Emotional intelligence, as an organizational behavior concept, has gained a lot of attention in the recent past due to its perceived benefits. Emotional intelligence is believed to bolster relations between different stakeholders in an organization and hence improving organizational performance. Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to recognize the feelings of their employees and those of other stakeholders and to manage their emotions to cultivate favorable relationships with these significant others (Moeller & Kwantes, 2015). Emotional intelligence enhances the strategic performance of principals in schools by helping them understand the feelings of various stakeholders in schools and adjust their emotions accordingly to bolster relationships with these significant others.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence (Sample Essay) in Leadership
Emotional intelligence enables leaders to recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of subordinates. It empowers them to take better control of their feelings and tune them for better relations with subordinates in consideration of the employees’ current emotional state. According to Cook (2006), emotional intelligence comprises of four primary competencies. The first competency is self-awareness which is the ability of a person to accurately recognize their emotions and remain aware of them as they change. This emotional awareness enables a person to stay in control of how they respond to various situations and individuals. The second competency is self-management, which is the ability of a person to be emotionally flexibility and to control emotional reactions when interacting with different people and facing different situations. Self-management is the competency that prevents a person from emotionally overreacting to individuals and situations. Leaders with second self-management rarely conceal their negative emotions to their subordinates.
Cook (2006) further notes that the third competency is social awareness which is the ability to accurately identify other people’s emotions, their effects and how they are likely to affect relations with these people. Social awareness enables one to understand what others are feeling and thinking. Relationship management is the fourth competency, and is the ability of a leader to combine all the other three emotional intelligence skills to initiate and sustain successful relations with others (Cook, 2006). Relationship management is characterized by abilities such as clear communication, effective conflict handling, and trust in relationships.
The effect of emotional intelligence on leaders has been extensively studied in the recent past. The results of most of these studies have established a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and leadership. Leaders with higher emotional intelligence scores were found to be more productive than those with low emotional intelligence (Moeller & Kwantes, 2015). A global 2003 study involving 358 Johnson and Johnson group to establish differences in leadership competencies found that high-performing employees had higher emotional intelligence scores than average performers (Cook, 2006). Emotional intelligence therefore positively influences leadership performance. Highly emotionally intelligent leaders will have a greater effect on an organization than leaders with low emotional intelligence.
In light of the effect emotional intelligence has on leadership, organizations are placing a higher emphasis on hiring emotionally intelligent leaders. In the contemporary organizational leadership environment where organizations are required to quickly adapt to change, emotional intelligence is even more critical. Leaders need to be able to deal with their emotions and other people’s emotions if they are to guide them in the right direction. Fleming (2014) observes that the ability to work through emotional situations distinguishes great leaders from average leaders.
The Importance of Principal’s Strategic Leadership
School principals are supposed to be strategic leaders. They are the figures charged with the responsibility of drawing future strategic plans for schools and mobilizing the required conditions to ensure that schools achieve their strategic goals in regards to emotional intelligence sample essay. As leaders, principals face numerous challenges and performance issues such as dealing with teachers and students and supporting their staff. Conflicts arise in the course of running schools, and this brings the risk of decreased motivation. School principals need to have high levels of emotional intelligence to enable them to be productive with students and all other stakeholders in the education system. Berkovich and Eyal (2017) add that emotional intelligence is thus an important success factor in educational leadership. It can help principals to reach high levels of performance.
A study conducted to establish the relationship between leadership abilities of principals and students’ academic achievement found out that the leadership skills of principals have an effect on students’ academic performance. The performance of principals increases student achievement and influences school success (Cliffe, 2011). Successful schools are the ones that have a sense of direction and purpose. It is only principals who are effective in leadership that can provide the support needed to achieve this success. Principals face the persistent challenge to create an enabling environment for students to ensure that their performance improves steadily. They are therefore supposed to demonstrate strong leadership skills and create a clear mission statement for the school.
Emotional Intelligence and the Productivity of Principals
The transformational leadership theory focuses on how leaders can secure the loyalty of their followers by meeting their pressing needs and fully engaging them in their work (Berkovich & Eyal, 2017). Transformational leaders are change oriented and strive to create something new from the old. In the long run, transformational leaders help themselves, their employees and the organization to become efficient and better. One unique aspect of transformational leadership is the ability of the leader to build secure and meaningful relationships with staff while at the same time supporting them to attain the highest levels of individual development (Berkovich & Eyal, 2017). Transformational leaders might not be many, but the effects they have on their organizations are great.
In organizations that embrace transformational leadership, leaders are perceived as members of a wider team and not as centers of power (Cook, 2006). The primary conclusion that can be drawn from transformational leadership is that the skills, traits, and behavior of a leader as well as their ability to deal with various situational factors determine their overall effectiveness.
Emotional intelligence is one of the abilities that leaders in transformational organizations need to have. Emotional intelligence enables leaders in transformational organizations to efficiently assume their roles as members of a team (Cook, 2006). In a setting where transformational leadership is practiced, the leader needs to be able to identify the emotions of the significant others as well as their own emotions and respond to them effectively. A decrease in the loyalty of employees towards an organization can be partially associated with incompetent leadership.
Leadership is not always about being tough and strict as the principles of transformational leadership suggest; it is more about cultivating integrity, empathy, and motivation in employees. All these are building blocks of emotional intelligence. Moore (2009) argues that leaders are supposed to establish a real connection with staff to enable them to give the best for their sake and the sake of the organization. Leaders who fail to cultivate productive relationships with employees are likely to witness a decrease in loyalty. Emotional intelligence can enable leaders to develop productive relationships with employees. Trust and openness characterize such relationships.
As strategic managers, school principals and leaders in schools need emotional intelligence in equal proportions to other elements of leadership. Emotional intelligence can set successful school principals apart from the rest. An understanding of the role of emotional intelligence can enable them to create a prime good feeling in teachers and pupils at the school. High emotional intelligence enables school principals to create and maintain an environment of openness and positivity that frees the best in people (Moore, 2009). Principals as strategic leaders can no longer ignore the role of emotions and consider them insignificant. They need to embrace emotional intelligence for it holds positive outcomes for them, their students and schools in general.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to identify and effectively deal with their emotions as well as emotions of other people whom they interact with. Emotional intelligence has become one of the most widely studied areas of organizational leadership due to its perceived benefits. Research has linked emotional intelligence with improved leadership performance. As strategic leaders, principals can reap numerous benefits from the understanding and proper utilization of emotional intelligence. Research has linked high emotional intelligence in school leaders with better educational outcomes for students. As the theory of transformational leadership postulates, the most successful leaders are the ones who can create the most conducive environment for their employees to give their best. Emotional intelligence is one of the abilities that can enable leaders to create this conducive and productive environment. Emotional intelligence thus improves the performance of school principals as strategic managers.
A Note on Secondary Sources
Secondary sources are a valuable form of material to use in literary analyses for several reasons. The primary reason is that secondary sources provide an author with information that has already been researched. This is significant so students and scholars do not unintentionally plagiarize another’s work. Secondary sources are also necessary to bolster the claims of a student who is becoming involved in research in an area of literature for the first time. A student can make critical claims about a text, but their lack of expertise may undermine their arguments. However the experience and knowledge of a scholar quoted in a student’s work lends the argument some credibility and concepts that the paper would not have otherwise.
Having secondary material included in a written work is also necessary to develop scholarly resources. Having one person write about a literary work is very useful for writing about the intricacies of the text and discovering various interpretations of the work. However, a valuable perspective of literature is based upon criticizing those initial interpretations of the work so as to further arguments or refute points that were previously made. Scholarly work is based upon creating an ongoing means of evaluating literary works to find discover new meanings for works and then extend the ideas that are found to other works. After all, scholarly works about literature are most useful when they can find common threads between literature to reveal something unique about the authors and the people about whom they write. Therefore, utilizing secondary sources as a way to help develop a larger body of work in the realm of literature represents the most basic form of advancing scholarly knowledge.
Berkovich, I., & Eyal, O. (2017). The mediating role of principals’ transformational leadership behaviors in promoting teachers’ emotional wellness at work. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 45(2), 316-335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741143215617947
Cliffe, J. (2011). Emotional intelligence: A study of female secondary school headteachers. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 39(2), 205-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741143210390057
Cook, C. R. (2006). Effects of emotional intelligence on principals’ leadership performance (Doctor of Education). Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.
Fleming, P. (2014). Successful middle leadership in secondary schools: A practical guide to subject and team effectiveness. New York, NY: Routledge.
Moeller, C., & Kwantes, C. T. (2015). Too much of a good thing? Emotional intelligence and interpersonal conflict behaviors. The Journal of Social Psychology, 155(4), 314-324. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2015.1007029
Moore, B. (2009). Emotional intelligence for school administrators: A priority for school reform? American Secondary Education, 37(3), 20-28.