Last Updated on Dec 6, 2022 by James W

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Coaches in leadership and personal development often argue that honing one’s emotional quotient is the surest path to better handling stressful situations. Businesses have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what makes a leader effective and what makes someone else fail. How can we replicate the success of visionary leaders like Steve Jobs and Satoru Iwata? Imagine Jeff Bezos establishing Amazon from his garage: he couldn’t have done it without some “at the right place at the right time” intangibles. 

However, almost all influential leaders share high levels of emotional intelligence. This article will explain what emotional intelligence is, why it is essential for finance leaders, and how you can focus on increasing your emotional intelligence to become a more effective leader in and out of the office.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage and understand the emotions of people around you. 

How does Emotional intelligence Help Finance Leaders?

Being a leader in finance is more than just numbers and money. It involves solving real-world problems, mitigating risks, and improving the organization and economy. Not only that, finance leaders often have to deal with financial crimes like money laundering, modern slavery, and human trafficking.

So, how does one do that without being emotionally intelligent? It’s pretty much impossible. Emotional intelligence helps to make good decisions as there is a link between emotions and decision-making. From finding adequate human trafficking resources to raising awareness of these crimes’ financial footprints, emotional intelligence plays a huge role. 

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With that in mind, let’s look at how financial leaders can improve their emotional intelligence.

8 Tips for Financial Leaders to Boost their Emotional Intelligence

  1. Regulate your emotions

Some people mistake emotional intelligence for allowing their feelings to run wild, and they worry that trying to show too much emotion would have negative consequences. Realizing and mastering one’s emotional responses takes self-discipline and a keen awareness of one’s own emotional state.

Leaders have an outsized impact on their teams because their feelings and attitudes permeate everything they do. Your contagious energy is needed now and then to inspire exceptional effort and fresh ideas. On the flip side, keeping your cool while you’re anxious about an outcome is essential, as even the smallest outburst can put your team on edge.

2. Self-awareness is critical

Emotional intelligence can be boosted by being more self-aware and observant of your and others’ emotional reactions. Awareness of your anxious or angry feelings can aid in dealing with them and communicating them in a way that leads to positive outcomes. You can increase your self-awareness by keeping a journal in which you record the occurrence of intense emotions and the circumstances that gave rise to them.

3. Effective communication is beneficial

As a financial leader, you should be able to talk to people to put your point effectively across the table. Effective communication is beneficial as it helps in making good relationships. Simplify communication and avoid using jargon in any message or instruction. Easy, comprehensive language is an indicator of higher emotional intelligence.

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It helps in delivering a message or instruction with more clarity. Clarity is necessary for understanding any instruction, especially when working with multicultural people. Communication is different across people and cultures, so simplifying communication is necessary to avoid language barriers and misunderstandings. There is a high probability of misunderstanding as your understanding differs from others. 

4. Develop cultural understanding

If you’re nervous about overstepping your bounds when working in multiethnic groups, one strategy is to learn the local language and culture, including the idioms people commonly use. Other cultures, such as the Indian and Chinese, value hierarchy in the workplace more than others, while some people, like those from Saudi Arabia, may be less prone to say “no” than those from other countries.

5. Learn to be empathic 

With high emotional intelligence, you can put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand their emotions. This implies that you can respond respectfully and comfortingly to other people’s feelings even if you don’t share those emotions. Think about how you would feel if you were in someone else’s position and use it to understand their predicament better.

6. Accept feedback

A good leader can take criticism and suggestions for improvement in stride, whether they pertain to a recent presentation or how to better distribute work responsibilities. Though it may be difficult, strive to view criticism as a means to your professional development. To be receptive to criticism is to accept ownership of your actions and to work to enhance your interpersonal skills.

7. Stay positive

Emotionally intelligent people know the significance of a kind word, an encouraging email, and thoughtful action. Positive thinking in a crisis circumstance might aid in the stability of those around you. It’s possible that adopting such a mindset would inspire a heightened capacity for creative problem-solving and collaborative effort.

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 Even if it’s natural to feel down sometimes, you should work on reducing their impact and looking for ways to overcome them.

8. Be perceptive about your team

Conformity can become the driving force behind decision-making when a group is working toward the same objective. Everyone wants to quickly and easily answer “yes” to move the process along. Everyone on your team may have a common goal with the organization, but they may have varying perspectives on the best way to accomplish it.

In that situation, you should ask your coworkers for input on the outcomes and intermediate targets they would find most satisfying. It will help you develop your capacity for empathy and serve as a useful reminder that each team member has something unique to offer.


Emotional intelligence is an effective skill for success for any financial leader. By honing your EQ, you can become more perceptive of your surroundings and the people in them, sharpen your communication skills, and learn to anticipate the actions and reactions of those around you. So, to succeed in your career, you must work on this skill.


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