Isabelle Shaw

Semester 2


Executive Summary The purpose of this assignment is to evaluate Emotional Intelligence’s (EQ) importance for a leader in today’s business world. Chynoweth (2009) comment that in order to move up into senior leadership positions, a high level of EQ is a vital skill to possess as can give developing leaders a competitive edge. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ‘ability to identify, assess and manage the emotions of others’ (Chynoweth 2009). The essay will be broken down into three sub-questions. These are ‘What is Emotional Intelligence and how was it developed?’, ‘Why Emotional Intelligence is need in Leadership?’ and ‘Are you born with leadership skills or can they be taught?’ What is Emotional Intelligence and how was it developed? Emotional Intelligence has become an essential part of the way leaders meet the significant challenges in today’s business industry. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence impacts a leader’s ability to be effective (Goleman, 1998). Three of the most important aspects of emotional intelligence for a leader’s ability to make effective decisions, are selfawareness, communication and influence, and commitment and integrity. Managers who do not develop their emotional intelligence have difficulty in building good relationships with peers, subordinates, superiors and clients (Goleman, 1998). EQ was first recognised in 1985 when Dr. Reuven Bar-on was researching the qualities that lead to success. He developed the concept of EQ as his results showed there was much more to leadership than traditional Intelligence(IQ). In 1995 Daniel Goleman published the best seller ‘Emotional Intelligence’ which has done a great deal for popularising the concept. Why is emotional intelligence needed in leadership? Emotional intelligence is an extremely important aspect of becoming a good leader. As stated by (Emmerling R 2008) Emotional intelligence can relate to ‘academic achievement, work performance, our ability to communicate effectively, solve everyday problems, build meaningful interpersonal relationships, or even our ability to make moral decision.’ These factors represent some of the most essential characteristics of being a leader and running a lucrative and successful business. The qualities of EQ required in business today however, do not correspond to the classic historical models of leadership. The military style of leadership of the past, involving strict disciplinarian principles, demanding exact conformity to rules and a bold and brave approach to staff using impregnable purpose and resolve, does not suit the requirements of today’s society. The workforce of today, does not accept this autocratic leadership style and instead requires a sense of democracy and independence at work. Knights (2007) believes that it is important to be able to inspire and motivate as a leader, causing employees to have a more determined and self driven approach to their work. “Effective leaders are alike in one crucial way; they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence.” Goldman (2001).Basically, managers who possess emotional intelligence understand that their staff are people first and workers second. It has been shown that an individual who is in tune with his or her own emotions, is much more likely to understand and empathise with the emotions that affect the attitudes and behaviour of others. Another factor to consider is that most employees respond best to managers who treat them as individuals who deserve respect. When an effort is made to focus on an employees needs and someone is made accessible to them, this is a company that is using emotional intelligence as a management strategy and it has proven most successful in business today. Exactly how and to what extent EQ accounts for effective leadership though, is currently unknown. Despite much interest in relating EQ to effective leadership, there is little research


It is evident that the ability to restrain impulsive behaviour. activities. Training can include perhaps emotional intelligence tests. As stated by Hay Group Holdings.2008) In contrast Knight (2007) states that not every person as the skills to be a good leader. self-management. These include enthusiasm. even when possessing high qualifications. exercises and books could be introduced and put into use within the business to explore self awareness. Goldman (2001) believes that those without a high emotional intelligence. Managers for example. Recommendation Deliotte is one of the largest professional services organizations in the world. 2 . Research has shown that emotional intelligence. can be developed through a systematic and consistent approach to building competence in personal and social awareness. will still not necessarily develop into a great leader. do not all necessarily develop into good leaders. daring and maturity. it is strongly believed. that the skills required in becoming a good leader are primarily developed in learning through life experiences. and social skills. It benefits the employers and assist in achieving a well balanced and successful staff base. as IQ can only take the high management team so far. self-knowledge. Finally. frustration and irresponsibility. Whilst some people may be born with leadership qualities. discerning and clear goals. the pathways in the brain associated with social and emotional competencies are different to those engaged by more cognitive learning. Various complications arise when asking whether or not leadership skills can be taught. An excellent leader is able to increase staff loyalty and performance levels which consequently will increase company profits and make the workplace more united. A leader wants to learn as much as possible and is willing to take risks. Due to the fact that the foundations of social and emotional competencies are often laid down early in life and reinforced over several years. such as aggression. but according to Warren Bennis (2000) all leaders seem to share some common traits. are all highly conspicuous to colleagues. Appropriate EQ training methods would be to invest in making emotional intelligence training mandatory. (Emmerling. Conclusion In conclusion Emotional Intelligence is essential in today's business consultancy industry. can do a lot to improve a manager’s interactions at work. hostility. A coach can be used to help recognise triggers to impulsive behaviour and teach people to respond more effectively in situations of conflict or adversity in the workplace. it has been determined that impulsive behaviour shown by a manager in the workplace. they tend to become synonymous with our self-image and thus need focused attention over time to bring about change. However. self-awareness and adaptability which all require high EQ levels. unlike technical skills. like technical skill. For example Haygroup Holdings (2010) claims that EQ ‘ accounts for more than 85% of exceptional performance in top leaders’ This finding is unlikely and unsupported as there has not been a psychological variable that has made any such prediction. (2010) Essential attributes of a good manager are composure. Are you born with leadership skills or can they be taught? What defines a person as leader is still debated.Isabelle Shaw Semester 2 U51000 published that has explicitly examined this relationship.

pp. D. Nova Science Publishers Hay Group Semester 2 U51000 Bennis. (2001) What makes a leader? Harvard Business review.timesonline. 4 Iss. Available: http://www.branchenbuch. J. D. (2004) Help your managers develop leadership Willmott. Business strategy review. R. p45-53. Harvard Business 6. 4. March-April Knights. H. retrieved on 06/03/2010. Last accessed 4 March 2010.asp x. 20 Iss. 1-25 Golemen. P (2009) Setting the right direction. 5 3 . New York: Basic Books . Cavallo K (2009) Emotional Competence and Leadership Excellence at Johnson & Johnson: The Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Study. Danby. 1. pp. Strategic HR Review. Last accessed 3 March 2010. (2010). Available: http://business. Vol.ece . London: Thomson Learning pp. Vol. D (2006) Leadership that gets results.haygroup. et al (2008) Emotional intelligence: Theoretical and cultural perspectives. Goleman. Managing the Dream: Reflections on Leadership and Retrieved from : http://www. Good leaders manage feelings. Emotional intelligence …because being clever isn’t enough. (2009). W (2000).) (2007) introducing organisational behaviour & management.pdf Chynoweth.285-310 Knight. (eds.Isabelle Shaw Reference List. C .58-63 Emmerling. pp.

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