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Emotional intelligence : Value and limitations in leadership communication. Richard Rock Communication Strategies for Leaders/ORG423 Colorado State University Global Campus October 17, 2012. Agenda. What is emotional intelligence (EI)? Relationship between EI and leadership
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Emotional intelligence: Value and limitations in leadership communication Richard Rock Communication Strategies for Leaders/ORG423 Colorado State University Global Campus October 17, 2012
Agenda • What is emotional intelligence (EI)? • Relationship between EI and leadership • Value and limitations of EI in leadership theory • Practical application of EI in leadership communication • Summary
What is Emotional Intelligence? “Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion and their relationships, and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them” (Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000, p.267). • There are three definitions and models in the literature • Mayer-Salovey’s model is favored for its greater psychometric acceptability (Bass & Bass, 2008)
Relationship Between Leadership & Emotional Intelligence • Little evidence for measureable relationship between EI measures and leadership outcomes • Cavazotte, Moreno, and Hickman (2012) found EI effects on leadership not significant • Antonakis, Ashkanasy, and Dasborough (2009) acknowledge problems with the EI construct • Researchers continue to explore “the role of emotions in leadership, and the need for leaders to be aware of, and to attempt to manage emotions in themselves and in their followers” (Antonakis, Ashkanasy, & Dasborough, 2009, p. 259). • However, there are several leadership theories that share perspectives with the EI construct • Implicit Leadership Theory measures follower perception and includes emotional measures (Offerman, Kennedy Jr., & Wirtz, 1994) • Authentic Leadership Theory includes self-awareness as a primary dimension (Avolio, Gardner, & Walumbwa, 2007) • Transformational Leadership Theory includes individualized consideration as a dimension requiring leaders be supportive, considerate, empathetic, and caring (Bass & Bass, 2008)
Value and Limitations of EI in Leadership Theory • Value of EI • The focus on self-assessment and self-management of emotion is important for personal development and will likely improve leadership effectiveness • The ability to perceive emotion in followers likely improves a leader’s ability to provide individual consideration • Ability to manage emotions likely improves follower perception of a leader • Limitations • Existing constructs are not demonstrably viable, therefore caution is warranted when selecting EI instruments for self-assessment • For competency based self-assessments, use assessments based on the Big 5 personality measures as they link empirically to leadership theories.
Practical Application of EI in Leadership Communication • Increase self-awareness through assessments • The Leadership Practices Inventory (Kouzes & Posner, 2007) or the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (Avolio, et. al, 2007) • Conduct personality profiling based on the Big 5 personality measures and analyze against leadership theory • Conduct best-self exercise to define personal leadership narrative (Sparrowe, 2005) • Practice using different non-verbal communication techniques • Improve listening skills to increase perception of leadership ability • Demonstrate individualized consideration through empathy, consideration, and care
Summary • Despite criticism, Emotional Intelligence Theory holds promise for improving leadership effectiveness • EI and leadership theories share similar ideas about the role of emotion in leadership • Avoid commercial EI models, they exaggerate potential outcomes and lack support • The Mayer-Salovey model for EI is the most mature • There are viable options for practical application of EI concepts that include self-assessment and improvement of both non-verbal communication and listening skills
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