Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: a Potential Pathway for an Increased Understanding of Interpersonal Influence

Topics: Leadership, Emotional intelligence, Psychology Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: May 16, 2013
The purpose of this article is to evaluate claims that emotional intelligence is significantly related to transformational and other leadership behaviors. Results indicated a validity estimate of .59 when ratings of both emotional intelligence and leadership behaviors were provided by the same source (self, subordinates, peers, or superiors). However, when ratings of the constructs were derived from different sources, the validity estimate was .12. Lower validity estimates were found for transactional and leadership behaviors. Separate analyses were performed for each measure of emotional intelligence. Trait measures of emotional intelligence tended to show higher validities than ability-based measures of emotional intelligence. Agreement across ratings sources for the same construct was low for both transformational leadership and emotional intelligence. Research into the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and transformational leadership is filled with bold claims as to the relationship between these constructs. Noted experts in the field of EI argue that elements of EI such as empathy, self-confidence, and self-awareness are the core underpinnings of visionary or transformational leadership. An information package distributed by Multi-Health Systems, the leading distributor of EI assessment tools, claims that “emotional intelligence is synonymous with good leadership.” Some have claimed that “for those in leadership positions, emotional intelligence skills account for close to 90 percent of what distinguishes outstanding leaders from those judged as average”. Others have noted the disappointing results of intelligence and personality models in the prediction of exceptional leadership and have argued that EI may represent an elusive “X” factor for predicting transformational leadership. The concept of transformational leadership, “full range leadership theory”, is one of the most widely researched paradigms in the leadership field and has shown...
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