Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Essay

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Emotional Intelligence (EI) is very important in leadership. It enables a leader to understand and communicate with his followers in a way that is empathetic, supportive and non-abrasive. It can be considered one of the most effective tools of a leader because it helps to create an atmosphere of trust, companionship, and teamwork. As Mandell and Pherwani (2003) point out the Intelligence Quotient is not just a matter of remembering facts or solving problems -- when it comes to leadership, one of the most needed elements of intelligence is how one a leader can relate to others -- and that takes Emotional Intelligence. However, defining EI and understanding what it means among diverse persons -- whether diverse in gender or in culture/nationality -- presents some difficulty. This paper will discuss the relation of EI to Leadership Styles according to research that has been conducted in the field.

As Quader (2011) notes, EI can be defined by five elements or qualities: "Self-Awareness, Managing Emotion, Self-Motivation, Relating Well, and Emotional Mentoring" (p. 1). Yet not all practitioners of EI and leadership have all five elements at the same time. Quader's (2011) study showed that women actually scored higher in showing the qualities of Relating Well and Emotional Mentoring. Men, on the other hand, scored higher in the other three areas. Thus, EI and gender shows correlation in terms of the type of EI that is delivered.

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This is helpful to remember when evaluating what EI is and what individuals should expect from leaders when it comes to EI. The gender of the leader will make a difference in the type of EI that one sees, according to Quader's (2011) study.

Moreover, the study by Van Genderen (2012) showed that across cultures, there is not the same sense of the value of EI. For instance, among Russian leaders, EI is not a correlating factor in successful leadership styles -- namely, transformational leadership. What the study of Russian leaders and EI suggests is that EI does not serve as a significant factor in strong leaders. Yet, the study also indicated that a "participative" style of leadership is preferred among Russians sampled (Van Genderen, 2012, p. 224). What this means is that Russians value a leader who participates in the work himself and is not simply dictating or delegating. The participative style is inclusive and welcomes input. It is open and communicative -- and in this sense it is supported by variables that are related to EI. From this perspective, the study could indicate that EI plays a more central role in successful leadership in the Russian culture than Russians may actually be aware. The term itself and the way it is defined in the West could be something with which they are….....

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Harms, P., Crede, M. (2010). Emotional intelligence and transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17(1): 5-17.

Mandell, B., Pherwani, S. (2003). Relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership style: A gender comparison. Journal of Business and Psychology, 17(3): 387-404.

Quader, M. S. (2011). Leadership style and emotional intelligence: A gender comparison.

Annamalai International Journal of Business Studies & Research, 3(1): 1 -- 23.

Van Genderen, E. (2012). Relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership

style: A comparative- gender study. Review of International Comparative Management, 13(2): 224-236.
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