Top 10 Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders - SmartKarrot Blog

Top 10 Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Do you want to know the top desirable traits of emotionally intelligent leaders? If yes, do not miss this blog at any cost!

Top Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
Top Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and handle emotions. People equipped with the power of emotional intelligence can handle their emotions as well as others. Thus, we consider emotional intelligence (EQ) one of the most desirable traits for a leader. A leader with high emotional intelligence can handle their teams in crisis and success as well.

If you want to know the top 10 traits of an emotionally intelligent leader, keep reading. In this blog, we will reveal the top qualities that make a leader emotionally intelligent.


Business leaders must deal with human beings. So, the first and foremost emotional intelligence trait they need to imbibe is empathy. They need to know the skill of putting themselves in the shoes of their teammates when addressing challenges with them.

Empathy is not only about listening to your team members but also making them feel heard and understood. Good leadership always begins with understanding the perspectives of the teammates. And this power of understanding others comes from empathy. 

Empathetic leadership is the ability to lead a team while understanding the needs and feelings of the teammates. It is the ability to feel your teammates’ experiences as your own. Empathy comes to some people naturally. But, it can also be learned. Any person willing to become a leader must practice being empathetic as it is one of the initial phases of being emotionally intelligent. 


Another trait that makes a great emotionally intelligent leader is the trait of compassion. It is not enough to keep yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their perspective. One needs to take steps based on that understanding. The ability to take those empathetic steps comes from compassion.

A leader must have real concerns and positive intentions for her teammates. This helps the leader build stronger connections with her teammates. Moreover, compassionate decisions also bind every team member together with trust and loyalty and also improve collaboration.

A compassionate leader can take their organization to higher levels and boosts its overall well-being even when tension occurs. It is not about avoiding friction; it is about understanding the root cause of friction and coming up with a solution acceptable to everyone.   


Adaptability, or the ability to adjust to new conditions, is yet another important trait of an emotionally intelligent leader. The team, the organization, the market, and the economy as a whole are all dynamic. So, a leader needs to be flexible and always ready to adapt to changing situations.

A business leader needs to deal with varieties of crises like interpersonal conflict in the team, poor metrics, or even an untold crisis like the recent COVID-19 pandemic. And, every event or phase of crisis needs the leader to be ready to respond quickly and effectively.

Leaders need to stand as an example of adaptability for the team members to encourage the team to adapt according to the changing circumstances. A person who is not ready to adapt to a new situation cannot encourage her team, nor can she take her organization on the path to success.   


A team always needs to be kept motivated for giving their best in any given situation. And this cannot be done without optimism. A leader needs to be optimistic and channel the optimism to her teammates. When the team is going through a tough phase, it needs a leader who can share a positive outlook and make the team believe in their potential.

Optimism is one of the most important traits of emotional intelligence. By being optimistic, you can see the bigger picture without getting bogged down by negativity in any given demanding situation. A leader without this trait cannot motivate her teammates to keep going when it feels tough.

An optimistic leader helps team members see a challenge from all angles and come up with innovative ideas to tackle those challenges. The leader needs to be able to do the hand-holding when needed without making the team feel bad about themselves.  


A leader must be trustworthy to the teammates. Without trust, there cannot be any leadership. A leader should be such a person on whom the team members can rely. Trustworthiness is not only about keeping secrets but also about fostering an environment of mutual trust among the team. Every team member needs to feel understood and supported.

Without a doubt, emotional intelligence traits like empathy and compassion can directly help improve your trustworthiness. Besides, providing the team with avenues to register their feedback and grievances and then work to solve them can boost your trustworthiness.

A leader who is not trusted by her team cannot lead the team in true senses. A trustworthy leader creates an environment where the entire team can trust and rely on each other. It is this trait that makes a bunch of people team in a real sense.  

Relationship Management

Another important trait that an emotionally intelligent leader must have is the ability to relationships management. A leader must keep each team member collaboratively hooked to each other. And this cannot be done unless the leader is an expert in relationship management.

There cannot be any team where team members do not have any conflict. It becomes the duty of the team leader to resolve those conflicts in a way that is agreeable and respectful to every member involved. Additionally, they should also treat each conflict as an opportunity to learn and avoid any future conflict on the same ground.

The relationship management skills of a leader are not only helpful in resolving conflict within their team. It helps them maintain a healthy relationship of their team with other teams and the organization as a whole. 

Clear Vision

Every task of a team is a part of the bigger picture called the end goal. A leader has the responsibility to guide the efforts of his team in the direction of that end goal. And to achieve this effectively, a leader must have an unobstructed vision of their role, and the ultimate goals of their organization.

Clear vision is one of the important traits of an emotionally intelligent leader. Without having a clear vision, a leader cannot chalk out a plan to push their team members in the right direction. Needless to say, no organization can hit its goal without a collective effort in the right direction.

A true, emotionally intelligent leader must cultivate the ability to envision unseen possibilities. It is this trait that will enable them to base their roadmap for the future on a solid base and guide their team in the right direction. Without a clear vision, there cannot be solid actions.

Effective Communication  

A person can have all the qualities of emotional intelligence but can still fail as a leader if she cannot communicate effectively. Effective communication forms the basis of every responsibility of a leader. So, it is one of the top desirable traits of emotionally intelligent leaders.

Communication is a two-way street. A leader not only needs to be a good listener but also a good speaker. A leader must listen intently to her team members and understand them empathically. And she should also provide clear guidance whenever communicating with her teammates. She should know what she wants to communicate to her team and choose her words wisely. She must not leave any gap for vagueness.


Integrity is yet another most desirable trait of an emotionally intelligent leader. A leader must be a person who is honest and has strong moral principles. Her words should match her actions. A leader with integrity never sugar-coats her words or says something just to look good to her team.

Every action and decision of a leader with integrity remains in line with her words and her high moral principles. They are not someone who can talk endlessly about moral principles but cannot base their action on those principles.

To be an emotionally intelligent leader, it is important to have high values and the prowess to take actions based on those high moral values.


Last but not the least, an emotionally intelligent leader needs to have passion. They must be passionate about their team, organization, and roles and responsibilities as a leader.

A passionate leader must be motivated from within to achieve their organizational goals. The motivation should not be based on external factors but solely on the innate desire to achieve those goals. They must be passionate about taking challenges head-on. She must be passionate to learn, improve and grow with her team.

Final Thoughts

Without emotional intelligence, no person can become a good leader. Emotional intelligence is an umbrella term that contains a wide number of traits. We have discussed the top 10 traits in this blog article that can make a person an emotionally intelligent leader. Each of these traits is of equal importance.

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