Emotional intelligence Leadership - What makes a good leader?
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the capability to recognize, manage and assess emotions. Some researchers propose that emotional intelligence can be learned and reinforced, while others claim it is an innate trait (Cherry, 2011). Emotional Intelligence has become a crucial part of how today's leaders meet the significant challenges they face everyday. Emotional Intelligence can help leaders in an increasingly difficult leadership role, one that fewer and fewer people seem capable of fulfilling (Childs, 2011).
Emotional Intelligence does not fit the characteristic historical models of leadership. These models typically are associated with great figures of military history and summon up charismatic and sometimes dictatorial images. Nonetheless, people frequently use the same language for leadership today. Leaders must be brave, daring and tough with a strong sense of purpose and determination. Yet, this does not fit today's needs, for the reason that today's workforce does not recognize the autocratic style frequently adopted by leaders following historical models of leadership, leadership has had to advance to match a growing sense of democracy and independence in the workforce and workers now have many more options than before (Childs, 2011).
Leaders now need to manage and lead an empowered workforce and go beyond the counseling, co-operative and democratic styles of today. These new stresses include:
consultation and involvement- even though leaders still get condemned for not having and communicating a convincing vision and purpose autonomy and freedom -- although leaders are still expected to take full accountability when things go as planned opportunities for growth, challenge and glory - leaders must be on hand to teach and mentor us so that people develop their potential inclusion and team spirit -- leaders must supply employees with individual gratitude and acknowledgement in order to promote a team environment (Childs, 2011).
2. Discuss the question: can emotional intelligence be learnt? (EI)? (b) to succeed, do leaders need EI -- (Antonakis, Ashkanasy and Dasborough 2009, p.247). (300 words)
Emotional intelligence can be taught so in turn it can be learned. This concept was shown in a study done by cognitive scientist Delphine Nelis and colleagues (Goldsmith, 2009). In this study they divided forty college students into two groups. One group attended four two-and-a-half hour training sessions over a four-week period in order to learn skills for improving their emotional intelligence while the other group did not attend any training.
The goal of these EI sessions was to augment the participants' skills in understanding, evaluating, communicating, and regulating their emotions. Each session included short lectures, role playing exercises, discussions, and readings. In a role playing exercise, two people pretended to be co-workers having a disagreement. After their interaction, the group discussed how well they handled the situation, and then the participants ran through the exercise again to find more affirmative ways of expressing their emotions (Goldsmith, 2009).
Delphine and her colleagues found that members of the group that received the training showed a considerable advance in their ability to recognize their feelings and the feelings of others, as well as to direct and control their emotions. In addition, these improvements were evident not only right after the training but also six months later. The findings of this study suggest that it is possible to augment emotional intelligence in both the short- and long-term (Goldsmith, 2009).
According to Antonakis, Ashkanasy & Dasborough (2009) emotional intelligence is not needed in order for a leader to be successful. There are others though that believe that if it is not needed it sure helps. According to Daniel Goleman in (Maulding, 2002) emotional intelligence includes self-discipline, enthusiasm and perseverance, and the capability to motivate oneself. The key to improving leadership lies in learning how to use ones emotions successfully or, in other words, by developing emotional intelligence.
3. What is the main argument in the above presented case? (Antonakis, Ashkanasy and How would you respond to this argument? -- (Antonakis, Ashkanasy and Dasborough 2009, p.247).
The main argument is that good leaders do need emotional intelligence to advance but do need it to be successful. I agree that people need emotional intelligence to advance. I believe that in order for a person to advance in the business world they must have some level of emotional intelligence. Granted the more emotional intelligence that one has or learns the farther that they are likely to advance, but there has to be some minimal level present. There are too many situations that occur in a company that require a person to maintain their composure and if a person had no Emotional Intelligence they would not be able to survive event the simplest bump in the road. EI is definitely needed in order for people to advance into leadership positions.
The part of the argument that I don't agree with is that people don't need emotional intelligence in order to be successful. There are many people who manage to get promoted into managerial roles within a company and advance up but are not necessarily successful at being a leader. Being a good leader takes certain qualities. It is these qualities that make a person a leader as opposed to just a manager. Anyone can be a manager, but only a select few can truly be good leaders. Being a good leader takes many strong traits and characteristics in order to get people to follow their visions.
4. Beside emotional intelligence, discuss the relevance of the following skills for leaders. (800-1000 words)
a. Personality - Several lines of evidence show that certain personality dimensions are consistently related to rated leadership effectiveness. It has been found dominance, assertiveness, energy or activity level, speech fluency, sociability, emotional stability, conscientiousness and agreeableness are all positively related to leadership effectiveness (Hogan, Curphy & Hogan, 1994). Leaders must have a personality in which they are able to get along with many people under many different circumstances. They must be able to handle tough situations and yet know when it is appropriate to be lighthearted too.
b. Charisma - People usually see leaders as larger than life. Charisma plays a large part in this observation. Leaders who have charisma are able to stir strong emotions in their staff by defining a vision which joins and enthralls them. Using this vision, leaders inspire workers to reach toward a future goal by binding the goal to considerable personal rewards and values (Leadership Traits, n.d.). Charisma is a quality that attracts people to other people. Those who have charisma are able to get people to follow them and their ideals. This is what separates a good leader from just a manager.
c. Conflict resolution skills - Workplace disagreement is a part of every company, regardless of its size. Good leadership skills include preparation for how to handle workplace conflict when it arises, and also a bit of deterrent approach. Communicating clearly defined expectations around actions and communication standards is the first step in a defensive approach to conflict. Conflict resolution is about communication. One must first determine the problem or issue. What might appear as a trouble may really be the symptom, and if one treats just the symptoms the problem will keep coming back (Finkle, 2011).
d. Cross- cultural competencies - Leadership is the process of influencing others. Consequently cross-border leaders need to be successful in terms of cultural flexibility, emotional and cultural intelligence. Successful cross-cultural leadership is a function of not only motivation and leadership behaviors but also of analytical intelligence, emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence (Sielawa, 2008). Leaders need to be able to deal with people from all backgrounds and circumstances. Having good cross-cultural competencies allows for leaders to be able to asses a situation and them come up with the best solution in regards to it.
e. Understanding power -- To lead effectively in business, an attentiveness of both people and power is vital. Understanding people involves learning the way people work, what they want in return for their work, how they work best. This includes determining what impedes them, their individual approaches, what attitudes and perceptions they bring to work, how they work together with a team and the nature of their wishes, dreams and requirements. Truly successful leaders use this information for the betterment of those who work for them. Frequently, leaders who understand people build effective teams. They know how to hire the right people. They can motivate people to work well together. And they can communicate effectively with their team at all times (Vanino, 2011).
Understanding power involves learning the character of power and how people use it. It involves understanding how things get done, the subliminal approaches and perceptions that affect personal interactions, how to persuade people, and what needs to be done to get where one wants to go. Really successful leaders use this information to get things accomplished. Frequently, leaders who appreciate power are successful in reaching their goals. They can rapidly figure out the playing field and make the best moves. They motivate others to success. They…