emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence & Leadership

I’m confident that if I asked you to describe a great leader you worked with (and hopefully you can provide an example) you would describe a person high in emotional intelligence. They were a strong communicator, inspired you, made you enthusiastic about your work, were accommodating and considered your input and ideas when making key decisions. They demonstrated emotional control where required, displayed empathy toward others, and were aware of their own feelings and how their actions influenced others[1]. If this describes the leader you had in mind, then you can understand why emotional intelligence is being increasingly recognised as an essential leadership attribute[2].

Emotionally intelligent individuals are more likely to become leaders due to their ability to perceive others’ emotions, attitudes, goals, and interests, enabling them to influence the group by appealing to their needs[3].

Once in a leadership position, they provide a multitude of benefits to the organisation which can positively influence the bottom line. They drive enthusiasm and positivity, ensuring increases in productivity and retention[4]. They improve the organisations ability to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances, ensuring continued competitiveness and survival in today’s business climate[5]. Further, they provide transformational influence over teams, and challenge them to work toward increasing effectiveness, interaction dynamics, trust, and implementation of the team vision[6].

Psychometric tools provide a means to assess Emotional Intelligence. They can be used in Leadership Development and leadership training contexts to enhance performance of existing leaders, by identifying challenge areas and providing targeted training suggestions. They can be used during Succession Planning to identify which employees demonstrate high emotional intelligence. Further, they can be used during the recruitment process to identify candidates who possess the leadership skills required for management and executive positions.

The benefits emotionally intelligent leaders bring to organisations can be easily captured by utilising psychometric tools, and the value which these leaders can bring to your organisation will far outweigh the cost of implementing them into your people processes.

 [1] Polychroniou, P.V. (2009). Relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership of supervisors: The impact on team effectiveness. Team Performance Management, 15(7/8), 343-356.DOI: 10.1108/1352759091100212

[2] Lash, R. (2011). Emotional intelligence and leadership. In J. Law, Business: the ultimate resource (3rd ed.). London, UK: A&C Black.

 [3] Cote, S., Lopes, P.N., Salovey, P., & Miners, C.T.H. (2010). Emotional intelligence and leadership emergence in small groups. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(3), 496-508. DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.03.012

[4] Nwokah, N.G., Ahiauzu, A.I. (2010). Marketing in governance: Emotional intelligence leadership for effective corporate governance. Corporate Governance, 10(2), 150-162. DOI: 10.1108/14720701011035675

[5] Nwokah, N.G., Ahiauzu, A.I. (2010). Marketing in governance: Emotional intelligence leadership for effective corporate governance. Corporate Governance, 10(2), 150-162. DOI: 10.1108/1472070101103567 

[6] Prati, L., Caesar, D., Ferrris, G., Ammeter, A., & Buckley, M. (2003). Emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and team outcomes. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(1), 21-40. DOI: 10.1108/eb028961

Written by Michael Mancinone

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