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Various places of business and organizations have found Emotional intelligence (EI) to be a popular choice of management. EI and its effects on organizations have changed the way some places operate. EI has five components that it describes as self awareness, self management, self motivation, empathy, and social skills. Each of its five components is explored to determine their unique similarities as well as obvious differences. EI and its recent popularity have gained attention among business management teams throughout the country. It has been determined that many transformational leaders use EI as their preferred method of leading. The popularity of this management style shows not only it to be positive for an organization, but it has a negative impact also.
Emotional intelligence and its effects
Emotional intelligence (EI) allows an individual the capability to be considerate of the emotions of others while adjusting to their own feelings. The idea of EI in the workplace has found itself more popular than before. Leaders are using this management technique as a success tool to deal with emotion. With so many people experiencing everyday problems, its important leaders have some EI. There becomes an art form when dealing with the emotions and feeling of others.
Dealing with emotion is a skill that many leaders do not have. A leader skillful with emotions can be very successful with EI. That's why many companies have incorporated EI into their training sessions. "EI skills, which can be improved through education, are involved in almost every area of an individual's personal and professional life" (Scott-Halsell, Shumate, & Blum, p.103). The more a leader can learn through instruction and other positive characteristics, the more they become aware EI.
There is a difference in management and leadership according to Anita Satterlee. Satterlee (2009) says, "Management is about coping with complexity, while leadership is about coping with change" (p.6). Many companies and organizations have failed because of the inability to change. The whole concept of EI deals with change. When leaders think of others they have to think of change. Servant leader comes to mind when considering the concept of EI.
EI has been linked to many studies in recent years. Daniel Goleman being the most popular author of EI has written many books on the subject. Goleman made the subject popular by introducing several components. The five components that shape the concept of EI are self awareness, self management, self motivation, empathy, and social skills. Their similarities and differences have made them widely successful in various occupations throughout the world.
The first component of EI is self awareness. "Self-awareness involves having a deep understanding of one's own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and drives" (Hicks & Dess, p.18, Â¶4). Leaders are encountered with more and more issues from those they serve. Before dealing with others emotions, they have to deal with their emotions. Many leaders are struggling within their organizations because of personal issues that have not been addressed. Internal power struggles; lack of leadership, vague visions, and a lack of self confidence has found itself in many leadership positions.
Self awareness deals with emotions. "Emotions can be intense, disruptive, de-motivating, motivating, exhilarating, positive, and negative, and they can challenge the leadership abilities of any person" (Moore, B., p.21, Â¶4). The ability to work through the leaders own emotion can determine whether their leadership is successful or not.
The leader must be able to differentiate between their feelings and emotions. Self awareness deals with both of these expressions, but are different. A leader must know the difference of their strength and weaknesses. The willingness to have someone give feedback is welcome by most leaders who exhibit self awareness.
Assessing oneself becomes a tool that most do not have. Self awareness makes the leader assess themselves. They usually think of their own situation before speaking or working with others. The failure of some leaders comes from not assessing their own situations. How can a person direct someone about their problems when their own problems have not been addressed? Honest becomes a key issue because most people lacking self awareness are not honest with themselves.
The second component of EI is self management. Satterlee (2009) suggest that self management is, "The ability to manage one's emotions and impulses accordingly" (p.6). How leaders manage themselves and their emotions determines the level of success they will have. Leaders have to be able to overcome potential obstacles of their own in order to address others. The capability to do this can set a leader aside from others. Dr. Bobby Moore (2009), "New superintendent of the Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District created a study of EI for school administrators." He concluded,
Emotional and social intelligence competencies significantly differentiated outstanding principals from typical principals. The competencies were (a) self-confidence, (b) self control, (c) consciousness, (d) achievement orientation, (e) initiative, (f) organizational awareness, (g) developing others, (h) influence, (i) analytical thinker, (j) leadership, (k) teamwork/collaboration influence, (l) change catalyst, and (m) conflict management. (Moore, B., p.24, Â¶1)
These competencies allow leaders to manage themselves accordingly. Dr. Moore realized that leaders high in EI were more skillful than those who are low in EI. Being able to have control over one's emotions and feeling enables the leader to have influence with others. Self management is the inter strength to control the leaders emotions and feelings. Many leaders lack these abilities which show in their leadership style. Dr. Moore believes that, "Leaders high in emotional intelligence may be more skillful in influencing, inspiring, intellectually stimulating, and growing their staff" (Moore, B, p. 21, Â¶1).
When leading others self management has to be under control. Leader without the self management component have a hard time leading others. There is a lack of confidence in the leader. An out of control leader creates a different set of challenges. Most people question the ability of a leader that out of control.
The third component of EI is self motivation. Hicks & Dess says, "Motivated people
have a high level of energy directed at doing things better and are restless with the status quo" (p.18, Â¶6). This component is most important when working under various forms of pressure from leading others. The leader has to be able to motivate themselves when working with others. Leaders who are self motivated tend to be driven by achievement rather rewards. They don't need someone to encourage them to lead. Usually, people that follow this type of leader are encouraged by that leader's self will.
Leaders cannot motivate others if they can't motivate themselves. This component is manifested by knowing one's self. Leaders who self motivate keep in tune with themselves. Self motivation is an interpersonal drive from within. Having confidence of oneself can lead to ultimate success with others. The idea of encouraging someone through self respect, self confidence, and self esteem goes a long ways.
The forth component of EI is empathy. The ability to, "feel another's pain or suffering" (Satterlee, A., p.6) or be, "thoughtfully considering of an employee's feelings, along with other factors, in the process of making intelligent decisions" (Hicks & Dess, p.18, Â¶7). This component allows the leader to express them self while leading. Many believe that too much empathy can be harmful. While self awareness and self management are good for the leader, empathy typically deals with others.
People want a leader who understands them. Someone they can trust and rely on. Most leaders with empathy have a high level of trust with their employees. Their employees can come to them with concerns or circumstances. A leader who has empathy usually sees things from other people perspective. They look at things from every view point.
Empathy goes a long way, especially when people who feel no one is listening to them are seeking attention. As the leader, there must be a sense of compassion, but honest judgment. Many people find empathy as the way leaders can show their sensitive side. Empathy can be very tricky in the sense that people can draw leaders to side with their bad behavior.
The ability to judge a situation without showing favoritism is critical in EI. Hicks & Dess believe, "too much EI can result in inappropriate behaviors and actions" (p.18). They say, "People who use their leadership roles solely to gain formal or informal power are not displaying
leadership at all" (p.18). Too much of anything can be harmful. Leaders have to be careful not to abuse their powers. The ability to control these skills is a leadership tasks within itself.
The fifth component of EI is social skill. Being able to get along with people is most important. Social skills still operates on the behalf of others. Hicks & Dess (2008) describes social skills as, "friendliness with a purpose: moving people in the direction you desire" (p.18). Leaders develop this skill over time by the relationship established with others. The ability to work with others is important when using social skills.
Many occupations rely on social skills as their way of conducting business. This could be considered the customer service department of EI. When a leader presents himself before an employee or customer the social skills of that person is often looked at first. It takes a special skill to direct people in the direction they want them to go. Social skills are most popular in retail environments. When deals are on the table the leader must demonstrate their ability to position the situation in their corner. This all happens by social skills. Most leaders with good social skills know how to get the intended outcome without losing confidence in the customer. Leaders with good social skills knows how keep the objectives in front of them.
EI is a much needed tool in management. There can be great success or vast failure if used the wrong way. Businesses, organizations, schools, and hospitals across the country are benefitting from the advantages of EI. Effective leadership has great benefits from EI.