Goleman et al. (2001) revealed much useful information in discussing their ideas about primal leadership. Eventually this group developed an argument about emotional intelligence and discussed this idea as an extremely important, yet mostly overlooked component of workplace leadership. The purpose of this essay is to explore the subject of emotional intelligence and evaluate the advantages of its usage while highlighting some of this theories finer attributes. I will introduce and recap the subject in the first part of this essay, and conclude with real world examples of how this approach is effecting businesses and the general landscape of corporate strategy.
Goleman's theory of emotional intelligence appears almost too obvious to capture in simple terms. The main proposition of this thesis is that the mood and emotional state of organizational leadership plays an extremely important role in the profitability of the organizations of these managers. For some this is common knowledge, but it appears for corporations to take notice of this idea, necessary studies and investigation were needed to prove that those at the top of hierarchal structures are extremely influential in presenting their emotional moods.
Goleman used certain psychological terminology to help reinforce his arguments. He suggested that feedback loops, also referred to, in more scientific terms, as interpersonal limbic regulation, had significant impacts on those subjected to the emotional states of their bosses. He stated "moods that start at the top tend to move the fastest because everyone watches the boss. They take their emotional cues from him. Even when the boss isn't highly visible, for example, the CEO who works behind closed doors on an upper floor, his attitude affects the moods of his direct reports, and a domino effect ripples throughout the company " (p.47).
Although this seems like common sense, it appears that this idea has been ignored in many cases throughout the development of scientific management theories. How do people not realize that the bosse's mood affects everyone and everything including the bottom line profits? What are the disconnects between this simple concept and the understanding of its importance? It appears that self-awareness, or a lack certain lack of this skill, in many CEO and managerial occupations is simply being overlooked and underdeveloped.
Goleman explicitly notified his audience that these ideas were not based in new age self-help fluff, rather these arguments are based on science and the scientific method. He suggested that those who possess a particular skill in managing their emotions, intelligently, will have a much greater ability to positively effect the profitability of the companies or these manager. Insley (2012) supported this claim when she stated "if we liken the mind to a high-performance engine, then emotional intelligence would be the oil that enables us to maintain and manage ourselves to perform to our full potential."
Mayer (2009) made some important distinctions in helping define the term of emotional intelligence by arguing that "emotional intelligence, however, is not agreeableness. It is not optimism. It is not happiness. It is not calmness. It is not motivation. Such qualities, although important, have little to do with intelligence, little to do with emotions, and nearly nothing to do with actual emotional intelligence." In other words, emotional intelligence is a basic skill that deals with opening up one's mind to the fact that the person inside is responsible, and has control of, the emotional state of the person. Emotion is not rational most of the time and understanding this paradoxical and somewhat absurd ideal is essential in mastering the emotional output of one's personality.
The Five Step Process of Mastering Emotional Intelligence
Goleman systemized his arguments by creating a five step process to help managers and CEO's to develop a mastery of maximizing their emotional output for organizational gain and profit and " rewire the brain toward more emotionally intelligent behaviors " (p.48). These steps are achieved by answering certain questions that deal with emotional self-exploration and discovery. They include:
1. Who do I want to be?
2. Who am I now?
3. How do I get from here to there?
4. How do I make a change stick?
5. Who can help me?
If these questions are thoroughly understood and answered with a frank and open approach to one's own makeup, success will surely follow according to the author.
Ultimately, mood is more important than anything else within the corporate environment according to emotional intelligence theories because of the nature of human beings relationships to their emotions. It is also clear that emotional intelligence alone will not make one a success in any particular field, but without the ability to recognize one's own emotional stance at any given time will surely put that leader at a disadvantage to his competition.
Examples of Emotional Intelligence
One of the most visible and public occurrences of success using emotional intelligence deals with athletics. Hanson (2009) used Olympic athletes and coaches as a prime example of how managerial emotional presentation can have profound impacts on overall team performance. Hanson discussed a study where 27 Olympic athletes and 30 coaches were interviewed to discuss their approach to success. According to the study, of all of the factors involved in achieving Olympic success, the relationship between coach and athlete was the most important. Hanson deduced that "the strong coach athlete relationship was viewed as the most crucial factor in winning an Olympic Medal or producing a personal best performance. Within the interviews, each of the 27 athletes, elaborated on how they developed a strong relationship with their coach and how their coach created a productive environment for them to be successful in." Also according to the coaches, " their attention is on creating strong coach athlete relationships. After all, each coach has already proven to the sporting world to have exceptional technical skills and sports specific knowledge about tactics and training methodology. What became a determining factor was that they also spoke at length about the importance of communication and trust. "
Besides sports, emotional intelligence is quickly becoming an important factor throughout the development of future business leaders and managers. Research about the subject has taken off in the last twenty years making it a more relevant factor in understanding performance behaviors. Mayer (2002) proclaimed that "one positive outcome of the popularizations of EI has been the enormous interest in research in the area. A growing body of literature examines the MSCEIT and its findings. These findings suggest that people high in EI form strong relations with others and have reliable support networks." As emotional intelligence continues to grow as a useful tool in making corporations and organizations more effective and profitable, the knowledge and interest surrounding the subject will continue to grow and become more of a factor in breeding successful leaders.
Many of today's successful leaders have identified the skill of managing emotions intelligently as an extremely important skill. Ruderman et al. (2001) explained that using a matrix that explored the relationship between emotional intelligence quality behaviors and effectiveness called Benchmark was developed to test the practicality of the theory. Their findings suggested that "higher levels of certain emotional intelligence components appear to be connected to better performance in those areas. The assessments indicated that the ability to put people at ease was related to impulse control, which suggests that not overreacting in difficult situations and avoiding knee-jerk responses such as quick anger go a long way toward making people feel relaxed."
It appears that a relaxed atmosphere where mistakes are not emotionally scorned makes for the best and most efficient workplace. In an article where the relationship between emotional intelligence and caffeine are investigated, Bradberry (2012) suggested that the results of ramping up on caffeine may have a negative effect on emotions and the effectiveness of the workplace. He concluded that "The negative effects of a…