How To Be An Emotionally Mature Leader


I explain why emotional maturity requires both emotional and mental intelligence and how integrating them create the best outcome for leaders and followers. We all have some kind of leadership role in society. Parenthood is a good example. Emotionally mature parents can have better relationships with their children.

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

Emotions and logic are the two primary factors to make decisions. However, most of the time, emotions pull our strings, surpassing pure logic and reasoning.

Emotions make us human and play a critical role in our relationships. Emotional maturity requires emotional intelligence, hands-on emotion handling skills, emotional hygiene, and reasoning.

We need to deal with our emotions but also understand the emotions and feelings of others. Emotions are experienced at home, in communities, and the workplaces.

Emotions are so widespread that they even affect the economy. It involves sales and marketing. Many markets are affected by people's emotions. They go up and down based on people's behaviour and emotional decisions.

Emotions are extra crucial for leaders and managers.

Dealing with people and leading teams require robust emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EQ) involves awareness and management of one's own emotions and understanding others' emotions.


Emotionally mature leaders with high EQ can handle interpersonal relationships more effectively and with empathy and compassion.

Empathy and Compassion

Empathy and compassion for others have a magical impact on the leaders and their followers.

This natural human need is genuine and experienced in all social settings.

Whether they are our peers, superiors or subordinates, we can always communicate better by using empathy and compassion for others,


Effective communications depend on emotional maturity. This means that emotionally intelligent and mature people are relatively better communicators.

Putting ourselves in others' shoes is a proven communication enabler.

Consideration of other's unique circumstances with kindness, empathy, and compassion can open the communication channels for leaders.


Emotional intelligence makes the leaders more self-aware with their fluctuating moods, changing feelings, and mental drives.

Such self-awareness makes a tremendous difference for leaders when dealing with followers. Once leaders are aware of their moods, emotions, and attitudes, they can take appropriate actions for their communication and interactions with others.

Self-awareness also helps with self-regulation. Self-regulation is an indicator of emotional maturity.

Delayed gratification

Delayed gratification is a well-researched topic within the emotional maturity context.

Emotionally intelligent and mature leaders can make better decisions by delaying their gratifying urges for immediate reactions, which may not necessarily serve their best interest when experiencing low moods and debilitating negative emotions.

Studies show that children educated for delayed gratification became more successful than those who are not educated for this skill.


Emotionally mature leaders behave genuinely and authentically.

Their behaviour and attitudes reflect their authentic self in their communication and interactions with others. They align with their principles based on authenticity.

Genuine behaviour and attitudes are noticeable and welcomed by their followers.


Emotionally mature leaders do not strive for perfection. They strive to be their best version by refraining from being and showing themselves perfect.

Every human has a flaw. Therefore emotional maturity requires demonstrating vulnerability. Authentic leaders do not fear to show their vulnerabilities and even failures.

Emotionally mature leaders are not afraid of criticism. Emotionally mature leaders see criticism as feedback for improvement.

Paradoxically, offering human vulnerabilities to others empowers authentic leaders, makes them more confident, more balanced, and even makes them stronger leaders.

I observed these types of leaders in my social and work engagements. Their demonstrated vulnerability made them more credible in my eyes and the eyes of our team members.


I primarily touched on emotions so far. However, logic is also essential for emotional maturity.

Without logic, we cannot deal with our emotions effectively.

A logical approach is usually associated with mental intelligence, aka intelligence quotient (IQ).

Even though a certain amount of IQ is necessary for foundations and overall organisational structures, EQ makes the difference for leadership excellence. Emotionally intelligent leaders deal with people more effectively than high IQ leaders.

Self-orientation and people focus

Emotionally mature leaders are less self-oriented and people-focussed because they know that their success depends on other people.

Businesses cannot gain success with just leaders. Both leaders and followers demonstrate success.

Even though leaders are in the spotlight, the success of followers matters as much as the leaders’ success.

Motivation and inspiration

Motivation and inspiration are essential in the workplace.

Emotionally mature leaders can motivate their followers to be creative and productive for work purposes.

They also encourage and build up people to help them find the best versions of themselves.


Emotional maturity requires both emotional and mental intelligence. EQ and IQ go hand in hand. Some thought leaders only focus on EQ, and some only focus on IQ. From my experience, both are essential for emotional maturity.

Emotional maturity is about knowing and managing one's own emotions and understanding and managing other people's emotions simultaneously. Emotional intelligence and maturity can contribute to our mental health.

From my studies, the critical concepts that contribute to emotional maturity are authenticity, empathy, compassion, motivation and demonstrating vulnerability to build sustainable relationships. These concepts are usually implemented with mindfulness practices.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

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I write about important and valuable life lessons. My ultimate goal is to delight my readers. My content aims to inform and engage my readers. Truth, diversity, collaboration, and inclusiveness are my core values. I am a pragmatic technologist, scientist, postdoctoral academic and industry researcher focusing on practical and important life matters for the last four decades.


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