Emotional Intelligence and the Implication for Service Operations Leadership

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Emotional Intelligence And the Implication for Service Operations Leadership

Abstract
In recent years companies begin to realize the pivotal position of emotional intelligence and attach more importance on leader’s emotional intelligence development. Actually the emotional intelligence enables leaders to better perform in the workplace. This essay will come to an understanding of emotional intelligence on the basis of the author’s opinion. The first part of the essay includes the historic root of emotional intelligence, its definition and the five dimensions. The second part of the essay will demonstrate the implication of emotional intelligence in service operation leadership. Key words: emotional intelligence, service operation leadership, better performance

Introduction
Emotional intelligence has been one of the most popular fields to be developed in educational and psychological communities over the past few decades. Evidence suggested that cognitive ability was not sufficient for the success of a service operation leadership. Especially in today’s society, challenges and competitions coexist, companies call for innovation and reformation. In such a complex environment, service operations leadership is of critical importance in terms of service organizational performance for every single service organization. Meanwhile, the strength of the service operations leadership has a close relationship with emotional intelligence. Leaders could score high on traditional intelligence tests yet do poorly in other areas in the workplace such as social relations and self-assessment. Therefore, for a service operational leader, it is unavoidable but practical to strengthen emotional intelligence as well as to enhance leadership.

Historic Development of Emotional Intelligence
As early as in 1920, the Columbia University professor EL Thorndike first proposed the concept of social intelligence. He stated that people with high social intelligence “has the ability to understand and manage others, and can act wisely when building relationship with others”. And in 1926, the first intelligence test named George Washington Social Intelligence Test was released to the public. The test questions included identifying the emotional state of the characters in the picture and judging the problems in the interpersonal relationship, etc. However, in the next few decades the effort in this field made by the psychological community paused down because most of them attached more importance on the research of IQ test (the ability of mathematic, logic, language and spatial ability) which assumed to decide one’s learning ability and to further influence the development of work performance in the future.

Until 1983, Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences introduced the brilliant idea of “multiple intelligences” that included both interpersonal intelligence which is “the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people” and intrapersonal intelligence which Gardner defined as the capacity to understand oneself, to have an effective working model of one self and to use such information effectively in regulating one’s own life, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and motivations(Yeong, 2011). In Gardner's view, traditional types of intelligence, such as IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability(Gardner, 1983). He believed the definition of IQ which focused mainly on mathematic and language need to be substantially modified because IQ only has a high positive correlation to school test performance (the higher IQ, the better homework performance). However, IQ does not have significant relation to other aspects such as the work performance, feelings or life satisfaction. Gardner added several intelligences in the idea of “multiple intelligence”, including music, sports, self-assessment and the ability to understand others. It was the last two intelligences that made the concept of...
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