Emotional Intelligence and Leadership


EmotionalIntelligence and Leadership


Emotionalintelligence can be perceived as the capacity to monitor both one`sand other people`s emotions and feelings, to deduce their meaning,and then use the information gathered, in the process, to guide one`sactions and thought process (Bracket, Rivers, and Salovey, 2010: 89).Emotional intelligence can be manifested in a number of leadershipbehaviours. For example, in participative management, individuals orleaders who are open to listening to the ideas forwarded by otherpeople or members of the organisation before implementing change areusually perceived as being good leaders. Another example of theconcept is the ability to strike a balance between one`s work andpersonal life, in such a way that no single activity is neglected.The ability of an individual or employee to control his impulse, besocially responsible, have empathy reflects his or her ability tocontribute to a [work] group and understand other people`s emotions(Centre for Creative Leadership, 2003)


Intelligencecan be viewed as the mental ability to handle information ofdifferent kinds. The before-mentioned abilities may encompassanything between simple perceptual processes, including informationprocessing and generalised forms of problem-solving skills. Sometheories have been developed to conceptualise intelligence. Thesetheories fall into one of two categories: lumpers or splitters.Lumpers theorise intelligence within the context of anall-encompassing ability to acquire knowledge, solve problems andreason. This type of thinking is perceivable as the traditional viewof intelligence: Intelligence Quotient (IQ) (Ghabanchi and Rastegar,2014).

Contraryto the above argument, Emotional Quotient (EQ) encompasses fourfactors of intelligence: reflecting on the emotions of others,understanding these emotions, assimilating them in one`s thoughts,and then perceiving and expressing one`s emotions. These four factorsare arranged from the more basic psychological processes to higher,more sophisticated psychologically connected processes. The firstlevel involves a person`s ability to understand his own emotions, inaddition to other people`s feelings. The second level is where thesame individual employs the information he or she deduces from hisencounter with other people to inform his actions or decisions. Thethird level involves learning, interpreting and examining theseemotions. The final level involves the ability of an individual tocontrol his own behaviour, in addition to other people`s actions, byreacting in a manner that is appropriate, depending on thecircumstances beforehand (Ghabanchi and Rastegar, 2014).


Recentyears have necessitated the use of emotional intelligence, byleaders, in the workplace. For example, the ability to put people atease has been insisted by the corporate world increasingly. Leaderswho have the capacity to resist the impulse to act are perceived asinvaluable assets to organisations. Reason being, the ability to putpeople at ease has been associated with happiness, suggesting thatthe more comfortable a leader`s disposition is, relates to howcomfortable his followers will be in his presence. Another example isself-awareness. Managers who have the ability to understand theirstrengths and weaknesses are more likely to perform better instressful and challenging situations (Centre for Creative Leadership,2003).

Thelack of emotional intelligence can also lead to some negativeconsequences. For example, deducing from the above discussion, if aleader cannot resist an impulse, he will certainly create anxiety inthe organisation`s employees and stakeholders. Thus, bringing intobeing inefficiency, and, in some cases, the loss of key investors.Also, leaders who are not self-aware may not inspire the confidencethat they should from their employees and stakeholders (Centre forCreative Leadership, 2003).


Toensure effectiveness is realised within an organisation, leaders mustkeep some elements in mind. For instance, when confronted withfailure, leaders should inspire &quotlearned optimism&quot in theirfollowers or employees. Optimists usually make attributions that aretemporary, specific, and external in nature, as opposed topessimists, who, more often than not, make attributions that areglobal, permanent, and internal in nature. Second, leaders shouldalso concentrate on empathy. Studies indicate that individuals whocan understand other people`s emotions or concerns are usually moresuccessful in the workplace (Chernis, 2000).

Toinspire emotional intelligence in organisations, managers should betrained to feel responsible for their subordinates. Reason being,leaders who do not feel responsible for their followers, cannotunderstand them, let alone understand their own emotions they cannothandle stress, and can easily erupt into anger. Thus, implementingSelf Awareness programmes for leaders will help them handle stressmore effectively, identify and monitor their emotions and those ofothers, and, most importantly, adapt to new changes (Centre forCreative Leadership, 2003).


Anindividual`s ability to demonstrate himself as constructive,contributing and cooperative member of a group is critical to hissuccess in the long-run. Self-control enables a leader to becomeresponsive to the needs of his followers, in addition tounderstanding their feelings and attitudes toward particular issues.In a nutshell, emotional intelligence gives leaders the ability tomanage a diverse group of individuals, with different culturalbackgrounds and orientations.


CENTERFOR CREATIVE LEADERSHIP. (2003). Leadership Skills &amp EmotionalIntelligence. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/assessments/skills_intelligence.pdf

Chernis.(2000). Emotional Intelligence: What it is and Why itMatters.&nbspConsortiumfor Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.Retrieved fromhttp://www.eiconsortium.org/pdf/what_is_emotional_intelligence.pdf

Ghabanchi,&nbspZ.,&amp Rastegar,&nbspR. (2014). The Correlation of IQ and EmotionalIntelligence with Reading Comprehension.&nbspTheReading Matrix © 2014,&nbsp14(2).Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/files/11-19j6t3o1.pdf

Marc,&nbspA.,Rivers,&nbspS., &amp Salovey,&nbspP. (2010). EmotionalIntelligence: Implications for Personal, Social, Academic, andWorkplace Success.&nbspSocialand Personality Psychology Compass.Retrieved fromhttp://ei.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/pub184_Brackett_Rivers_Salovey_2011_Compass-1.pdf