Link between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

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The intelligent use of emotions has long been associated with effective leadership. Defined as the ability to control ones’ emotions and understanding others’ emotions, emotional intelligence (EI) is undeniably an important factor for leaders to build good rapport with their subordinates (Weisinger, 1998). In fact, a growing body of research literatures supported the essentiality of EI in the workplace, especially among leaders (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). For instance, studies have shown that emotional intelligence (EI) could positively influence individual’s leadership skills (e.g., Hong, Catano, & Liao, 2011; Hur, van den Berg, & Wilderom, 2011). With EI, leaders would be able to handle stressful situation and conflicts by intelligently manage the emotion of self and others. Hence, EI was often used as a measurement of leaders’ effectiveness (e.g., Kerr, Garvin, Heaton, & Boyle, 2005; Madera & Smith, 2009; Thiel, Connelly, & Griffith, 2012). Indeed, individual with high EI is perceived as a better leader compared to those with lower EI (Thiel et al., 2012). Hence, the researcher believed that the link between EI and leadership should be further studied to gain better understanding and benefit from it. This review discusses the link between EI and leadership with the focus on the importance of EI on leadership.

The Importance of studying the link between emotions and leadership

Studies have shown useful link between EI and leaders in the workplace. For instance, the integration of the cognitive and emotional aspect would resulted in better decision making as leaders approach the problems more holistically (Rajah, Song, & Arvey, 2011). As countries change from a machine based industrial to...

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...r in effective leadership. Leaders could definitely benefit from the use of emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive emotions, assimilate of emotions, understand emotions and manage emotions are essential skills for leaders to manage their employees and control the workplace situation In fact, leaders that used more holistic skills are more likely to create a greater workplace condition (Pinos, Twigg, Parayitam, & Olson, 2006). Furthermore, highly intelligence leaders are perceived better and produced positive outcomes to the followers. With emotionally intelligence leaders, workers will feel comfortable and enthusiastic at the workplace, gain the motivation to perform and will contribute their best to achieve the organizational goals. Thus, the role of emotions on leadership should be further studied and understood to get the most benefit out of it.
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