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Impact Of Emotional Intelligence On Leadership

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THE IMPACT OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

ON LEADERSHIP

INTRODUCTION

Our World today has more civilized societies with ever expanding population, having diversity in racial polarization, creed and gender. One common thread or feature in all these people is that everyone has feelings and emotions, and emotions engender emotional intelligence. We, being humans, are superior over other living creatures- we can think, feel and rationalize. Because of that we are being deluded by many behaviours, traits, perceptions , mindset patterns and attitudes. All these call for some kind of set order where one can act and interact with one another in ways that are not repugnant, but in harmony and with the decorum that portrays one to be civilized. Leadership is a dynamic process of relationships building between individuals and groups. The constant nourishing of individuals is at the core of effective leadership. Effective leaders improve performance by assuming a level of competence and building upon existing strengths. This paper briefly looks into the impact of emotional intelligence on leadership.

LEADERSHIP DEFINED

It has been said that there are as many as definitions of leadership as there are those that

write it. Leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups toward the achievement of goals. 1 Leadership is a process where a leader influences the direction of a unit in achieving its objective. 2 Leadership is vision manifest through challenge, encouragement, and inspiring others to action. 3

There are two kinds of people in this world, followers and leaders. Followers are the people that never take a leadership role in any activity. However leaders are the ones that use their leadership skills to make a difference in this world, such as presidents, teachers, or even college graduates. Leadership is not something you can learn from a book, but you have to gain this skill through experiences such as holding an office, organizing an event, speaking in front of people, or participating in a leadership program. Successful leadership means taking risks, being fully engaged in the challenges of one’s organization, and being prepared to give up everything for one’s values and principles.

Over the years, so many theories, practices, concepts, and styles of leadership has came about. Daniel Goleman gives six leadership styles: Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting, and Coaching.4 He states that only four out of the six styles are positive. The Coercive style is a “Do what I tell you” type and can bring about problem with some employees. Coercive is known to be negative. The Authoritative style is a “Come with me” type and some others towards the vision, and is extremely positive. The Affiliative style is a “People come first” type and it creates peace among the group and motivates during demanding times. The Democratic style is a “What do you think” type and works off team communication and collaboration, and is positive also. The Pacesetting style is a “Do as I do, now” type which has a negative effect. Pacesetting is getting quick results for high standards. Lastly, the Coaching style is a “Try this” type that is positive that help enlarge long-term strengths for the future.

Great leadership works through the emotions. No matter what the leaders set out to do, their success depends on how they do it. 5 Emotions play a pivotal role in leadership. It is through emotions that we are able to lead effectively. Even if they get everything just right , If leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should. 6 Thus, emotions should also be discussed in the context of leadership.

AN OVERVIEW ON EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

Over the past decade, researchers and psychologists have discovered that the most successful leaders develop not only their intellectual abilities, but their social or emotional abilities as well. These discoveries have spawned so many studies and research which discuss the correlation between leaders and their emotions. Thus, borne Emotional Intelligence. At the most basic, we would define emotional intelligence as the intelligent use of emotions. However, there appears to be more profound definitions and apparently there are three schools of thought governing emotional intelligence:

John Mayer and Peter Salovey define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought ,to understand emotions and emotional meanings , and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote both better emotion and thought. 7

Reuven Bar-On views it as a cross-section of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how well we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands, challenges and pressures. 8

Daniel Goleman believes that it is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. 9

The three definitions above have corresponding conceptual models which appears to be , as supported by numerous researches, acceptable models of Emotional Intelligence. They are known as the Salovey-Mayer model; the Goleman model; and the Bar-On model. Although all three models share many consistencies, each model has its own uniqueness. These models are also classified into two: the ability model and the mixed model. 10

THE MAYER-SALOVEY FOUR-BRANCH MODEL

The Mayer-Salovey model falls under the ability model which describes four areas of capacities or skills collectively describe many areas of emotional intelligence. 11

More specifically, this model defines emotional intelligence as involving the abilities to:

Perceive emotions in oneself and others

Use emotions to facilitate thinking

Understand emotional meanings

Manage emotions

The first two areas, Perception and Facilitation, relate most closely to feelings. They involve, first, the capacity to perceive emotions in others accurately, and, second, the ability

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