Journal: Emotional Intelligence Refers to the Leader's Sensitivity

Pages: 3 (864 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership  ·  Buy for $19.77

Emotional intelligence refers to the leader's sensitivity to important interpersonal skills such as empathy, motivation, and communication (Stein and Book, Chapter 1). In many ways, it is the most important skill of a successful leader because it demonstrates that he knows how to inspire trust and loyalty in people by understanding what it is that they need and want. The difference between an "evil" leader and a "good" leader is that the former advocates using this understanding to manipulate and coerce people, while latter believes in using it to help people grow.

The five areas of Emotional intelligence are: Intrapersonal (emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, self-regard and self-actualization); interpersonal (independence, social responsibility, empathy and interpersonal relationships); Adaptability (problem solving, reality testing and flexibility; Stress Management (stress tolerance and impulse control); and General Mood (happiness and optimism).

In my experience, one of the most important aspects of emotional intelligence is controlling impulses. For me, that means being able to tolerate slow or frustrating circumstances without expressing my frustration. If I am trying to mentor someone and they just do not seem to be "getting it" no matter what I try, then my natural impulse is to get short with them and blame them somehow for not paying attention or listening properly. The reality is, this may not be the case at all. Acting on impulse and expressing my frustration, even using simple gestures such as rolling my eyes or sighing, can debilitate the entire mentoring process.

Leadership

How successful a leader is depends a great deal on how he perceives himself and his followers. As Jack and Suzy Welch point out, when you are a follower, you focus on your own improvement, but when you become a leader, you focus on improving others. If a leader continues to perceive himself as a follower even after he becomes a leader, then he is not likely to be very effective at gaining the respect and the loyalty that he desires. Similarly, if a leader becomes too authoritative and forgets that his role is to guide rather than to control, he will experience a situation that Keith Weidenkeller describes as bad "people practices." Neither extreme is going to result in successful leadership.

Ultimately, great leaders, as James Calano and Jeff Salzman make clear, are not merely managers who organize paperwork and oversee projects. Great leaders have a vision and they incorporate the ideas and insights of others into that vision. Jack Welch definitely knows all about being a great leader, and he also believes that breathing life into a vision needs to be a team effort.

I have… [END OF PREVIEW]

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