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Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

Leadership Using Emotional Intelligence: Draw Positive Energy from Employees

Leadership Using Emotional Intelligence: Draw Positive Energy from Employees

YE Ji-Eun

May 31, 2010

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As greater diversity of employees and values makes empathy and positive relationships more important than ever in the workplace, emotionally intelligent leadership1 is gaining importance inside companies. They are trying to manage employees' emotions in a variety of ways, including handwritten letters from the CEO, breakfast meetings, gifts to employees' children before their university entrance exam, and inviting a new employee's family to a company event.

Emotionally intelligent leadership helps promote collaboration among employees and encourages them to devise more creative solutions, leading to better corporate performance. To promote creativity, a corporate culture that encourages information sharing and cooperation and tolerates exploration is essential. Leaders with emotional intelligence understand employees' feelings and promote exchanges of opinion in a comfortable manner. This bestows psychological security to employees who try out unconventional approaches, laying a foundation for creative corporate performance.

To understand and exercise emotionally intelligent leadership, leaders must develop emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to regulate one's emotions based on an objective assessment of his/her limits and potential, understanding others from the heart and maintaining a good relationship with others. What is crucial for emotionally intelligent leadership is consistency and continuous application. When it comes to establishing emotionally intelligent leadership, a gradual approach is necessary. Leaders should form a foundation and strengthen relationships with employees on a gradual basis. It is misguided to think that the feelings of employees can be understood simply by conducting a meeting or non-routine event.

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