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A key to Transformational Leadership is to ponder, pause, and ask questions of ourselves and of others. Take some time to reflect on these five traits of a Transformational Leader.

1. Self Awareness

This is the ability to recognize and understand your emotional state, as well as your impact on others. This is your ability to name how you are feeling.  It’s how you show self-confidence to others, and your ability to laugh at your own mistakes or faults.

Ask yourself:  

  • Am I aware of my emotional state?
  • What do I do when I feel triggered by an event?
  • How do I manage bad moods or tense situations?
  • Do I make light of my mistakes?
  • Do I think about my mission/purpose?
  • Do I have confidence in my abilities?
  • Do I praise my own achievements?
  • What mood do I want to bring to work today?

2. Self regulation

This is the way one manages impulses and moods, and the ability to let go of judgement and observe, to think before acting. You see this quality in those individuals who are open to change and who do not mind a bit of ambiguity – nothing is black and white. This is the ability to handle your own difficult emotions, triggers, and shift to a positive state. One who can self-regulate is typically seen as trustworthy.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I able to shift from a bad mood quickly?
  • Do I recognize not everything is what I perceive it to be?
  • Am I open to other perspectives?
  • Do I have a meditation or mindful practice that helps with self-regulation?

3. Internal Motivation

An internally motivated person will have a vision of what is important in life, and a joy in doing something. They show curiosity in learning and can get into a flow when doing that something. They pursue goals with energy and persistence. They have an ability to set and meet goals.

Ask yourself: 

  • Do I have a mission/purpose?
  • Have I thought about my unique values and what inspires me?
  • Have I set personal goals of what I hope to achieve in the next 3, 6, 12 months, both personally and professionally?
  • Do I visualize success?
  • What does that look like?

If you haven’t already take some time to set at least five goals you want to achieve in the next few months. Write them down in your journal, or Daytimer.

4. Empathy

This is the ability to understand other people’s emotions and behaviours. A person with empathy can build and retain talent, as they inspire a feeling of being understood and relatability. One who has empathy will embrace diversity. This individual will be skillful at understanding the emotions of others and can accurately reflect what another is feeling.

Ask yourself: 

  • Do I listen when other people speak?
  • Do I allow people to have their own opinions?
  • Am I skillful at reflecting what another person is saying?
  • Am I willing to be vulnerable to another person – to allow trust to be?
  • Do I believe in the inherent ability that lies within each and every person?

5. Interpersonal / social skills

This quality is the ability to manage relationships and build a team by finding common ground and building rapport. A person with interpersonal skills is effective in leading change. They can make people want to follow them. They know how to deepen relationships.

Ask yourself:

  • Have I set a team goal for the next 3, 6, 12 months that includes my team members input?
  • Have I visualized a positive outcome?
  • What does it look like?
  • Do I feel this positive outcome in my heart as well as see it in my mind?
  • How does it feel emotionally to be successful and achieve these positive outcomes?
  • What does common ground in my team look like?
  • What does it feel like? Write all the feeling words down that come to mind.

A transformational leader will display all these EQ qualities; however, not always skillfully. The key to EQ is developing awareness in areas you may want to grow. It’s about creating a place at work, where these traits are cultivated and given space to be.


Looking for more resources? Want to gain more understanding about yourself as a leader and/or the team you are working with?

Check out our newest E-learning course Emotional Intelligence at Work > CLICK HERE

This course includes a detailed assessment of your preferred emotions and behaviours; you will learn how they are impacting your relationships, influence, and daily interactions. Learners will leave with an improved sense of Emotional Intelligence and understanding on what success looks like at work.

That’s the last of our Leadership Blog Series, check out our blog page to read from the start!

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