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The purpose of this study is to identifying how the emotional intelligence will affect the performance of staff at Jabatan Tenaga Kerja, Taiping. Due to the importance of the emotion, it was crucial for people to manage their emotions. In our study, we focused on controlling the emotions among staff at their workplace. Their daily routines include pressure, conflicts with peers, complaints from clients and work overload which make them becoming more tense and angry.
According to Hein (2007), he defined emotional intelligence as the intrinsic potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand, and explain emotions. It involves self-awareness, social awareness, and self management. In the workplace, it is important to use emotional intelligence because it will help us to be flexible in changing situations. Besides that, emotional intelligence is your ability to acquire and apply knowledge from your emotions and the emotions of others in order to be more successful and lead a more fulfilling life. This ability also can enhance interpersonal communication and people skills.
According to Goleman (2003), many researchers have proven that senior executives' performance in the top management of the organization resulted from their EI than cognitive abilities. Using self-awareness, managers with high EI control their emotions then through social awareness, perceive their effects through empathy and improve individuals' emotions through self- management. Emotional intelligence as one type of acquired capability that can improve individual's performance. Based on Lopes et al (2006) EI abilities can be learned, in other words it should be learned through training and education.
Thorndike (1920), was one of the first to identify the aspect of EI, he called it social intelligence. He considered social intelligence as the capability to understand and manage men, women, boys and girls for interaction and establishment of human relations. In 1952, Wechsler suggested that in addition to IQ there are other factors that influence individual's effectiveness and performance. According to review the studies of emotional intelligence (EI) as a new and important issue has been seriously and continuously commenced since late 20th century for example, (Bar-On, 1988) and Gardner (1983). According to Goleman (1998), he indicated that although IQ determines scientific progress and professional success, its contributions in this regard is less than 20%. He indicated that emotional intelligence is the most important characteristic to separate superior managers from average managers. Based on Goleman (1998) theoretical framework of emotional intelligence, it reflects how an individual's potential for mastering the skill of individual competencies that is self-awareness, self management and social competencies translates into on-the-job success. EI is a general word that associates effective performance. It can be considered as the ability to understand and control self emotions and feelings towards decisions making and communication activities.
Based on Goleman (1998) findings, those individuals with high EI know how to control and direct their own and others' emotions and feelings. EI is a set of personal skills and talents to identify understand and control the feelings. Salovay and Mayer (1990) preferred that emotional intelligence is the ability to assess and control one's own and others' feelings and emotions, and to use this ability to guide others' thinking and actions. EI theorists have used different models for affective intelligence since late 20th century. Bar-On (2000), Salovay and Mayer (1990) and Goleman (1998) is the most famous researcher in this area. Regardless of similarities in these models, Bar-On has placed EI in the context of personality theory, specifically a model of well-being. The theory as formulated by Salovey and Mayer framed EI within a model of intelligence. And Goleman (1998) formulated his model based on theory of performance. However, the concept of emotional intelligence as being able to identify and control self and others' emotions has been accepted in all the three models. Goleman (1998) as one of the popular theoreticians, indicated that EI is the abilities to identify our self and others' feelings, to motivate our self and others and regulate the emotions in our self and in others. He suggested two major emotional intelligence domains such as :
i) Individual competencies that includes two elements that is self-awareness and self-management, and
ii) Social competencies that consists of social awareness and relationship management.
Bar-On considers emotional intelligence as a set of competencies that finally improve the individual behaviour towards social needs and demands. He specifies these competencies as abilities:
i) To identify, understand and express oneself.
ii) To be aware of, to understand, and relate to others.
iii) To deal with strong emotions and control one's impulses.
iv) To adapt, to change and to solve problems of personal or a social nature.
Goleman (1998) proposed factors such as self-awareness, self-management and relationship management that are similar to what Bar-on (1988) referred to as understanding, explanation and control of self feelings, relation with others and solving individual and social problems or to what Gardner (1983) interpret it as interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. Today, emotional intelligence theory has been well thought-out throughout the world.
Self-awareness is one of the emotional intelligence component that will affect the individual performance. According to Hanson (2000) self-awareness is defined as the ability to observe and identify one's own thoughts, feeling, mental states, actions, reactions, and interactions in any present situation. Based on Lindsay (1978), self-awareness is recognition of one's own behavior, and self-awareness involves identifying attitude, feelings and values that accompany behavior. According to Goleman (1995), he defined self-awareness as knowing oneself and being aware of one's emotions as they occur. It is through the knowledge of emotions that individuals are able to have empathy and compassion for others.
According to Goukens, Dewitte and Warlop (2009) self-awareness is general attention that focused on oneself. This attention can be classified as public and private self-awareness. Public self-awareness involves the awareness of oneself from the imagined perspective of other. Private self-awareness refers to awareness of oneself from a personal perspective. Attention to the private self normally produces behaviors that stem from personal attitudes, whereas the public self generates actions that meet societal expectations.
Self awareness is comprised of three specific capabilities that are emotional self-awareness, accurate self-assesment and self-confidence. According to Goleman (1998) emotional self-awareness is the recognition of one's own feeling and how they effect one's performance. The better one person understands themselves, the better they able to accept or change who they are. With emotional self-awareness an individual willing to change to be a better person and this will increase the productivity and the performance.
According to Boyatzis (1982) individuals who are capable in accurate self-assessment are acutely aware of their abilities and limitations, seek out feedback and learn from their mistakes, and know where they need to improve and when to work with others who have complementary strengths. Self-assessment capabilities are more likely to pay attention to all forms of feedback and make necessary modifications to their behavior in order to achieve their goals.
According to Boyatzis (1982) Self-confidence allows an individual to have a positive and realistic perception of themselves and their abilities. It is characterized by personal attributes such as assertiveness, optimism, enthusiasm, affection, pride, independence, and trust. With the self-confidence, an individual can do their job or task more effective and this can improve the performance of that individual.
According to Lindsay (1978) self-awareness enables people to understand their own values, wants, needs, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. Given self-awareness, they also can identify the behaviors they would like to change. From self-awareness comes internal power and confidence. Self-awareness can be considered an aura that radiates. Those with increased self-awareness tend to accept themselves and the responsibilities resulting from their choices and actions.
According to Nasby (1989) attempted to varify the reliability of self-reports via a test-retest method. The two studies Nasby performed found that individuals high in self-awareness provide self-reports of greater reliability across time than individuals low in self-awareness. According to Goleman (1995) it is difficult to measure one's own EI because it involves self-examination. This explains why the most common method of assessing self-awareness is multi-source, multi-rater systems, popularly known as 360-degree feedback systems.
According to Bailey & Fletcher (2003) perhaps one of the most overlooked for adopting a 360-degree performance assessment is the potential shift in self-awareness that often results from receiving feedback from many sources. This outcome is particularly beneficial, given the general belief that increasing self-awareness has a positive impact on individual performance. According to Nasby (1989) people with high self-awareness are more able to integrate feedback into their existing self-perception, while those with low self-awareness are more likely to overlook or downplay feedback. From an organizational perspectives, multi-source, multi-rater systems increase individual awareness of the organization's values.
Social awareness also is one of the element of EI that helps the staff in controlling their emotions whereby it will influence the staffs to increase their performance in the workplace. Social awareness can be described as the ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and get what is really going on. While social skill is the use of influencing skills such as persuasion, good communication with others, listening skills, negotiation, cooperation, dispute resolution, ability to inspire and lead others, capacity to initiate and manage change and ability to deal with other's emotions particularly group emotions. According to Boyatzis (1982), social awareness allows reading situations objectively, without any personal biases and distortions which distinguish star performers from average ones.
Social awareness plays a significant role in developing service competence. According to Spencer (1993), the emphatic strategy to utilize service competence distinguishes superior performer from average ones. Superior performers mainly in servicing industry have the ability to recognize customer's view point and utilize appropriate assertiveness to guide the customer toward a preference that best satisfies both customer's, company's and vendor's need.
This ability creates organizational awareness that enhance networking and coalition building which makes the individual to wield influence irrespective of their professional role. Thus, socially aware employees have the ability to sense office politics and understand social networks. For example, a team leader with high social awareness would be able to assess whether a team member has enough enthusiasm for a project to assign him to that project. According to Goleman (1998), empathy is an essential tool to measure social awareness. Thus, based on Steele (1997), to avoid performance deficits empathy competence allows us to handle increasingly diverse workforce. Empathy may be a central characteristic of emotionally intelligent behaviour. When people relate positively to one another, they experience greater life satisfaction and lower stress. For example, the empathy of an advisor is an important determinant of whether the advice is perceive as good. Clearly, the greater number of emotionally intelligent friends, relatives, and co-workers, the more empathic and supportive a social structure will surround a person. On the basis of such arguments, it is safely assumed that social awareness is correlated with employee's performance.
Self management can be described as a person's ability to maintain control of impulses and resources. Elements include self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, achievement orientation, and initiative.
Based on Goleman (1998), self-management involves handling one person emotions such that they assist rather than interfere with tasks. The first competence in this domain is self-control. Self-control is the ability to restrain one person uncontrollable emotions and impulses. The second competence, trustworthiness and conscientiousness involve maintaining one person's integrity and taking responsibility for personal performance. The next competence is innovation and adaptability. This competency requires individuals to be open to unconventional, creative and new ideas. Lastly, in this domain, initiative and optimism, individuals who display this competence are proactive and persistent in the pursuit of their goals.
Self-management refers to how well we control our emotions, impulses, and resources. It includes keeping disruptive impulses in check; displaying honesty and integrity, being flexible in times of change, maintaining the drive to perform well and seize opportunities, and remaining optimistic even after failure. A leader with high self-management would not suddenly decide to fire a team member because of one difference of opinion or throw a temper tantrum when activities do not go as planned. Thus, individual with high self management will have a greater performance in their workplace.
2.2 Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework is a model that is based on the conceptually review of the literature. The model graphically explains the relationship between independent and dependent variables.
The conceptual framework shows the relationships between independent and dependent variable of this study.