MY Blog

How Self-Love Raised My Emotional Intelligence


When I first began my journey in leadership, the concept of emotional intelligence (EQ) was something I hadn’t fully grasped. Like many, I equated effective leadership with assertiveness, decision-making, and technical skills. However, as I progressed in my career, it became evident that these traits, while important, weren’t sufficient for true leadership. It was self-love that truly raised my EQ and transformed my approach to leadership.

The Realisation: EQ as a Critical Leadership Skill

Emotional intelligence is increasingly recognised as a critical leadership skill. It’s the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as those of others. High EQ leaders foster better team dynamics, improve employee engagement, and create a positive workplace culture. When I started working in my family business, I faced significant resistance. My ideas were dismissed, and my attempts to connect with the team often fell flat. It was frustrating, and I began to question my approach.

The Turning Point: Embracing Self-Love

It wasn’t until I embraced self-love that things began to change. Self-love isn’t just about treating yourself kindly; it’s about understanding and accepting who you are. It’s recognising your strengths and weaknesses and knowing that you are enough. This acceptance and understanding of myself was pivotal in raising my emotional intelligence.

With self-love, I became more attuned to my emotions. I could recognise when I was feeling frustrated or overwhelmed and could take steps to manage these feelings. This self-awareness helped me become more empathetic toward others. I started to understand that my team’s resistance wasn’t personal but stemmed from their own fears and uncertainties.

Guiding Day-to-Day Decision-Making

Self-love guided my day-to-day decision-making. It helped me approach problems with a calm and clear mind. Instead of reacting impulsively, I took the time to understand the underlying issues. For instance, when a project wasn’t meeting its deadlines, instead of reprimanding the team, I sat down with them to discuss the challenges they were facing. This open and empathetic approach not only resolved the immediate issue but also built trust and respect within the team.

Enhancing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is another area where high EQ, fuelled by self-love, made a significant impact. By understanding my own needs and emotions, I became better at recognising the needs and emotions of my employees. I started implementing regular check-ins, not just to discuss work but to understand how they were feeling. I encouraged a culture of openness where employees felt safe to express their concerns and ideas.

One of the most profound changes was how I handled feedback. Previously, I saw feedback as a critique of my abilities. Self-love helped me view feedback as an opportunity for growth. I began to welcome it, and this attitude permeated through the team. We created a culture where feedback was constructive and aimed at collective improvement. I was able to empower them more with this approach of openness on both sides.

Transforming Workplace Culture

Building a positive workplace culture requires high emotional intelligence. Self-love was the foundation upon which I built this culture. I encouraged team members to practice self-care and to support one another. We celebrate successes together and learn from failures without blame. This environment of mutual respect and understanding fosters collaboration and innovation.

As I detailed in my second book, the journey wasn’t easy. Initially, there was resistance not only from the team but also from within myself. Overcoming self-doubt and societal expectations of leadership was challenging. But with persistence and self-love, I made myself heard. It took time, but eventually, the team started to listen. They saw the consistency in my approach and the genuine care I had for their well-being.

Linking to the Future: Leading Diverse Teams

High EQ is essential for leading diverse teams effectively, which will be the focus of my next post. Diversity brings a wealth of perspectives and ideas, but it also presents challenges in understanding and managing different viewpoints and emotional responses. A leader with high EQ can navigate these complexities, ensuring that every team member feels valued and heard.

In conclusion, self-love raised my emotional intelligence and transformed my leadership style. It helped me navigate resistance, make thoughtful decisions, engage employees, and build a positive workplace culture. As we move forward, the ability to lead with high EQ will become increasingly important, especially in diverse and dynamic environments. By embracing self-love, we can all become better leaders, capable of creating lasting and meaningful change. When we connect and love ourselves, we are able to connect and love others better.

Enjoyed reading this post? Please share it!

Read this next...

Be the sculptor of your life!

Sign up below to download an exclusive preview of my book Come Alive and get started on your journey of knowing your authentic self.

About the Author

Recent Posts