The EQ Edge: Why Emotional Intelligence Makes You a Better Leader (and How to Build It)

Heyner Pacheco
Published in
2 min readMar 10, 2024


Imagine a leader who:

  1. Inspires their team to achieve remarkable things.
  2. Navigates conflict with grace and composure.
  3. Builds trust and psychological safety within their team.
  4. Makes sound decisions under pressure.

This isn’t just a dream; it’s the reality for leaders with high emotional intelligence (EQ). While technical skills and experience are important, research shows that EQ is a critical factor in leadership success.

Why is EQ so important?

Emotional intelligence allows leaders to:

  • Understand and manage their own emotions: Self-awareness helps leaders regulate their emotions and avoid impulsive decisions.
  • Empathize with others: Understanding the perspectives and feelings of others fosters stronger relationships and collaboration.
  • Motivate and inspire: Leaders with high EQ can connect with their teams on a deeper level and ignite their passion for the work.
  • Communicate effectively: EQ fosters active listening, clear communication, and the ability to address conflict constructively.
  • Build strong relationships: Leaders with high EQ create a more positive and trusting work environment.

So, how can you build your EQ as a leader?

Here are some actionable steps:

  • Practice self-reflection: Take personality assessments, gather feedback from trusted colleagues, and keep a journal to gain insights into your emotions and their triggers.
  • Actively listen: Pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues when others communicate. Paraphrase what you’ve heard to ensure understanding.
  • Embrace empathy: Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand their perspectives.
  • Practice emotional regulation techniques: Mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, and journaling can help you manage your emotions effectively.
  • Seek out feedback: Ask colleagues and mentors for honest feedback on your communication style and emotional intelligence.
  • Invest in EQ training: There are numerous workshops and online resources available to help you develop your EQ skills.

Building EQ is a journey, not a destination. By consistently practicing these strategies, you can become a more emotionally intelligent leader who inspires, motivates, and empowers your team to achieve great things.



Heyner Pacheco
Writer for

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