Emotional intelligence and its implications when applied to organisations have been reported in the literature since the early 1990s. The strong correlation between emotional intelligence and managerial skills has instigated speculation as to whether managers must possess proficient emotional intelligence, namely, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills in the areas of self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social awareness (Rahim et al. 2002), in order to manage successfully in the workplace. The purpose of this essay is to explore the role emotional intelligence plays in one’s ability to effectively manage a workplace. Managers must possess a high degree of emotional intelligence to manage successfully for a myriad of reasons. Managers who exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence and an awareness of how their actions will impact others are more proficient at resolving conflict within the workplace. Furthermore, a high level of emotional intelligence within the workplace, promoted by managers who encourage said environment, increases the employee’s job satisfaction which in turn results in greater productivity. A manager who can effectively communicate, conscious of the emotions of others will ultimately prove to be a more successful leader in the workplace.
A self-awareness of how one’s actions can influence others, inherent of a manager’s high emotional intelligence allows them to manage successfully within the workplace by allowing effective conflict resolution. Emotions play a crucial role in conflict, as ‘all conflict is inherently emotional’ (Jordan & Troth 2004, pp. 200) .The relationship between emotional intelligence and conflict management strategies has been explained by various organisational theories, the findings of which have many practical applications within the workplace. Those who possess a higher degree of emotional intelligence are able to resolve conflict more effectively, by adopting an approach which can fulfil the emotional needs of both parties. If an individual lacks a self-awareness of their emotions and an inability to control such emotions further conflict will often arise. Thus, an emotionally intelligent manager will have “superior conflict resolution skills and engage in greater collaboration… to develop new solutions that satisfy both parties’ needs” (Jordan & Troth 2004, pp. 201). Social skills are a vital aspect of emotional intelligence, associated with one’s ability to resolve problems without demeaning employees, to prevent negative emotions inhibiting collaboration “and to handle affective conflict with tact and diplomacy” (Rahim et al. 2002, pp. 5). Managers who use their own emotional competencies can support their employees to improve their problem solving capacities. An employee’s perception of their manager is determined by factors such as the manager’s communication skills, conscientiousness within the workplace and social capabilities. Such a perception can have a positive influence on the employee’s conflict resolution capabilities and problem solving strategies. Thus, enhancing the emotional intelligence of managers within the workplace proves to be beneficial for contemporary organisations as it provides managers with the appropriate skills to resolve conflict with integrity and also provides a positive example to employees, encouraging them to adopt a similar approach. Statistical evidence carried out by Jordan and Troth (2004) corroborates this notion stating that those with a higher WEIP (Workplace Emotional Intelligence Profile) adopted more cooperative conflict management strategies.
Mangers who exhibit a high degree of emotional intelligence promote a positive workplace environment in which the employees have a high level of job satisfaction, subsequently resulting in a lower staff turnover rate. A high level of job satisfaction within an organisation is an extremely desirable quality. According to Brunetto et al. (2012 pp....
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