Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Styles

2967 words (12 pages) Business Assignment

25th May 2020 Business Assignment Reference this

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Researcher validates that emotional intelligence will make a better team and improve the organization as a whole. Employees will perform better and higher morale. Emotional intelligence help leaders to understand their employees and why they are acting that way. Not only that, but emotional intelligence also help with the decision-making process, higher participants,  commitment participant, and empathy toward employees. Additionally, studies confirm that the emotional intelligence leader increases employees’ productivity and manage the team very well. Many researchers and psychologies also validated that emotional intelligence is a link at each step in the organization and very important in today fasting growing world.

Emotional Intelligence and Adaptability of Leadership Styles

Leadership required experience and skill to influencing others to accomplish a common goal. However,  leadership has obstacles, and it can be conflict, challenges,  and changes while building relationships with others. Anyone can be a manager or a leader, but an effective leader is an art form. An effective leader who can manage their own emotions and have compassion, empathy, and understanding for others will be more effective in the workplace. It is essential to recognize how emotions affect performance. Emotional intelligence reflects a person’s ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions. An effective leader required a higher level of emotional intelligence and adaptability of leadership styles. Emotions are to fluctuate; the only way to keep up with this is adaptability. Adaptability is the key to be an exceptional leader (Dollard, 2018).

Successful leadership has been found to be associated with an individual’s emotional intelligence, and there is a correlation between emotional intelligence and self-efficacy as traits of leadership effectiveness. A total of 107 police personnel in commanding positions made up the sample. The results confirmed a good relationship between emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and leadership effectiveness (Ramchunder & Martins, 2014). Effective leaders are not only about having high levels of emotional intelligence, but also the ability to succeed in any situations or difficult tasks. Self-efficacy is one of the emotional intelligence concepts. It plays an important role in how effective leader approaches goals and challenges along with self-awareness. Self-awareness is one of the components of emotional intelligence.  Self-awareness may be referred to as mindfulness. The definition of self-awareness is aware of the moment, present, and nonjudgmental acceptance of the moment (Glomb, Duffy, Bono, & Yang, 2011). Self-Awareness has many concepts that can be described in many ways. Meditation technique may be used during the day.  Mindfulness allows people to exercise self-control and to regulate their thoughts. Not only mindfulness raise empathy due to the increase of alpha and theta wave activity in the brain but also increase creativity, innovativeness, emotional relation, and self-awareness (Bryant & Wildi,2008).  Leaders who are self-aware tend to nurture a work environment which makes others feel they are part of the team and produce more quality work. In Goleman’s studies, “working with emotional intelligence,” Goleman stated that 80-90% of the top performer leaders’ competencies distinguish themselves from below average displayed core components of emotional intelligence. The demands on leaders today make emotional intelligence particularly important (Mathew & Gupta, 2015). Therefore, emotional intelligence leaders who being self-aware in the workplace help promote higher morale improves productivity and judgment.

Furthermore, leaders and employees with higher EI show higher teamwork effectiveness as well as job performance (Farh, Seo, & Tesluk, 2012). According to a study; two questionnaires were used to collect data one for leader and one for employees at the hospital. The findings validated a positive relationship between a leader’s emotional intelligence and employees’ creativity (Castro & De Sousa, 2012).  As a result, leaders and employees work well together and leading their team more effectively, better performance, and providing higher value for their organization.

Additionally, a leader is even more effective if they can change their leadership style to deal with changing emotions, employees, priorities, problems, and situations. Only one form of leadership can be limiting if the situation changes or dealing with different employees. People are different. People have their own beliefs, values, priorities, and their way of living.  Cultural diversity is essential in the United States of America (USA). The USA consists of different cultural, national, and ethnic groups. Therefore it is essential to an organization to learn about other cultures or develop a relationship with other people at a personal level. This will help leaders to understand different perspectives within the world, which these differences distribute to different ideas, creativities, and different ways of solving problems. Besides, an effective leader needs to build a relationship with employees to earn their trust and respect. This will help to understand across cultures will help become a well-round leader.  Not only employees from different cultures contribute ideas, experiences, and new ways of thinking, but also conflict. Conflict in the workplace is normal. Leaders cannot avoid it, but an effective leader can reduce the conflict. Disagreement and hostile behavior may occur in many organizations during the conflict. These behaviors may create tension between employees and may involve in aggressive exchanges and impact the organization (Liang et al., 2018).

Moreover, a recommendation that managers or leaders should develop ethical or transformational leadership style by using morality in an organization. Respecting their employee’s perspective, belief, and dignity will empower and enhance productivity.  An effective leader should encourage their employees to come up with new ideas and put them into practice. When using these style of leadership, they should pay attention to not only one individual but also the team and shape whole team’s values and leading to the same direction to accomplish an organization’s goals (Yidong & Xinxin, 2013).

To reduce or solve the conflict in the workplace, effective leaders need to become a more situational leader. Different situation and different employees call for different leadership style (Herrmann, 2013). There are different names for the situational leadership style. Some may call adaptable leader or flexible leader, but the main concept remains the same which suggested flexibility or changing leadership style according to the situations is a valuable skill and not only that but also to become a well-rounded and effective leader (Norton, 2010). Moreover,  flexible leaders possess flexible emotional and support individuals to be more adaptable in the process, therefore minimizing emotional distress (Miao, Humphrey, & Qian, 2018). Hence, flexible emotion is a concept related to emotion regulation, emotion perception, self-awareness, and self-control, which is the core elements of emotional intelligence. One study analyzed two types of emotional intelligence measures based on self- reports or behavioral approach. The behavioral approach is a new emotional intelligence measure which based on others’ reports of the target person’s emotional intelligence related behaviors. Study combined peer ratings, supervisors’ ratings, subordinates’ ratings of behavior and a result add to the evidence on the validity of both self-awareness or mindfulness, and emotional intelligence is correlated (Miao, Humphrey, & Qian, 2018).

In one study, there is a relationship between adaptive leadership style and emotional intelligence. Finding a significant result from the survey proved that the relationship between organizational performance was stronger among executives with a higher level of emotional intelligence and weaker for those having a low level of emotional intelligence (Kaiser, 2010). That is to say; effective leaders possess adaptive leadership style and emotional intelligence. The relationship between adaptive leadership style and emotional intelligence help the effective leader to be more transformational leadership style. Considering transformational leader is a popular leadership style for most people.

The transformational concept has been a fundamental leadership today.  A leader from top management should adopt a transformational leader: a model, a coach, and a mentor. This transformed role needs specific skills that are dealing with people’s emotion and experience because effective leadership is to inspire people.

The four characteristics of transformational leadership as identified by previous researchers by Bass and Avolio, 1989 and Podsakoff et al., 1996 are as follows :

a. Idealized influence; leaders are role model.

b. Influence, motivation, and inspire where leaders bring the team’s spirit or morale.

c. Innovation where the leader promotes creativity.

d. An individualized relationship where the leader coaches and supports each employee.

By giving purpose and make the employees feel as they are a team member of an organization will lead them to produce quality products. This is what transformational leader’s traits; they inspire and motivate employees to go above and beyond.

An interview was conducted and discussed with various successful leaders in how inspiring their employees and lead the team to meet the organization’s goals and the employee’s goals. A couple of the interviewees described that an effective leader must have the courage, honest, responsible, respectful, fair, compassionate, and adaptable (Neumeier, 2014). Important to realize that transformational leaders are known to possess courage, compassion, empathy, confidence, and they are willing to make adjustments for the greater good of the organization and their people. Goleman (1995) described leaders with emotional intelligence use empathy to built a relationship and to connect to the employee’s emotions.  Emotional intelligence leaders understand and also display the emotions and empathize to the individual or group they are in charge. Consequently,  employees in the team feel connected and feel as they are a team member that cared for by the leader (Mathew & Gupta, 2015).

The world is changing faster and faster. Effective leaders must be able to grow and adapt to the situation and people. As a leader going higher up the organization, the more he or she needs to develop emotional intelligence and adjust to the rapidly changing world. Altogether, emotional intelligence will enable an individual to be more adaptable and displayed a transformational leadership style. Evidence from different studies has confirmed the relationship of emotional intelligence and a positive effect of transformational leadership on attitudes, motivation, job satisfaction, aggression in the workplace,  stress, returned customers and commitment  (Dionne, Yammarino, Atwater and Spangler, 2004). Therefore, it considered that the practice and the use of transformational leadership would strengthen performance and innovation in this fast-changing world.

Also, transformational leaders use intrinsic motivation to stimulate and inspire employees to bring the best out of their employees. Transformational leaders listen and understand their employee’s needs by empowering them and aligning an organization’s mission, employee’s, and team’s goals (Mathew & Gupta, 2015). Also, transformational leaders mentor their employees to develop their own leadership style and find their self-efficacy.

In one study, the result was positive between transformational leadership and individual innovative work behavior relationship. Further recommendation that when transformational leaders used their emotionational intelligence to assess the situation in an organization, they should emphasize the impact of the organization and encouraged two-way communication in the team with respect. The result was that employees unleash their potential and create new ideas (Yidong & Xinxin, 2013). Employees are more likely to use innovative ideas and apply to work performance to solve a problem or improve an organization’s process.  Not only the employees notice themselves as an individual but also shared their creative idea to the team.

Moreover, a recommendation that managers or leaders should develop ethical or transformational leadership style by using morality in an organization. Respecting their employee’s perspective, belief, and dignity will empower and enhance productivity.  An effective leader should encourage their employees to come up with new ideas and put them into practice. When using these style of leadership, they should pay attention to not only one individual but also the team and shape whole team’s values and leading to the same direction to accomplish an organization’s goals (Yidong & Xinxin, 2013).

Emotional intelligence correlated with several concepts of transformational leadership style, and it is an important component of effective leadership. Not only emotional intelligence is shown to be related to work performance, work environment, teamwork effectiveness but also increased morale. According to Goleman (2000), emotional intelligence leaders are thought to perform better in the workplace. Emotional intelligence leaders learn to use the advantage of managing emotions and self-aware to resolve and improve organizational functioning (Mathew & Gupta, 2015).  The study showed that the sixty-two Chief Executive Officers, the highest-ranking person in an organization, company, or other institution and their top management teams are have more positive outlook and the overall attitudes of people in the top management team share some common characteristics: more cooperative, high energy, and goals driven (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee,2002).

In conclusion, leaders need to have an understanding of various styles and when they should apply to different situations. Other characteristic shares among effective leaders are well rounded. They do not possess just emotional intelligence but also adaptability of leadership style. They assess the situation, choose the right leadership style to use, adapt mindset and behavior, open to ideas, opinions, and effectively choose to implement it into practice.  Some style will likely become dominant, but there is an opportunity for leaders to develop their ability to turn from style to style as the needed in different situations and who are they dealing with. Developing and strengthening emotional intelligent and apply to different leadership styles is key to an effective leader.


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