The Viewpoint that Emotional Intelligence Competencies Need to be Developed in Order to Improve Effective Leadership

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The Viewpoint that Emotional Intelligence Competencies Need to beDeveloped in Order to Improve Effective Leadership

Emotional intelligence refers to one’s ability to determinedlychoose their thoughts, actions, and feelings to achieve optimaloutcomes in their relationship with others. It has become a populartopic due to its capacity to evaluate potentially effective leadersand to develop useful leadership skills. Since it is an umbrella ideain both academic and organizational environment, it is highly studiedin the psychological literature. It has stirred interest among manymanagers and researchers and has become one of the most evidentconcepts in the study of individual differences. It has a remarkableeffect on different results. These results include academic, career,life, psychological well-being, and health. Indeed, emotions form aninseparable and integral fragment of an organizational life. Thosewho are adept emotionally, who consciously and artfully choose andmanage their actions, feelings, and thoughts well, and who study anddeal with other people’s feelings effectively are an advantage inan organization. When an individual uses their emotions effectively,their problem-solving skills, thinking, creativity, efficiency, andreasoning will improve. Emotional intelligence forms the anchorage onwhich emotional competencies are built. These skills lead toperformance, thus, form an integral part of effective leadership.This paper critically evaluates the viewpoint that emotionalintelligence competencies need to be developed to improve effectiveleadership.

Emotional Intelligence Competencies Improve Leadership Skills

Given that organizational environment keeps changing, leadershippositions need more than just technical know-how or taskcompetencies. Undeniably, emotional skills are necessary foreffective leadership [ CITATION Tea14 l 1033 ]. Therefore, effectiveleaders must have emotional intelligence capabilities to allow themto react to different incidents successfully. These skills becomeessential as individuals rise within organizational hierarchies.Effective leaders have one thing in common: All of them havedeveloped emotional intelligence competencies[ CITATION Otu16 l 1033 ].That implies that these skills are necessary to lead effectively.Leaders with the ability to recognize emotions accurately have higherratings on transformational governance behavior. Besides, they havegreater interpersonal sensitivity than those who depend on contingentreward behavior. There is a positive relationship between emotionalintelligence competencies and transformational leadership conducts [ CITATION Gol12 l 1033 ].This kind of leadership is most effective since a leader is firmlyengaged with their followers beyond predictable transactionalexchanges. Furthermore, it is predictive of both organizational andindividual results [ CITATION Fer14 l 1033 ].

For leaders to have this kind of leadership, it is imperative forthem to have confidence in their ability to handle their emotions aswell as others’ emotions [ CITATION Cas12 l 1033 ]. Emotionalintelligence competencies enable one to deal with stressfulcircumstances, prevent them from losing control, and give them theability to maintain a cool composure while relating with other peopleeven when faced with intense emotional experiences [ CITATION Gol12 l 1033 ].They also make an individual more confident in their capability toinfluence and control life events and intellectually motivate others.Leaders with high emotional intelligence competencies find managingothers less challenging[ CITATION Bat13 l 1033 ].

Since organizational rules keep changing rapidly, new standards areused to evaluate people’s performance. Evaluation not only is thelevel of expertise one has acquired or by how smart or brilliant theyare but also by how well one can handle their feelings, thoughts, oremotions [ CITATION Nel12 l 1033 ]. This new index does not focus ontechnical know-how, intellectual or academic capabilities butrather, it focuses on personal traits such as persuasiveness,trustworthiness, initiative, empathy, influence, and adaptability [ CITATION Udo12 l 1033 ].

To accomplish the results, which most training programs bring, forinstance, personal development and improved job performance, one mustpossess emotional intelligence competencies. These skills are usefulto achieve long-lasting results [ CITATION Udo12 l 1033 ]. They canbe developed through improving emotional intelligence. Moreover, theyfocus on the behaviors that enhance performance and are measuredusing the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI). This model involvesviewing emotional intelligence as a massive array of competencies anddispositions, which range from personal qualities to learnedabilities. Despite the fact that emotional intelligence skills aredeeply embedded in emotional intelligence, they are a higherproficiency that leads to improved performance. In summary, everyonehas the emotional intelligence potential however, they need todevelop emotional intelligence competencies to be great leaders.Emotional intelligence forms the core of these skills, which,consequently, establish the antecedents of improved performance. Thatmeans that a high level of emotional intelligence alone is notsufficient to acquire excellent leadership skills[ CITATION Vai14 l 1033 ].

Those with elevated levels of emotional intelligence possess theability to learn and develop some competencies. Emotionalintelligence is somehow inherent, while emotional intelligence skillsare developed through learning and development. Leadership entailsinfluencing people and offering the necessary direction and guidance[ CITATION Cas12 l 1033 ]. Effective leaders are considered to bedisciplined and adept in handling workload, dealing with stressfulconditions, communicating organizational goals, and polishing otherpeople’s performance [ CITATION Nad12 l 1033 ]. Emotionalintelligence competencies enable leaders to address their subjectsempathically, build high quality relations with them, and strengthentheir trust in and identification with the leader. These skillsinclude self-motivation, self-management, self-awareness,relationship management, and social awareness [ CITATION Rob13 l 1033 ].

Self-motivation refers to the passion, which someone has to dosomething for motives that go beyond status or money. Leaders withself-motivation work consistently to achieve their goals. It improvesleadership skills since it makes a manager know their stand, behopeful, and re-examine. It involves having an intense passion forthe job, or position one has first, and then other things follow. Todevelop this competency, one must appreciate commitment, initiative,optimism, and achievement. Commitment means having the will to makesacrifices to achieve organizational objectives. It helps a leader toput up with traumatic working conditions and challenges and remaincommitted to their course. The initiative requires being ready topursue set aspirations persistently, grasp opportunities available,bend the rules and regulations if need be to achieve a particulargoal, and influence and marshal other people to perform. Leaders whohave initiative are less likely to be hopeless and give up. Optimismimplies being able to interpret setbacks. Having it gives managersthe ability to perceive setbacks as a chance to re-strategize.Adopting an optimistic mindset takes practice though, it is worthit. Confident leaders always learn something good amidst a failure orchallenge. Achievement involves being result oriented, settingchallenging objectives, and taking calculated risks (Vaida, 2014).

Self-management, also known as self-regulation, refers to one’sability to redirect or manage disruptive moods or impulses andstressful feeling. Leaders who regulate themselves hardly attackothers verbally, make emotional or rushed decisions, compromise orstereotype their values. They can stay in control [ CITATION Fon16 l 1033 ].To develop this competency, they must have innovation,trustworthiness, adaptability, emotional self-control, andconscientiousness. Innovation implies being highly open to new ideas.Trustworthiness means admitting own mistakes, being highlyprincipled, confronting unethical behaviors in other people, behavingin a moral manner, and building trust with genuineness. Adaptabilityentails being flexible in reacting to change. Emotional self-controlimplies being able to manage one’s impulsive feelings anddistressing emotions effectively and stay composed and positiveamidst stressful circumstances. Conscientiousness involves beingscrupulous, self-disciplined, careful, and punctual (Batool, 2013).Indeed, great leaders can manage themselves effectively since theyknow their values, hold themselves accountable, and practice beingtranquil.

Self-awareness refers to an individual’s ability to recognize andunderstand their emotions, needs, strengths, weaknesses, drives, andmoods and their impact on others. Having self-awareness in aleadership position means having humility and a clear picture ofone’s strengths and weaknesses [ CITATION CRE14 l 1033 ]. Thatforms the foundation on which the other competencies of emotionalintelligence are built. It serves as the basis for the emotional andpsychological advancement required to improve leadership skills. Itimplies knowing oneself [ CITATION Dil12 l 1033 ]. It is importantto have self-confidence, self-assessment, and emotional awareness todevelop self-awareness. That can be done through writing thoughts ina journal. Self-confidence is about self-assurance, being decisive,ability to make decisions amidst pressures and uncertainties, andability to make right judgments. Self-assessment is about the abilityto deeply understand one’s personal sources, limits, andcapabilities. Emotional awareness is about the impact of leaders’emotions on their performance as well as their ability to use theirvalues to make decisions. Indeed, the superior performance of greatleaders is based on these competencies (Otuedon, 2016).

Relationship management refers to one’s ability to effectivelymanage relations using the awareness of their emotions as well asthose of other people. Managing relationships will allow leaders toview the importance of relating with people from diverse backgrounds.This competency enables leaders to solve conflicts efficiently,communicate well with others, and inspire the loyalty of theirsubjects. Researchers have found out that trust can result incooperative behaviors among people. Conversely, those who frequentlyexperience anger have higher chances of experiencing difficulties inrelating well with other people and prompting their trust. Developingthis competency involves conflict management, communication, the actof influence, inspirational leadership, building bonds, cooperation,teamwork, and driving change. Conflict management entails the abilityto handle difficult situations and people with tact [ CITATION Dil12 l 1033 ].Communication involves being able to listen well to other people,accommodate information sharing, and strive for a commonunderstanding with other people [ CITATION Has12 l 1033 ]. Influenceinvolves handling other people’s emotions. Inspirational leadershipimplies being able to influence other people to follow or pursue aparticular course. Building bonds mean being able to seek mutuallybeneficial relationships, maintain personal friendships, andcultivate natural links. Cooperation involves the ability to workwell with other people to accomplish an agreed or common objective.Teamwork implies being capable of working efficiently in teams.Leading change means being capable of recognizing the necessity ofchange, challenge the status quo, and eliminate barriers. Those withthe ability to drive change are considered to be agents of change [ CITATION Bru12 l 1033 ].

Social awareness, also known as empathy, refers to the capability ofan individual to view other people’s emotions accurately andcomprehend what is impacting them. This competency is very vital toleading an organization effectively since it makes leaders payattention to body language, respond positively to feelings, and putthemselves in other people’s positions. It is also the ability toappreciate other people’s emotional makeup and is the basis ofbuilding all the other social competencies. It implicates beingcapable of sensing what others feel without them mentioning. Thiscompetency is helpful to improve leadership skills because itinvolves understanding other people, developing others, serviceorientation, political awareness, and leverage on diversity. When oneunderstands others, they can sense their feelings and perspectives [ CITATION Bru12 l 1033 ].When one has service orientation, they understand the needs of otherpeople and match them to the services offered. Developing othersimply providing a useful response, acknowledging and rewarding theachievements of other people, identifying other people’s need toimprove, giving apt coaching, and mentoring others [ CITATION Che12 l 1033 ].Those who possess strengths in diversity relate well with people fromvarying and diverse backgrounds and respect them, mind groupdifferences, see the importance of diversity, and understand theapproach to life based on context. Political awareness involvesrecognizing the primary power relationships in one’s environmentand understanding the forces, which shape actions (Robbins &ampJudge, 2013).


Emotional intelligence forms the building block for the developmentof emotional competencies. Therefore, it is right to conclude thatemotional skills are a result of emotional intelligence. Due to therapid pace at which the world of work changes, there is the need foremotional intelligence competencies. These abilities are vital toachieving success. The effectiveness of an individual’s leadershipskills can be assessed by evaluating the emotional intelligencecompetencies the person has developed. These skills expand a leader’spotential for personal impact, and their effects are contagious,resulting in inspiration and energy. Therefore, developing emotionalintelligence competencies improve leadership skills.


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