, and developing active listening. It will allow to create bonds of trust with the team. 
  • Motivation. By generating value in the development of individuals and teams. It generates a capacity to influence others, driving the achievement of objectives.
  • Empowerment. Self-knowledge and knowledge of the team, allows leaders to know the team and its capabilities to assign tasks that challenge and encourage them to grow professionally and personally.
  • Change management. The ability to adapt to continuous change in a resilient manner is essential in today’s environment, where technological evolution requires leaders and teams to maintain constant growth.

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Impact on technology leadership

The digital transformation has increased the technological needs of companies and has given rise to the expansion of the area. Driving the creation of multiple leadership positions within the technology sector. This requires IT directors (CIO or CTO) to develop soft skills that allow leaders to organize teams and maintain effective communication between them.

In a publication by Deloitte, soft skills such as conflict resolution, effective communication and influence are considered relevant for business leaders. They are considered by employers as relevant skills to ensure long-term success in the areas of technology.

Thus reinforcing the latent need for technology leaders to be able to not only understand technology and its characteristics. But to be able to:

  • Effectively detect business needs and transmit them correctly to their teams. 
  • Manage the change processes that technologies imply in the different areas of the organizations.
  • Facilitate feedback across teams, especially in DevOps environments.
  • Make effective decisions in stressful situations. 

All of these are intrinsically related to emotional intelligence and effective team leadership.

Emotional Intelligence in Effective Leadership – Conclusion

Emotional intelligence generates a positive organizational environment that boosts productivity and efficiency, while opening the doors to innovation and creativity. 

Environments led by people with a high degree of emotional intelligence promote communication and respect towards individuals in an integral way and generate a safe space to develop and expand professionally and personally. 

For nulogic, fostering the integral growth of organizations and their work teams is fundamental to guarantee efficient digital transformation processes.