Emotional intelligence vs. leadership and job performance
Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware, control and manage ones emotion and that of others. (Daniel Goleman 1995). Emotional intelligence to my own understanding is the ability to recognize ones strength and weaknesses and to serve others without seeing it’s as a “big deal”. Some leaders in the world today do see their people as an unimportant and also think why they should care what people feel or need since they take orders from him. But the irony of the matter is every leader supposed to be a servant to the group of people he leads. I was the maid of honor at my cousin’s wedding and she told me that ‘I want you to handle my 14 bridesmaids’ .As the wedding event came to a close, a bridesmaid walked up to me and told me you handled everything so well and you were calm all along. Looking back at that time I thought to myself that what could have helped me stay so calm and handle all the stress so well then I said it must be my Emotional Intelligence at work. My ability to not boss the bridesmaid around and respond positively to each and every one of them needs. The concept of emotional intelligence can also be understood in the works of Douglas McGregor theory X-Y (1960).
In the business world today, leaders are chosen based on their level of educational attainment and intelligence quotient. Some leaders do perform so well while some don’t but why is this? Demonstrating a high intelligence quotient is a different ball game to having Emotional Intelligence. The leaders who have demonstrated a high intelligence quotient and succeeded at their work one can say they must also have a high level of emotional intelligence. In one of Goleman’s work where he researched about 200 international companies he found out that the normal qualities that defines a leader i.e. intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision are attributes a leader must possess and are required for success but they are not sufficient.
Emotional intelligence can be attributed to these variables (Daniel Goleman).
- Self-awareness: the ability to identify ones emotions.
- Self-regulation: ability to manage ones emotions.
- Motivation: ability to put effort into a job not because of the pay or the status.
- Empathy: the ability to recognize and respond to the needs of others.
- Social-skills- the ability to build good rapport within ones social environment.
This is summarized with an emotional competence framework,
- Personal competence- self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation.
- Social competence- social awareness.
According the article “why an emotional education is indispensable” (Forbes) some questions were asked, where is the Harvard business school equivalent for emotional education? Why shouldn’t one prepare for emotional conflicts and management while one prepares for a career in business? for the society to build a leader I think more focus should be put on emotional intelligence. Families should help children develop a good emotional intelligence so they can grow up to be effective and successful leaders.
In conclusion, intelligence quotient as well as all other attribute of a good leader is very important in building a successful leader but emotional intelligence is the ‘heartbeat’ of any good leadership.