Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Leadership

Topics: Emotional intelligence, Leadership, Emotion Pages: 13 (3996 words) Published: April 18, 2008

Our World today has more civilized societies with ever expanding population, having diversity in racial polarization, creed and gender. One common thread or feature in all these people is that everyone has feelings and emotions, and emotions engender emotional intelligence. We, being humans, are superior over other living creatures- we can think, feel and rationalize. Because of that we are being deluded by many behaviours, traits, perceptions , mindset patterns and attitudes. All these call for some kind of set order where one can act and interact with one another in ways that are not repugnant, but in harmony and with the decorum that portrays one to be civilized. Leadership is a dynamic process of relationships building between individuals and groups. The constant nourishing of individuals is at the core of effective leadership. Effective leaders improve performance by assuming a level of competence and building upon existing strengths. This paper briefly looks into the impact of emotional intelligence on leadership.

It has been said that there are as many as definitions of leadership as there are those that write it. Leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups toward the achievement of goals. 1 Leadership is a process where a leader influences the direction of a unit in achieving its objective. 2 Leadership is vision manifest through challenge, encouragement, and inspiring others to action. 3

There are two kinds of people in this world, followers and leaders. Followers are the people that never take a leadership role in any activity. However leaders are the ones that use their leadership skills to make a difference in this world, such as presidents, teachers, or even college graduates. Leadership is not something you can learn from a book, but you have to gain this skill through experiences such as holding an office, organizing an event, speaking in front of people, or participating in a leadership program. Successful leadership means taking risks, being fully engaged in the challenges of one’s organization, and being prepared to give up everything for one’s values and principles.

Over the years, so many theories, practices, concepts, and styles of leadership has came about. Daniel Goleman gives six leadership styles: Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting, and Coaching.4 He states that only four out of the six styles are positive. The Coercive style is a “Do what I tell you” type and can bring about problem with some employees. Coercive is known to be negative. The Authoritative style is a “Come with me” type and some others towards the vision, and is extremely positive. The Affiliative style is a “People come first” type and it creates peace among the group and motivates during demanding times. The Democratic style is a “What do you think” type and works off team communication and collaboration, and is positive also. The Pacesetting style is a “Do as I do, now” type which has a negative effect. Pacesetting is getting quick results for high standards. Lastly, the Coaching style is a “Try this” type that is positive that help enlarge long-term strengths for the future.

Great leadership works through the emotions. No matter what the leaders set out to do, their success depends on how they do it. 5 Emotions play a pivotal role in leadership. It is through emotions that we are able to lead effectively. Even if they get everything just right , If leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should. 6 Thus, emotions should also be discussed in the context of leadership.


Over the past decade, researchers and psychologists have discovered that the most successful leaders develop not only their intellectual abilities, but their social or emotional...
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