The Effects of Emotional Intelligence on Leadership

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The Effects of Emotional Intelligence on Leadership
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands, Moderator
It is well known nowadays that leadership is connected with emotions. Leaders who are able to manage their emotions and who show affinity towards employees are often seen as good leaders.

George (2000) mentions five points all containing emotional aspects that INCREASE the efficiency of leaders:
1. The ability to develop a shared feeling of goals/objective and to develop ways to achieve these goals.
2. The ability to make others aware of and let them appreciate the importance of their work.
3. Creating and maintaining enthusiasm, cooperation, optimism and a feeling of trust.
4. Stimulating flexibility in making decisions and in changes.
5. Developing and maintaining a valuable identity for a company.

The relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership is also analyzed by Antonakis et al. (2009). Interestingly Antonakis mentions two ways in which emotional intelligence affects leadership NEGATIVELY:
1. First, sensitivity to the emotions of other people decreases the quality of a leader. Namely, for these leaders who are sensitive to emotional states of others assign much importance to other’s opinions; as a result it is hard to operate in a way that is in line with the organizational vision.
2. Furthermore, sensitivity towards your own emotional states will increase the feeling that other people also are aware of your emotional states; these leaders will think about other’s opinions about them and as a result they will be hindered by these emotional states.
Antonakis, J., Ashkanasy, N.M. and Dasborough, M.T. (2009). “Does Leadership need Emotional Intelligence?” The Leadership Quarterly.
George, J. M. (2000). Emotions and Leadership: The Role of Emotional Intelligence. Human Relations, 53, 1027−1055.

How Emotional Intelligence Affects Leadership
Colin J Thomas, Trainer / coach, United Kingdom, Member
Surely one of the key aspects of leadership is balanced judgement, where ultimate decisions are made on facts, logic and business objectives.
Emotional intelligence is used as a tool to convince others that it is the correct decision.

Why Emotional Intelligence is Key in Leadership
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Thanks for sharing these important insights with us, Anneke.
In the view of Goleman, good leaders are effective because they create 'resonance'. Resonance comes from the Latin word resono: re- ("again/back/repeatedly") + sono ("make noise, create sound").
Effective leaders are attuned to other people's feelings and move them in a positive emotional direction (through resonance). The exact way that resonance is created depends on the leadership style being used.
@Colin J Thomas : Note that according to Goleman, emotional intelligence does not only help to convince others that a correct decision has been made, but also to actually prepare and make good decisions, again depending on the leadership style.

Are (Leadership) Decisions Ultimately Made on Facts, Logic?
Mattias Strandberg, Director, Sweden, Member
@Colin J Thomas : I can see your point that "ultimate decisions are made on facts, logic and business objectives." the problem however is that our view on what is a fact, what is a logical conclusion and in line with business objectives is highly dependent on our emotional state and the feedback we get from people around us concerning these facts, logics and objectives.
Considering that people view the exact same situation differently depending on several factors, who can then say that one view is more correct than the other? It is only when we are able to read and understand our own emotional state and that of the people surrounding us that we can make an ultimate decision based on all information available, not just the facts that always are subject to interpretation.
Thank you Jaap and Anneke for your insightful sharing!

Are (Leadership) Decisions Ultimately Made on Facts, Logic
Colin J Thomas, Trainer / coach, United Kingdom, Member
@Mattias Strandberg: Hello and thank you for the useful responses, I agree with all that has been said. However, what of the military context how does one apply emotional intelligence in high risk decisions, or does millitary training negate the use of emotional intelligence?

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