Becoming an Emotionally Mature Leader

A leader’s primary role is to delegate, manage, and drive an organisation towards success. However, the emotion of a leader is equally important, if not the adhesive that holds everything together. Emotionally mature leaders lead a team very differently from leaders who are less aware of their emotions. 

In his book, Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders, author Aubrey Malphurs stresses the importance of a leader’s emotional quotient (EQ). Although the book was primarily directed at church leaders, it carries a similar impact on management across all industries. 

Malphurs invites readers to consider the implications that emotions have on the way a person leads. He further asks how those same emotions affect the feelings of those around you, and more importantly, how well they’re likely to follow your directions as a result. 

Regardless of a leader’s background, be it religious or secular, successful leadership largely depends on the individual’s ability to inspire and arouse passion in followers. And being emotionally mature will help achieve that on a consistent basis. 

The Quintessential Checklist of Mature Leadership

Mature leadership is achieved through an experience-driven perspective. Leaders who function on an emotionally mature level do so because they’re aware of the consequences that follow according to each reaction. 

Dr. Richard Davis, the President, and CEO of management psychologist firm Kilberry believes that control is the major requisite in every mature leader. 

Davis has suggested a few impactful ways to improve emotional control.  

Identify Triggers

Leaders should study their reactions according to the triggers around them. Are they more explosive regarding financial woes, or towards the breach of an organisational principle? 

Regardless of the root cause, leaders should identify what brings out the worst in them and gauge the response of their employees during an outburst. A mature leader is fully aware of their personal triggers and is likely to suppress impulses to provide the most productive reaction to a situation. 

Catarsis/ Listening Outlets

Catarsis is a term in psychology that refers to the release of tension through the outpouring of suppressed emotions. Leaders can achieve catharsis for their pent up aggression or frustration by assembling a trusted team of advisors or listeners. This avoids public outbursts and an improved sense of well-being to help them form clear-headed decisions. 

Such outlets may be difficult to locate within the workplace – since it is necessary to maintain professional ties with workers. As such, leaders may seek friends or family members who can afford them the time of day to hear them out and suggest alternative solutions to an existing problem.

Establishing a Professional Code

If frequent outbursts have led to strained relationships and reduced productivity at the workplace, it may be time to revisit the question of what defines a successful leaders. 

Create a list of items that serve as a firm guideline to how you’ll manage interpersonal relationships with your staff, partners, and customers/clients. Consult the list every now and then to ensure that you’re dedicated to the promise or mark of assurance that you’ve set for yourself. The professional code should be as vital as your company policy, or ethics, it should never be flouted.  

It is easy to get lost in the thick of things, especially when the hustle and bustle takes a toll on your patience and energy levels. However, by delaying the personal gratification of emotions, leaders can lead more objectively, with greater effect, and avoid long-term consequences. 


StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.

Sign up for our upcoming StrengthsAsia Showcase Workshop to enjoy a world-class facilitated experience to learn how you can optimise performance with Cliftonstrengths engagement strategies. 

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

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