How Emotional Intelligence Affects Employee Performances Education Essay

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Chapter one provides the introduction of this study, including background of the study, definition of the terms, problem statements, objectives and so on. This chapter carries out the extensive literature reviews that emphasize on the study of employees' performances in commercial banks in Malaysia and how emotional intelligence affects it and to review related studies. This chapter is to provide relevant literature reviews relating to the research's objectives which have been stated in Chapter one. The first section of this chapter emphasizes on the review of emotional intelligence and the related models used in this study. It will then followed by the review of the theoretical frameworks of independent variables which affect the employees' performances in commercial banks in Malaysia. The highlight of the theoretical frameworks is to enhance the prediction of employee's performances affected by variables stated. This chapter will also mention about emotional intelligence in the workplace and gender differences in emotional intelligence.

2.2 Review of Dependent Variable

2.2.1 Emotional Intelligence

According to O'Nei (1996), emotional intelligence is a different method for people to become intelligent and smart. By having emotional intelligence in us, we are able to know what our feelings are and how can we use our feelings to create and make desirable decisions in life. By possessing emotional intelligence, we will be able to manage and handle well our moods. Besides that, it will get us motivated and help us to behave optimistically when we have difficulties and problems in working toward goals. In addition, we will have empathy to understand what others around us are feeling. Last but not least, we will also have social skill in us to enable us to get along well with others, to be able to handle and control emotions in relationships and to be able to convince or lead others

Emotional intelligence has been the concentration of concern of scholars and that of the popular media since its first introduction in the 1990's. More people think that Emotional Intelligence it getting more and more important than general intelligence as general intelligence is hardly to be able to measure and quantify (Bennet, 2009).

Besides that, emotional intelligence is an intangible ability that each and every one of us has to alter the degrees to recognize, assess, analyze and handle emotions both within ourselves and other people. According to Goleman (1995), by having high levels of emotional intelligence, it will be helpful to us in dealing with people within all fields of life, including business. People with high levels of emotional intelligence tend to effectively communicate with others compared with people with low levels of emotional intelligence. Besides that, people with high levels of emotional intelligence will be able to correctly perceive and understand emotions in others and meanwhile be able to control and handle well their own emotions in real time within a communication exchange and it helps to minimize the possibility for miscommunication due to emotional reactions from both parties in the communication (Bennet, 2009).

In addition, according to Ashkanasy and Daus (2002), an emotionally intelligent leader is able to control and handle well others' emotions. This would be able to allow a leader to support strong and healthy discussions and to allow new or different ideas to find solutions to problems. The leader will always be willing to care, listen and take the time to consider new ideas.

Moreover, according to Averill (2004), it is always good to have emotionally intelligent employees as they are able to affect and achieve good results for the overall performances as well as the ability to get things done before deadlines. People who possess high levels of emotional intelligence will also be able to guide and control their own emotions as well as recognize, judge and react to the emotions of others they are working with.

According to Goleman (1998), he indicated in his study that nowadays, many people from all kinds of business backgrounds are concerning about the importance of application of emotional intelligence and what effects it can bring in the business settings as well as in others fields including healthcare and education. According to Palmer, Donaldson, and Stough (2002), in their studies they found that higher levels of emotional intelligence can be predictors of life satisfaction.

2.2.2 Daniel Goleman Model

Daniel Goleman is a psychologist and science writer. He wrote about brain and behaviour research for the New York Times. In 1990's, he discovered the work of Salovey and Mayer. Daniel Goleman was then inspired by their studies and he began to start his own research in the area related to emotional intelligence. He came out Emotional Intelligence (1995), the landmark book which provides both the public and private sectors a better understanding with the idea of emotional intelligence (Yvonne & Shelley, 2004).

Goleman's model outlines five main emotional intelligence components. According to Goleman (1998), "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."

Figure 2

Source: Goleman (1998)

2.2.3 Bar-On's Model

One of the first measures of emotional intelligence that used the term "Emotion Quotient"Reuven has been developed by Bar-O. Accroding to Bar-On (2002), his model of emotional intelligence has relation to the potential for accomplishment and achievement, rather than performance or success itself, and is considered process-oriented rather than outcome-oriented.

It focuses on an array of emotional and social abilities, including the ability to be aware of, understand, and express oneself, the ability to be aware of, understand, and relate to others, the ability to deal with strong emotions, and the ability to adapt to change and solve problems of a social or personal nature (Bar-On, 1997). In his model, Bar-On outlines 5 components of emotional intelligence: intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptability, stress management, and general mood. Within these components are sub-components, all of which are outlined in Figure 3 in the following page. Bar-On posits that emotional intelligence develops over time and that it can be improved through training, programming, and therapy (Bar-On, 2002).

Bar-On's Model of Emotional Intelligence

Figure 3

Source: Yvonne and Shelly (2004)

2.3 Review of Independent Variables

2.3.1 Self-awareness

According to Goleman (1998), self-awareness is the first among the five components of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness refers to people having a great understanding of others' feelings, strengths, weaknesses, wants, and forces. People with strong self-awareness are honest with themselves and with others.

Besides that, according to Goleman (1998), people will be manage to understand how their feelings bring effects on themselves, other people, and their job performance if they have high levels of self-awareness.

In addition, according to Goleman (1998), people who have high levels of self-awareness know what they are doing and why. For example, people will be able to be strong in rejecting job offers that are trying to tempt them financially but do not fit with their principles or long-term goals.

Furthermore, during performance observation, self-awareness will be able to be recognized. Self-aware people know and are able to easily discuss about their limitations and strengths. They also often welcome constructive criticism in order to develop them (Goleman, 1998).

Moreover, according to Goleman, (1998), usually self-aware people have self-confidence in them. They are able to control their capabilities and prevent themselves from failing. Self-aware people also able to know when to ask for help from other people. They also will not ask to do things that they are unfamiliar with and not able to be handled alone.

This proves that the there is a significant relationship between self-awareness and employees' performances which fulfil the first Hypothesis which I have stated in the later chapter.

H1: There is a significant relationship between Self-awareness and employees' performances in commercial banks.

According to (Goleman, 1998), in his study he indicated that regardless of the importance of possessing self-awareness by employees, senior executives do not take self-awareness seriously when they are looking for potential and good leaders.

In conclusion, according to Goleman (1998), self-awareness allows individuals to realize and know personal moods and emotions. It is important for us to have self-awareness in working environment when we have to deal with others. Each and every one of us should be able to know ourselves well enough in order for us to be able to act in different ways for different of situations. We will be able to acknowledge why we are feeling that way and whether it will beneficial to others or not. If not then what steps can we take to change our mood or ways of dealing with others in order to be beneficial to them.

2.3.2 Self-regulation

According to Goleman (1998), our emotions are driven by impulses of biological. It allows us to control and handle well our moods and enables us we to be able to think before we do something.

Besides that, according to Graham and Harris (1992), self-regulation is one of the components of emotional intelligence and it is an combined learning process, including the growth of a set of helpful and useful manners and behaviors that carry influences to people's learning. These processes are arranged and modified to help the pursuit of personal goals in changing working environments.

In addition, according to Goleman (1998), self-regulation is important for leaders. The reason is an environment of trust and fairness can be created by people who are able to manage their feelings and impulses. In such an environment, many problems related to politics and infighting will be able to be greatly lessened and at the same time productivity will be able to be increased.

Furthermore, according to Goleman (1998), self-regulation is significant for competitive reasons. Nowadays, business has been full with uncertainty and change. There have been many activities related to mergers and acquisitions been carried out due to the advanced technology. People will be able to follow the changes if they have mastered their emotions. They will not feel frighten but willing to learn when they are asked to learn new things which are to replace the old ones.

This proves that the there is a significant relationship between self-regulation and employees' performances which fulfil the second Hypothesis which I have stated in the later chapter.

H2: There is a significant relationship between Self-regulation and employees' performances in commercial banks.

In addition, according to Graham et al. (1992), people who are able to control and handle their emotions are sometimes lack of passion. Leaders who are fierce with their outbursts often show charisma and authority but such people will never become good leaders.

In conclusion, self-regulation allows people to control and handle well their moods and they will think before acting. According to Goleman (1998), if people learn and know how to better self-regulate, they will be able to handle well their jobs with any type of occupations.

2.3.3 Motivation

According to Goleman (1998), motivation is the trait that basically all good and productive leaders possess. They are determine to work hard and succeed beyond their and others expectations. External factors motivate a lot of people. For example, people those who have great salaries or they play big roles in very high quality companies. On the other side, people those with leadership potential are motivated and driven by interests or enjoyments in their jobs as well as desire to do and achieve well in their jobs.

According to Goleman (1998), we will be able to identify and notice people who are motivated by intrinsic motivation instead of extrinsic motivation. We are able to know that people are motivated to achieve through the passion for their works. They love to learn and challenge new things, and they are proud with their achievements in their jobs.

Besides that, according to Freeman and Stoner (1992), in order for us to be good leaders, we have to know what motivates the employees around us. It is important to find out the basic needs that employees, colleagues, and bosses have. Basic income and necessities are needed by all people.

This proves that the there is a significant relationship between motivation and employees' performances which fulfil the third Hypothesis which I have stated in the later chapter.

H3: There is a significant relationship between Motivation and employees' performances in commercial banks.

Moreover, people who are determined to do well will always raise the performance bar and keep the score. During performance reviews, people who combine self-awareness with intrinsic motivation will recognize their limits. However, they will not settle for goals that seem too easy to achieve (Goleman, 1998).

In addition, according to Goleman (1998), people will not feel worried even when the score is against them if they possess high motivational levels. In such cases, when self-regulation in them together with achievement motivation that they possess to succeed in dealing with the frustration and depression that occur after a setback or failure.

According to Freeman et al. (1998), the environment of working place normally is affected by employee motivation. Leaders that treat employees in a friendly manner are most likely to get more of a positive response. People tend to prefer to work at an organization with others that enjoy their work and like their atmospheres. Employees in an organization will always compare themselves to others to make sure the organization is treating them a way that they feel as fair.

Furthermore, commitment to the organization can be resulted from people who possess high levels of achievement motivation. People often feel committed to the organizations when they love their jobs and tasks in the company. No matter how other companies try to persuade committed employees to join them by offering higher pays, these committed employees will continue to stay with their own organization (Goleman, 1998).

In conclusion, motivation provides passion for people to work neither for money nor status but beyond them. It is good for leaders to have the ability to motivate them as others normally would believe in and trust those who are able to motivate them to complete something or to start something new. They will feel curious if they find out why things are not done according to their ways but another. They are eager to look for answers. People who have motivation in them are usually those who are very committed to their jobs and companies. They feel proud and satisfied whenever they have done something well (Goleman, 1998).

2.3.4 Empathy

According to Goleman (1998), empathy is the most easily recognized component of emotional intelligence. In the process of making intelligent decisions, people that possess empathy in them will thoughtfully think of others' feelings thoughtfully considering employees' feelings together with other factors. It is very important as part of the components of leadership.

Besides that, according to Bellet and Maloney (1991), empathy helps people to have deeper understanding of others. It means that empathy is the ability for people to understand others' experiences from within others' frame of reference.

In addition, according to Goleman (1998), organizations and leaders can use empathy to develop and retain talented employees. It is because when knowledgeable people want to leave their current company, they will take the knowledge they have got from the current company together with them.

Moreover, Goleman (1998) also stated that people often curious how leaders are able to make good decisions if they need to think for others who will be affected. However, in fact leaders that have empathy in them are able to do more than get along with others. They are able to use their experience and knowledge to develop their companies in clever but important ways.

This proves that the there is a significant relationship between empathy and employees' performances which fulfil the fourth Hypothesis which I have stated in the later chapter.

H4: There is a significant relationship between Empathy and employees' performances in commercial banks.

In conclusion, empathy is the ability to understand and know the emotional that form other people. Empathy is a skill that allows people to use it to treat others according to their emotional reactions. In the process of making intelligent and great decisions, it allows leaders to thoughtfully thinking of employees' feelings. It is important for leaders to be able to realize and know the points of view of their subordinates. Empathy is important when leaders use it to retain great employees to prevent them from leaving.

2.3.5 Social-skill

According to Goleman (1998), social skill, as one of the components of emotional intelligence, is not as simple as how we think and know. Social skill is friendliness that able to move people in the direction we want.

Besides that, according to Goleman (1998), socially skilled people tend to have a lot of friends as they are able to socialize and handle relationships with people when they are able to understand and manage their own emotions and able to understand the others' feelings.

In addition, according to Zins, Weissbert, Wang, and Walberg (2004), with social skills, we are able to recognize and handle our emotions, develop caring and concern for others, build positive and good relationships, create responsible decisions, and manage and control challenging situations constructively and ethically.

This proves that the there is a significant relationship between social skills and employees' performances which fulfil the five Hypothesis which I have stated in the later chapter.

H5: There is a significant relationship between Social skills and employees' performances in commercial banks.

Furthermore, according to Goleman (1995), people that have social skill may at times spend their working hours chatting with friends. It is because by having good relationship with more friends now, it will benefit them as they believe that they may need help someday from those friends.

Besides that, social skills also include daily interaction skills. They contain aspects of self-control such as suitable and proper anger administration and management and the ability to adapt to ongoing situations and social interactions (Zins et al., 2004).

Moreover, social skill is important to help people especially leaders to handle relationships effectively with others as they believe that social skill will allow and enable the leaders them to get works done through the help of other employees (Goleman, 1995).

In conclusion, social skills help leaders in managing relationships and building networks and communicating well with others. According to Goleman (1998), social skills are able to lead people in the direction that we want. It is more about understanding the ways to talk and be friendly to people within an organization and people from all walks of life to get to the same goal. They will be able to build good relationship with strong bonds with different kinds of people so that all of them will be able to know and understand each other well and able to come out solutions to problems easily. Social skills allow leaders to get work done through others.

2.3.6 Adaptability

2.3.7 Stress Management

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), in his study he indicated 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 in professional and personal settings, there is a higher possibility for overall emotional intelligence scores to be higher among women than men.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

According to Cherniss (2000), in his study he indicated that it can be very helpful in many areas of life especially in professional workplace if people possess developed emotional intelligence. Besides that, there are four main reasons which have been listed out by Cherniss about 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 Emotional Intelligence 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 Emotional Intelligence 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 Emotional Intelligence 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.


In this chapter, many previous studies about emotional intelligence have been discussed. Chapter two discusses on the extensive literature review related to research objectives which is the factors that affect employees' performances in commercial banks in Malaysia. The seven factors that are studied in this study are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, social skills, adaptability and stress management. There are some studies that have proved that independent variables that used in this study have positive relationship with the dependent variable. The methods used to study about those influences of independent variables to the dependent variable are provided in this chapter. Apart from that, this chapter also discusses on the Daniel Goleman's model, Bar-On's model, gender differences in emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence in work place.