The aim of this report is to explain the concept of emotional intelligence. Further, the differences between emotional quotient and intelligence quotient are explained. Further, the reasons why leaders need emotional quotient or emotional intelligence are examined. The consequences of the leaders who do not possess emotional intelligence are identified. Further, the elements of emotional intelligence are explored that would enhance leadership effectiveness. Lastly, a few recommendations are provided to improve the social skills of leaders that would positively influence emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to recognize emotions of self and others. It is the area of cognitive ability that facilitates interpersonal behaviour so that the feelings can be managed and well expressed. A few characteristics of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills. For example, if an employee has a bad day at work and has low emotional intelligence, he might shout at his wife and children without thinking about the emotions. Another example of emotional intelligence is that, the wife of that individual might empathize and understand that her husband had a bad day. Therefore, the woman in such a case possesses high emotional intelligence (McCleskey, 2014).
As discussed earlier, emotional quotient or emotional intelligence is defined as the individual’s ability to identify, manage, control and express emotions. The individuals possessing high emotional intelligence prove to be great leaders and team players as they have the ability to connect, empathize and understand people. However, intelligence quotient is derived as a score from standardized tests especially designed to test intelligence. The individuals need to possess logical reasoning, math skills, spatial thinking and other abilities for high intelligence quotient. The people with high intelligence quotient are gifted individuals with special needs and mental challenges (McCleskey, 2014).
Emotional intelligence holds certain significance, especially in the workplace. Firstly, the leaders must possess emotional intelligence for effective communication. As the leaders have a responsibility to share vision, they must be clear and consistent in sharing thoughts so that the employees understand what is expected from them. Secondly, leaders need to be self-aware so that they can focus on their strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, leaders need emotional intelligence to manage work force as it portrays high confidence in times of crisis. With high emotional intelligence, the leaders must know to behave in a calm manner and respond to the circumstances (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2013).
Firstly, the leaders who do not possess emotional intelligence are more likely to make hasty decisions that can affect the core value of the organization. They also tend to blame other people around them. Secondly, the leaders tend to become ignorant of other’s feelings as they hardly pay attention to their body language. Therefore, they might give commands without thinking of the consequences on other people (Barbuto, Gottfredson, & Searle, 2014).
The different elements of emotional intelligence in leadership are described. Firstly, self-awareness helps in analysing how one feels and how the actions affect other people. It helps the leaders choose the best way to respond to situations. It gives leaders the ability to understand and recognize their personal moods, drives and emotions. Secondly, self-regulation is the ability control the moods and impulses to think before acting. It helps the leaders to stay in control rather than verbally attacking others or compromising their values. Thirdly, empathy helps the leaders to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Therefore, the leaders earn loyalty and respect of the team by being empathetic. Fourthly, motivation helps them achieve optimism and enhance organizational commitment. The self-motivated leaders exhibit high quality of work. Lastly, leaders with social skills help in building networks and managing relationship. These leaders are good at resolving conflict and managing change (Druskat, Mount, & Sala, 2013).
Social skills are defined as the skills that help enhance the interaction and relationship with others. Social skills are mandatory in every leader to improve relationships. According to McCleskey (2014), a few concrete strategies can help build the social skills of leaders within the organization. The organizations can introduce leadership training and development program that would focus on the social skills. The leaders must begin with team building and they should involve members in the decision making process. Whether their situation is effective or ineffective, the members must be involved in the decision making process. It is found that the leaders involving the team members in decision making process turn out to be proficient and effective. Such leaders can improve their communication skills and earn the loyalty and respect of followers (Elfenbein, Barsade, & Eisenkraft, 2015).
Another strategy, developmental relationship can be built to ensure leaders develop their social skills. This plan may be formal or informal in nature. The members of team can obtain easy access to the developmental procedures. Therefore, this can help the leaders in identifying members who are suitable to do the job (McCleskey, 2014). Another strategy is networking where the leaders must interact with the outsiders. The leaders must put effort to negotiate with the customers to meet their expectations. The customer expectation can be identified and be effective in the global market (Dong, Seo, & Bartol, 2014).
Conclusively, emotional intelligence plays a significant role in the organization. The leaders must possess emotional intelligence to effectively manage the workforce. A few characteristics of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills. The individuals possessing high emotional intelligence prove to be great leaders and team players as they have the ability to connect, empathize and understand people. As the leaders have a responsibility to share vision, they must be clear and consistent in sharing thoughts so that the employees understand what is expected from them. The leaders who do not possess emotional intelligence are more likely to make hasty decisions that can affect the core value of the organization.
Dong, Y., Seo, M. G., & Bartol, K. M. (2014). No pain, no gain: An affect-based model of developmental job experience and the buffering effects of emotional intelligence. Academy of Management Journal, 57(4), 1056-1077.
Druskat, V., Mount, G., & Sala, F. (2013). Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work (1st ed.). Hove: Psychology Press.
Elfenbein, H. A., Barsade, S. G., & Eisenkraft, N. (2015). The social perception of emotional abilities: expanding what we know about observer ratings of emotional intelligence. Emotion, 15(1), 17.
McCleskey, J. (2014). Emotional intelligence and leadership: A review of the progress, controversy, and criticism. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 22(1), 76-93.
Barbuto Jr, J. E., Gottfredson, R. K., & Searle, T. P. (2014). An examination of emotional intelligence as an antecedent of servant leadership. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 21(3), 315-323.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Oxford: Harvard Business Press.
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