Emotions play a significant role in the field of leadership. When an individual knows how to use emotions intelligently, the individual can achieve success in the workplace. Good use of emotions has been a requirement for effective leadership, which is crucial in a rapidly changing industry. Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been identified as an important element needed for effective leadership.

The Essential Features of Effective Leadership

To examine the effects of EI in effective leadership, it is essential to identify the nature of effective leadership. It is a difficult task, as many leadership theories and leadership approaches present different empirical findings about effective leadership. Favorably, several studies have provided a synthesis of effective leadership.
Based on these studies, specific elements of effective leadership have been identified. As described by researchers, here are a few of the essential features of effective leadership:

1. Effective leaders need to have a collective sense of the goals of the organization as well as having a plan on how to achieve these goals.

2. Effective leaders should possess a natural concern, knowledge and appreciation and importance of their work.

3. Create and maintain an exciting and positive work environment. This leads to confident, optimistic, and enthusiastic individuals.

4. Flexible and adaptable to different contexts and situations.

5. Establish and uphold a meaningful identity to other individuals.

Leaders with high levels of EI tend to be more knowledgeable and display positive emotions in the workplace. Research posits that optimistic leaders had positive effects on their subordinates. On the other hand, those leaders with undesirable dispositions had negative effects on their subordinates, such as feelings of anger, insecurity, frustration and stress. As such, to ensure that the workplace is productive and positive, leaders must carefully consider the effect of their mood and disposition on their subordinates. Furthermore, they were aware that being in a negative mood would most likely limit their creativity, flexibility and productivity.

An emotionally intelligent leader has the capacity to read and understand individuals in social situations; they could utilize their knowledge to regulate, management and influence other individuals and their subordinates.