psychology

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Research into the concepts behind emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been the concentration of concern of scholars and the popular media since its introduction in the 1990's. Opinions regarding the phenomenon of Emotional Intelligence have swung from touting it as more important than general intelligence to considering it a passing fad that is impossible to measure and quantify (Bennet, 2009).

Many people wonder how Intelligence Quotient is compared to Emotional Intelligence. According to Kemper (1999, in his study he investigated the differences in Communication World in the article “EQ vs. IQ”. As one of the most ancient parts of the brain and source of the fight or flight response, the amygdala has an important role in each of us it is a crucial part of our survival. Even though we are approaching the 21st century, this circuit in our brain is still wired to take over when it senses an emergency—often taking on the unwitting role of saboteur. This explains how emotions take over when stressful or quick response is needed. It is vital that when working with other people, employees are able to control this response and come up with the best solution. He describes situations where people have high EQ. Instead of describing the person as having high EQ, someone could think they were just able to handle pressure well. In other words, they are able to be self-aware of what is going on in their work environment and know how to self-regulate. These are all skills of emotional intelligence.

EI is an intangible ability individuals possess to varying degrees to perceive, assess, interpret and manage emotions both within themselves and others. According to Goleman (1995), having a high degree of EI is beneficial in interpersonal relations within all realms of life, including business. High EI individuals are better equipped to have more effective communication with others than low EI individuals. The high EI individual has the ability to accurately perceive and understand emotions in others, as well as control and manage their own emotions in real time within a communication exchange. This benefits both parties in the communication as it minimizes the potential for miscommunication due to emotional reactions.

One area that has been explored extensively is the benefit of having or being an emotionally intelligent leader. According to Ashkanasy and Daus (2002), there are communication challenges inherent in a leadership position. For example, there is potential for subordinates or peers to self censor, and omit or gloss over negative or potentially negative situations. Another example would be the potential for subordinates or peers to defer to the opinion of the leader instead of voicing opposing or separate opinions. Finally, a leader must give performance reviews, critiques and feedback to others. The delivery of such information can either enhance performance or be detrimental to future performance.

All of the above examples can be enhanced by having a highly emotionally intelligent leader. An emotionally intelligent leader is able to control and manage their emotions. This would allow a leader to encourage robust discussions and to allow new or different ideas to be brought to the table. The leader could foster an atmosphere of sharing by controlling their emotions and suppressing any impulse to dismiss or dismantle new ideas, instead thoughtfully listening and taking the time to ponder new ideas (Ashkanasy et al., 2002).

According to Brotheridge (2002), in the arena of feedback, performance evaluations and reviews an emotionally intelligent leader might take time to carefully craft the language in the review or balance negative and positive feedback. In addition, the emotionally intelligent leader would anticipate emotional responses in the employee being reviewed and be prepared to allow the employee time to digest the constructive criticism and move beyond the initial resistance.

Another area of EI that has been explored in the business arena as it relates to business is EI within groups or teams. According to Averill (2004), communication barriers within teams are potentially rife with misunderstandings or miscommunications. Brainstorming, assignment of roles and responsibilities, boundaries, deadlines and individual work styles each involve triggers for emotional reactions. Having several highly emotionally intelligent team members can influence project direction, team efficiency and independence as well as the ability to meet deadlines and produce a finished product. The highly emotionally intelligent individual can navigate and manage their own emotions as well as perceive, assess and respond to the emotions of others they are working with.

According to Goleman (1998), he indicated in his study that increased efficiency in communication and the resulting ability to establish mutually beneficial working relationships are two reasons that EI is of interest to the field of business. To date, many scientists, academics and marketers alike have devoted their careers to the application of EI in the business setting as well as in other fields including healthcare and education. Regardless of its application, a recurrent problem has been the lack of a singular universally accepted definition of EI.

Applications of EI in business have been the topic of articles and research since the 1990's. One scholar speculated that the fascination with the field of EI is based in a desire to explain success that cannot otherwise be explained (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000).

2.2 Daniel Goleman Model

Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and science writer who has previously written on brain and behaviour research for the New York Times, discovered the work of Salovey and Mayer in the 1990's. Inspired by their findings, he began to conduct his own research in the area and eventually wrote Emotional Intelligence (1995), the landmark book which familiarized both the public and private sectors with the idea of emotional intelligence.

Goleman's model outlines five main emotional intelligence constructs. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions. Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting. Motivation is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status. Empathy is the ability to understand the emotional make up of other people, a skill that may be used in treating people according to their emotional reactions. Social skills often ensure proficiency in managing relationships and building networks and enhance an ability to find common ground and build rapport with others (Goleman, 1998).

Goleman (1995)

2.2.1 Self-awareness

According to Goleman (1995), Self-awareness is the first component of emotional intelligence - which makes sense when one considers that the Delphic oracle gave the advice to “know thyself’ thousands of years ago. Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. People with strong self-awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they are honest—with themselves and with others.

People who have a high degree of self-awareness recognize how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance. Thus, a self aware person who knows that tight deadlines bring out the worst in him plans his time carefully and gets his work done well in advance. Another person with high self-awareness will be able to work with a demanding client. She will understand the client’s impact on her moods and the deeper reasons for her frustration. “Their trivial demands take us away from the real work that needs to be done,” she might explain. And she will go one step further and turn her anger into something constructive.

Self-awareness extends to a person’s understanding of his or her values and goals. Someone who is highly self-aware knows where he is headed and why; so, for example, he will be able to be firm in turning down a job offer that is tempting financially but does not fit with his principles or long-term goals. A person who lacks self-awareness is apt to make decisions that bring on inner turmoil by treading on burled values. “The money looked good so I signed on,” someone might say two years into a job, “but the work means so little to me that I’m constantly bored.” The decisions of self- aware people mesh with their values; consequently, they often find work to be energizing.

How can one recognize self-awareness? First and foremost, it shows itself as candor and an ability to assess oneself realistically. People with high self-awareness are able to speak accurately and openly although not necessarily effusively or confessionally about their emotions and the impact they have on their work. For instance, one manager I know of was skeptical about a new personal-shopper service that her company, a major department-store chain, was about to introduce. Without prompting from her team or her boss, she offered them an explanation: “It’s hard for me to get behind the rollout of this service,” she admitted, “because I really wanted to run the project, but I wasn’t selected. Bear with me while I deal with that.” The manager did indeed examine her feelings; a week later, she was supporting the project fully.

Such self-knowledge often shows itself in the hiring process. Ask a candidate to describe a time he got carried away by his feelings and did something he later regretted. Self-aware candidates will be frank in admitting to failure and will often tell their tales with a smile. One of the hallmarks of self-awareness is a self-deprecating sense of humor.

Self-awareness can also be identified during performance reviews. Self-aware people know and are comfortable talking about their limitations and strengths, and they often demonstrate a thirst for constructive criticism. By contrast, people with low self-awareness interpret the message that they need to improve as a threat or a sign of failure.

Self-aware people can also be recognized by their self-confidence. They have a firm grasp of their capabilities and are less likely to set themselves up to fail by, for example, over- stretching on assignments. They know, too, when to ask for help. And the risks they take on the job are calculated. They won’t ask for a challenge that they know they can’t handle alone. They’ll play to their strengths.

Consider the actions of a midlevel employee who was invited to sit in on a strategy meeting with her company’s top executives. Although she was the most junior person in the room, she did not sit there quietly, listening in awestruck or fearful silence. She knew she had a head for clear logic and the skill to present ideas persuasively, and she offered cogent suggestions about the company’s strategy. At the same time, her self-awareness stopped her from wandering into territory where she knew she was weak.

Despite the value of having self-aware people in the workplace, my research indicates that senior executives don’t often give self- awareness the credit it deserves when they look for potential leaders. Many executives mistake candor about feelings for “wimpiness” and fail to give due respect to employees who openly acknowledge their shortcomings. Such people are too readily dismissed as “not tough enough” to lead others.

In fact, the opposite is true. In the first place, people generally admire and respect candor. Furthermore, leaders are constantly required to make judgment calls that require a candid assessment of capabilities—their own and those of others. Do we have the management expertise to acquire a competitor? Can we launch a nei1 product within six months? People who assess themselves honestly—that is, self-aware people—are well suited to do the same for the organizations they run.

In conclusion, Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions. This skill is essential for anyone in a working environment who has to deal with people. According to (Goleman, 1998), emotional awareness stars with attunement to the stream of feeling that is a constant presence in all of us and with a recognition of how these emotions share what we perceive, think and do. From that awareness comes another: that our feelings affect those we deal with. To be able to react appropriately in working situations with another person, people need to be able to know how to express their emotions and understand when and why they get any type of emotion. Each person should know themselves well enough to assume they will act a certain way when a situation that produces similar emotions comes up at work. This skill is helpful for people when they get frustrated or stressed. They can acknowledge why they are feeling that way and take steps to change their mood or behavior towards others. This skill could also help prevent explosions of tempers when a miscommunication happens. The person could be able to understand why they are frustrated and know that yelling and arguing will not be beneficial in that type of situation.

2.2.2 Self-regulation

Biological impulses drive our emotions. We cannot do away with them but we can do much to manage them. Self-regulation, which is like an ongoing inner conversation, is the component of emotional intelligence that frees us from being prisoners of our feelings. People engaged in such a conversation feel bad moods and emotional impulses just as everyone else does, but they find ways to control them and even to channel them in useful ways.

Imagine an executive who has just watched a team of his employees present a botched analysis to the company’s board of directors. In the gloom that follows, the executive might find himself tempted to pound on the table in anger or kick over a chair. He could leap up and scream at the group. Or he might maintain a grim silence, glaring at everyone before stalking off.

But if he had a gift for self-regulation, he would choose a different approach. He would pick his words carefully, acknowledging the team’s poor performance without rushing to any hasty judgment. He would then step back to consider the reasons for the failure. Are they lack of effort? Are there any mitigating factors? What was his role in the debacle? After considering these questions, he would call the team together, lay out the incident’s consequences, and offer his feelings about it. He would then present his analysis of the problem and a well-considered solution.

Why does self-regulation matter so much for leaders? First of all, people who are in control of their feelings and impulses are able to create an environment of trust and fairness. In such an environment, politics and infighting are sharply reduced and productivity is high. Talented people flock to the organization and aren’t tempted to leave. And self-regulation has a trickle-down effect. No one wants to be known as a hothead when the boss is known for her calm approach. Fewer bad moods at the top mean fewer throughout the organization.

Second, self-regulation is important for competitive reasons. Everyone knows that business today is rife with ambiguity and change. Companies merge and break apart regularly. Technolo transforms work at a dizzying pace. People who have mastered their emotions are able to roll with the changes. When a new program is announced, they don’t panic; instead, they are able to suspend judgment, seek out information, and listen to the executives as they explain the new program. As the initiative moves forward, these people are able to move with it.

Sometimes they even lead the way. Consider the case of a manager at a large manufacturing company. Like her colleagues, she had used a certain software program for five years. The program drove how she collected and reported data and how she thought about the company’s strategy. One day, senior executives announced that a new program was to be installed that would radically change how information was gathered and assessed within the organization. While many people in the company complained bitterly about how disruptive the change would be, the manager mulled over the reasons for the new program and was convinced of its potential to improve performance. She eagerly attended training sessions—some of her colleagues refused to do so—and was eventually promoted to run several divisions, in part because she used the new technology so effectively.

According to Goleman (1998), in his study he indicated that he wants to push the importance of self-regulation to leadership even further and make the case that it enhances integrity, which is not only a personal virtue but also an organizational strength. Many of the bad things that happen in companies are a function of impulsive behavior. People rarely plan to exaggerate profits, pad expense accounts, dip into the till, or abuse power for selfish ends. Instead, an opportunity presents itself, and people with low impulse control just say yes.

By contrast, consider the behavior of the senior executive at a large food company. The executive was scrupulously honest in his negotiations with local distributors. He would routinely lay out his cost structure in detail, thereby giving the distributors a realistic understanding of the company’s pricing. This approach meant the executive couldn’t always drive a hard bargain. Now, on occasion, he felt the urge to increase profits by withholding information about the company’s costs. But he challenged that impulse-he saw that it made more sense in the long run to counteract it. His emotional self-regulation paid off in strong, lasting relationships with distributors that benefited the company more than any short-term financial gains would have.

The signs of emotional self-regulation, therefore, are easy to see: a propensity for reflection and thoughtfulness; comfort with ambiguity and change; and integrity- an ability to say no to impulsive urges.

Like self-awareness, self-regulation often does not get its due. People who can master their emotions are sometimes seen as cold fish—their considered responses are taken as lack of passion. People with fiery temperaments are frequently thought of as “classic” leaders—their outbursts are considered hallmarks of charisma and power. But when such people make it to the top, their impulsiveness often works against them. In my research, extreme displays of negative emotion have never emerged as a driver of good leadership.

In conclusion, Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and to suspend judgment and think before acting. “The principle of remaining clam despite provocation applies to anyone who routinely faces obnoxious or agitated people on the job,” (Goleman, 1998). People in jobs with any type of service aspect could benefit from learning how to better self-regulate. Lawyers, doctors, customer service representatives, are some of the many occupations where it could be advantageous to be familiar with this skill.

2.2.3 Motivation

If there is one trait that virtually all effective leaders have, it is motivation. They are driven to achieve beyond expectations—their own and everyone else’s. The key word here is achieve. Plenty of people are motivated by external factors, such as a big salary or the status that comes from having an impressive title or being part of a prestigious company. By contrast, those with leadership potential are motivated by a deeply embedded desire to achieve for the sake of achievement.

If we are looking for leaders, how can we identify people who are motivated by the drive to achieve rather than by external rewards? The first sign is a passion for the work itself— such people seek out creative challenges, love to learn, and take great pride in a job well done. They also display an untagging energy to do things better. People with such energy often seem restless with the status quo. They are persistent with their questions about why things are done one way rather than another; they are eager to explore new approaches to their work.

A cosmetics company manager, for example, was frustrated that he had to wait two weeks to get sales results from people in the field. He finally tracked down an automated phone system that would beep each of his salespeople at 5 pm every day. An automated message then prompted them to punch in their numbers—how many calls and sales they had made that day. The system shortened the feedback time on sales results from weeks to hours.

That story illustrates two other common traits of people who are driven to achieve. They are forever raising the performance bar, and they like to keep score. Take the performance bar first. During performance reviews, people with high levels of motivation might ask to be “stretched” by their superiors. Of course, an employee who combines self-awareness with internal motivation will recognize her limits—but she won’t settle for objectives that seem too easy to fulfill.

And it follows naturally that people who are driven to do better also want a way of tracking progress—their own, their team’s, and their company’s. Whereas people with low achievement motivation are often fuzzy about results, those with high achievement motivation often keep score by tracking such hard measures as profitability or market share. I know of a money manager who starts and ends his day on the Internet, gauging the performance of his stock fund against four industry-set benchmarks.

Interestingly, people with high motivation remain optimistic even when the score is against them. In such cases, self-regulation combines with achievement motivation to overcome the frustration and depression that come after a setback or failure. Take the case of another portfolio manager at a large investment company. After several successful years, her fund tumbled for three consecutive quarters, leading three large institutional clients to shift their business elsewhere.

Some executives would have blamed the nosedive on circumstances outside their control; others might have seen the setback as evidence of personal failure. This portfolio manager, however, saw an opportunity to prove she could lead a turnaround. Two years later, when she was promoted to a very senior level in the company, she described the experience as “the best thing that ever happened to me; I learned so much from it.”

Executives trying to recognize high levels of achievement motivation in their people can look for one last piece of evidence: commitment to the organization. When people love their jobs for the work itself, they often feel committed to the organizations that make that work possible. Committed employees are likely to stay with an organization even when they are pursued by headhunters waving money.

It’s not difficult to understand how and why a motivation to achieve translates into strong leadership. If you set the performance bar high for yourself, you will do the same for the organization when you are in a position to do so. Likewise, a drive to surpass goals and an interest in keeping score can be contagious. Leaders with these traits can often build a team of managers around them with the same traits. And of course, optimism and organizational commitment are fundamental to leadership— just try to imagine running a company without them.

In conclusion, Motivation is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status. Having the ability to motivate one-self is a great ability for any leader or future leader to know. People usually believe in the people that motivate them to get something done or to start something new. This person is also usually good at looking at the big picture and explaining their thoughts to others. Usually excitement and optimism are also strong in people that are great at motivating. “They are persistent with their questions about why things are done one way rather than another; they are eager to explore new approaches to their work,” (Goleman, Harvard Business Review, 1998, p. 98). People who are motivated are usually very committed to their work and organizations and are proud when they have completed a job well done.

2.2.4 Empathy

Of all the dimensions of emotional intelligence, empathy is the most easily recognized. We have all felt the empathy of a sensitive teacher or friend; we have all been struck by its absence in an unfeeling coach or boss. But when it comes to business, we rarely hear people praised, let alone rewarded, for their empathy. The very word seems unbusinesslike, out of place amid the tough realities of the marketplace.

But empathy doesn’t mean a kind of “I’m OK, you’re OK” mushiness. For a leader, that is, it doesn’t mean adopting other people’s emotions as one’s own and trying to please everybody. That would be a nightmare—it would make action impossible. Rather, empathy means thoughtfully considering employees’ feelings—along with other factors—in the process of making intelligent decisions.

For an example of empathy in action, consider what happened when two giant brokerage companies merged, creating redundant jobs in all their divisions. One division manager called his people together and gave a gloomy speech that emphasized the number of people who would soon be tired. The manager of another division gave his people a different kind of speech. He was up-front about his own worry and confusion, and he promised to keep people informed and to treat everyone fairly.

The difference between these two managers was empathy. The first manager was too worried about his own fate to consider the feelings of his anxiety-stricken colleagues. The second knew intuitively what his people were feeling, and he acknowledged their fears with his words. Is it any surprise that the first manager saw his division sink as many demoralized people, especially the most talented, departed? By contrast, the second manager continued to be a strong leader, his best people stayed, and his division remained as productive as ever.

Empathy is particularly important today as a component of leadership for at least three reasons: the increasing use of teams; the rapid pace of globalization; and the growing need to

retain talent.

Consider the challenge of leading a team. As anyone who has ever been a part of one can attest, teams are cauldrons of bubbling emotions. They are often charged with reaching a consensus—which is hard enough with two people and much more difficult as the num bers increase. Even in groups with as few as four or five members, alliances form and clashing agendas get set. A team’s leader must be able to sense and understand the viewpoints of everyone around the table.

That’s exactly what a marketing manager at a large information technology company was able to do when she was appointed to lead a troubled team. The group was in turmoil, overloaded by work and missing deadlines. Tensions were high among the members. Tinkering with procedures was not enough to bring the group together and make it an effective part of the company.

So the manager took several steps. In a series of one-on-one sessions, she took the time to listen to everyone in the group—what was frustrating them, how they rated their colleagues, whether they felt they had been ignored. And then she directed the team in a way that brought it together. She encouraged people to speak more openly about their frustrations, and she helped people raise constructive complaints during meetings. In short, her empathy allowed her to understand her team’s emotional makeup. The result was not just heightened collaboration among members but also added business, as the team was called on for help by a wider range of internal Clients.

Globalization is another reason for the rising importance of empathy for business leaders. Cross-cultural dialogue can easily lead to miscues and misunderstandings. Empathy is an antidote. People who have it are attuned to subtleties in body language; they can hear the message beneath the words being spoken. Beyond that, they have a deep understanding of both the existence and the importance of cultural and ethnic differences.

Consider the case of an American consultant whose team had just pitched a project to a potential Japanese client. In its dealings with Americans. the team was accustomed to being bombarded with questions after such a proposal, but this time it was greeted with a long silence. Other members of the team, taking the silence as disapproval, were ready to pack

and leave. The lead consultant gestured them to stop. Although he was not particularly familiar with Japanese culture, he read the client’s face and posture and sensed not rejection but interest—even deep consideration. He was right: When the client finally spoke, it was to give the consulting firm the job.

Finally, empathy plays a key role in the retention of talent, particularly in today’s information economy. Leaders have always needed empathy to develop and keep good people, but today the stakes are higher. When good people leave, they take the company’s knowledge with them.

That’s where coaching and mentoring come in. It has repeatedly been shown that coaching and mentoring pay off not just in better performance but also in increased job satisfaction and decreased turnover. But what makes coaching and mentoring work best is the nature of the relationship. Outstanding coaches and mentors get inside the heads of the people they are helping. They sense how to give effective feedback. They know when to push for better performance and when to hold back. In the way they motivate their proteges, they demonstrate empathy in action.

In what is probably sounding like a refrain, let me repeat that empathy doesn’t get much respect in business. People wonder how leaders can make hard decisions if they are “feeling” for all the people who will be affected. But leaders with empathy do more than sympathize with people around them: They use their knowledge to improve their companies in subtle but important ways.

In conclusion, empathy is the ability to understand the emotional make up of other people, a skill that may be used in treating people according to their emotional reactions. “For a leader it doesn’t mean adopting other people’s emotions as one’s own and trying to please everybody. Rather, empathy means thoughtfully considering employees’ feelings in the process of making intelligent decisions. A team’s leader must be able to sense and understand the viewpoints of everyone around the table, (Goleman, Harvard Business Review, 1998, p. 99). Empathy is also important for leaders to have when dealing with retention of great employees. It is vital to be able to understand what the effective, hard-working people around need to stay with the company.

2.2.5 Social-skill

The first three components of emotional intelligence are self-management skills. The last two, empathy and social skill, concern a person’s ability to manage relationships with others. As a component of emotional intelligence, social skill is not as simple as it sounds. It’s not just a matter of friendliness, although people with high levels of social skill are rarely mean-spirited. Social skill, rather, is friendliness with a purpose: moving people in the direction you desire, whether that’s agreement on a new marketing strategy or enthusiasm about a new product.

Socially skilled people tend to have a wide circle of acquaintances, and they have a knack for finding common ground with people of all kinds—a knack for building rapport. That doesn’t mean they socialize continually; it means they work according to the assumption that nothing important gets done alone. Such people have a network in place when the time for action comes.

Social skill is the culmination of the other dimensions of emotional intelligence. People tend to be very effective at managing relationships when they can understand and control their own emotions and can empathize with the feelings of others. Even motivation contributes to social skill. Remember that people who are driven to achieve tend to be optimistic, even in the face of setbacks or failure. When people are upbeat, their “glow” is cast upon conversations and other social encounters. They are popular, and for good reason.

Because it is the outcome of the other dimensions of emotional intelligence, social skill is recognizable on the job in many ways that will by now sound familiar. Socially skilled people, for instance, are adept at managing teams—that’s their empathy at work. Likewise, they are expert persuaders—a manifestation of self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy combined. Given those skills, good persuaders know when to make an emotional plea, for instance, and when an appeal to reason will work better. And motivation, when publicly visible, makes such people excellent collaborators; their passion for the work spreads to others, and they are driven to find solutions.

But sometimes social skill shows itself in ways the other emotional intelligence components do not. For instance, socially skilled people may at times appear not to be working while at work. They seem to be idly schmoozing—chatting in the hallways with colleagues or joking around with people who are not ‘en connected to their “real” jobs. Socially skilled people, however, don’t think it makes sense to arbitrarily limit the scope of their relationships. They build bonds widely because they know that in these fluid times, they may need help someday from people they are just getting to know today.

For example, consider the case of an executive in the strategy department of a global computer manufacturer. By 1993, he was convinced that the company’s future lay with the Internet. Over the course of the next year, he found kindred spirits and used his social skill to stitch together a virtual community that cut across levels, divisions, and nations. He then used this de facto team to put up a corporate Web site, among the first by a major company. And, on his own initiative, with no budget or formal status, he signed up the company to participate in an annual Internet industry convention. Calling on his allies and persuading various divisions to donate funds, he recruited more than 50 people from a dozen diftèrent units to represent the company at the convention.

Management took notice: Within a year of the conference, the executive’s team formed the basis for the company’s first Internet division, and he was formally put in charge of it. To get there, the executive had ignored conventional boundaries, forging and maintaining connections with people in every corner of the organization.

Is social skill considered a key leadership Capability in most companies? The answer is yes, especially when compared with the other components of emotional intelligence. People seem to know intuitively that leaders need to manage relationships effectively; no leader is an island. After all, the leader’s task is to get work done through other people, and social skill makes that possible. A leader who cannot express her empathy may as well not have it at all. And a leader’s motivation will be useless if he cannot communicate his passion to the organization. Social skill allows leaders to put their emotional intelligence to work.

It would be foolish to assert that good-old- fashioned IQ and technical ability are not important ingredients in strong leadership. But the recipe would not be complete without emotional intelligence. It was once thought that the components of emotional intelligence were “nice to have” in business leaders. But now we kn that, for the sake of performance, these are ingredients that leaders “need to have.”

It is fortunate, then, that emotional intelligence can be learned. The process is not easy. It takes time and, most of all, commitment. But the benefits that come from having a well- developed emotional intelligence, both for individual and for the organization, make worth the effort.

In conclusion, Social skills often ensure proficiency in managing relationships and building networks and enhance an ability to find common ground and build rapport with others. Goleman (Harvard Business Review, 1998, p. 100) explains social skills as friendliness with a purpose: moving people in the direction that you desire, whether that’s agreement on a new marketing strategy or enthusiasm about a new product. Like emotional intelligence, social skills entail more than just being friendly. It is more about knowing how to talk to different people within an organization to get to the same goal. They are able to build bonds with all different types of people so everyone understands each other when something comes up in an organization. “The leader’s task is to get work done through other people, and social skill makes that possible,” (Goleman, Harvard Business Review, 1998, p. 99).

Gender Differences in Emotional Intelligence

There are arguments among researchers on whether or not males and females have significant differences in general levels of emotional intelligence. According to Daniel Goleman (1998), he states that there is no existence of gender differences in Emotional intelligence. However, he says that men and women may have different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in different areas of emotional intelligence, their overall levels of Emotional Intelligence are the same. However, Mayer and Geher (1996), Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey (1999), and Mandell and Pherwani (2003), states in their studies that they have found that there is a higher possibility for overall emotional intelligence scores to be higher among women than men, both in professional and personal settings.

The differences can be due to using different measurement. According to Brackett and Mayer (2003), in their studies they states that when Emotional Intelligence is measured by a performance measure (the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), females score higher than males on it. However, when Emotional Intelligence is measured by self-report measures such as the Bar-On Emotion Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) and the Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SREIT), they found that women and men have the same level of Emotional Intelligence. There is a possibility that gender dissimilarities exist in emotional intelligence only when one defines Emotional Intelligence in a purely cognitive manner rather than through a mixed perspective. It could be possible that gender dissimilarities do exist but measurement artifacts such as over-estimation of ability on the part of males are more likely to occur with self-report measures. More research is required to determine whether or not gender differences do exist in emotional intelligence.

Applicability to Everyday Living

There are a number of researches prove that emotional intelligence can have a important impact on different elements of everyday living. According to Palmer, Donaldson, and Stough (2002), in their studies they found that higher life satisfaction can be predicted by Emotional Intelligence. Besides that, according to Pellitteri (2002), in his studies he reported that people higher in emotional intelligence were also more likely to use an adaptive defense style and thus exhibited healthier psychological adaptation. Performance measures of emotional intelligence have illustrated that higher levels of E.I. are associated with an increased likelihood of attending to health and appearance, positive interactions with friends and family, and owning objects that are reminders of their loved ones (Brackett, Mayer, & Warner, in press). Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey (1999) found that higher emotional intelligence correlated significantly with higher parental warmth and attachment style, while others found that those scoring high in E.I. also reported increased positive interpersonal relationships among children, adolescents, and adults (Rice, 1999; Rubin, 1999).

Negative relationships have likewise been identified between emotional intelligence and problem behaviour. Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey (2000) found that lower emotional intelligence was associated with lower self-reports of violent and trouble-prone behaviour among college students, a correlation which remained significant even when the effects of intelligence and empathy were partialed out. Lower emotional intelligence (as measured by the MSCEIT) has been significantly associated with owning more self-help books (Brackett et al., in press), higher use of illegal drugs and alcohol, as well as increased participation in deviant behaviour (i.e. involvement in physical fights and vandalism). No gender differences were observed for these associations (Trinidad & Johnson, 2002; Brackett and Mayer, 2003). Finally, a study of 15 male adolescent sex offenders (15-17 years old) found that sex offenders have difficulty in identifying their own and others' feelings, two important elements of emotional intelligence (Moriarty, Stough, Tidmarsh, Eger, & Dennison, 2001).

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

As previously discussed, advanced emotional intelligence can be beneficial in many areas of life. However, the application of its usefulness has been most frequently documented in the professional workplace. Cherniss (2000) outlines four main reasons why the workplace would be a logical setting for evaluating and improving emotional intelligence competencies:

1. Emotional intelligence competencies are critical for success in most jobs.

2. Many adults enter the workforce without the competencies necessary to succeed or excel at their job.

3. Employers already have the established means and motivation for providing emotional intelligence training.

4. Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work.

A strong interest in the professional applications of emotional intelligence is apparent in the way organizations have embraced E.I. ideas. The American Society for Training and Development, for example, has published a volume describing guidelines for helping people in organizations cultivate emotional intelligence competencies which distinguish outstanding performers from average ones (Cherniss and Adler, 2000).

As previously noted, considerable research in the emotional intelligence field has focused on leadership, a fundamental workplace quality. Even before research in the area of E.I. had begun, the Ohio State Leadership Studies reported that leaders who were able to establish mutual trust, respect, and certain warmth and rapport with members of their group were more effective (Fleishman and Harris, 1962). This result is not surprising given that many researchers have argued that effective leadership fundamentally depends upon the leader's ability to solve the complex social problems which can arise in organizations (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Jacobs, & Fleishman, 2000).

The cost-effectiveness of emotional intelligence in the workplace has been an area of interest. Several studies have reported the economic value of hiring staff based on emotional intelligence. In a report to Congress, the Government Accounting Office (1998) outlined the amount saved when the United States Air Force used Bar On's Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I) to select program recruiters. By selecting those individuals who scored highest in emotional intelligence as recruiters, they increased their ability to select successful recruiters by threefold and saved $3 million annually. A similar study by Boyatzis (1999) found that when partners in a multinational consulting firm were assessed on E.I. competencies, partners who scored above the median on nine or more competencies delivered $1.2 million more profit than did other partners.

Cherniss and Goleman (1998) estimated that by not following training guidelines established to increase emotional intelligence in the workplace, industry in the United States is losing between $5.6 and $16.8 billion a year. They found that the impact of training employees in emotional and social competencies with programs which followed their guidelines was higher than for other programs, and by not implementing these programs companies were receiving less of an impact and consequently losing money.

Are Individuals with High E.I. More Successful?

Research on the predictive significance of E.I. over I.Q. was spurred by Goleman's initial publication on the topic which claimed that emotional intelligence could be “as powerful, and at times more powerful, than I.Q.” (Goleman, 1995, p.34). Much of this claim was based on past research revealing that the predictive nature of I.Q. on job performance was not promising, with I.Q. accounting from 10-25% of the variance in job performance (Hunter & Hunter, 1984; Sternburg, 1996). The results of longitudinal studies further implicated emotional intelligence as being important. One study involving 450 boys reported that I.Q. had little relation to workplace and personal success; rather, more important in determining their success was their ability to handle frustration, control emotions, and get along with others (Snarey & Vaillant, 1985). Although this study did not attend to emotional intelligence directly, the elements which it addressed (the ability to regulate one’s emotions and understand the emotions of others) are some of the central tenants of the emotional intelligence construct.

While research exists supporting the contention that emotional intelligence does contribute to individual cognitive-based performance over and above the level attributed to general intelligence (Lam & Kirby, 2002), current theories tend to be more judicious regarding the incremental benefits of E.Q. over I.Q. Both Goleman (1998) and Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (1998) emphasize that emotional intelligence by itself is probably not a strong predictor of job performance. Instead, it provides a foundation for emotional competencies which are strong predictors of job performance.

In later work, Goleman (2001) attempts to theoretically clarify the relationship between I.Q. and E.Q., and their respective applicability to job performance. He describes I.Q. as playing a sorting function, determining the types of jobs individuals are capable of holding. He theorizes that I.Q. is a strong predictor of what jobs individuals can enter as well as a strong predictor of success among the general population as a whole. For example, in order to become a medical doctor, an individual requires an above average I.Q. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is described by Goleman as a stronger predictor of who will excel in a particular job when levels of I.Q. are relatively equal. When the individuals are being compared to a narrow pool of people in a particular job in a certain organization, specifically in the higher levels, the predictive power of I.Q. for outstanding performance among them weakens greatly. In this circumstance, E.Q. would be the stronger predictor of individuals who outperform others. Thus, the doctors in a particular clinic would all have similarly above average I.Q.’s. Goleman would hypothesize that what would distinguish the most successful doctors from the others would be their levels of emotional intelligence.


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