The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

Research Paper (undergraduate) 2008 45 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance


Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Emotional Intelligence: Theoretical Framework
2.1 Definition of Important Termini
2.2 Models of Emotional Intelligence and its Measuring

3 Leading with Emotional Intelligence
3.1 It Is All About Primal Leadership
3.2 The Four Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence: Goleman’s Leadership Competencies
3.3 How to Become a Resonant Leader: The Five Discoveries

4 Conclusion
4.1 Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
4.2 Critique on the Emotional Intelligence Model

Appendix 1 Salovoy and Mayer’s 1990 EI model

Appendix 2 Emotional Intelligence Test - Exampl

Appendix 3 Summary of EI Models VI

Appendix 4 Exercise “Am I a Resonant Leader”

Appendix 5 Exercise: Leadership Self-Study

Appendix 6 Integral Total Management (ITM) Checklist


Declaration In Lieu of Oath

List of Abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Figures

Figure 1: History of EI

Figure 2:Salovoy and Mayer’s 1997 model of EI.

Figure 3: Emotional Competencies Model (Goleman Model) 1998

Figure 4: Emotional Intelligence Dimensions and Associated Competencies (Goleman)

Figure 5: The Five Discoveries of the Self-Directed Learning

Figure 6: Salovoy and Mayer’s 1990 model of EI

Figure 7: Summary of EI models (1)

Figure 8: Summary of EI models (2)

Figure 9: Exercise: ‘Am I a Resonant Leader’

Figure 10: Exercise: Leadership Self-Study – Step 1

Figure 11: Exercise: Leadership Self-Study – Step 2 (continued)

Figure 12: Exercise: Leadership Self-Study – Step 2

Figure 13: Exercise: Leadership Self-Study – Step 3 and 4

Figure 14: Exercise: Leadership Self-Study – Special Note

1 Introduction

Today, in a fast changing business environment, leaders need to manage an empowered workforce and go more and more beyond consultative, cooperative and democratic leadership styles. The today’s workforce does not accept an autocratic leadership style as they have now far more options and choices. In addition, there is a growing sense of democracy and independence in the workforce.

Emotional Intelligence has become a vital and more and more important part of how today’s leaders meet the significant challenges they face. Emotion is known to alter thinking in many ways. It seems that Emotional Intelligence can help leaders in an evermore difficult leadership role, one that fewer and fewer leaders seem capable of fulfilling. And especially in the highest levels in organizations Emotional Intelligence can give developing leaders a competitive edge. The bottom line is that the manager who can think about emotions accurately and clearly may often be better able to anticipate, cope with, and effectively manage change.

But provides the concept of Emotional Intelligence the answer to the question what the best leader differentiates from the average one?

The following assignment aims at clarifying the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the theoretical framework surrounding the emotional intelligence concept by stating the most important models and its measurements. Chapter 3 points out the leaders’ emotional intelligence competencies to successful manage the organizations tasks. It also provides ways and even exercises of how to develop emotional intelligence and resonant leadership? To get the big picture, the last chapter explicitly summarizes the importance of emotional intelligence in the business field by also pointing out some critics to the Emotional Intelligence model.

2 Emotional Intelligence: Theoretical Framework

2.1 Definition of Important Termini

To understand the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) requires exploring its two component terms, intelligence and emotion. Since the 18thcentury, psychologists have recognized an influential three-part division of the mind into cognition, affect and motivation.

The cognitive sphere includes such functions as human memory reasoning, judgement and abstract thought.1 The term intelligence characterizes how well the cognitive sphere functions.2 Therefore, intelligence pertains to abilities such as “power to combine and separate” concepts, to judge and to reason, and to engage in abstract thought.3

Emotions belong to the affective sphere of mental functioning, which includes the emotions themselves, moods, evaluations and other feelings states, including fatigue or energy.4

Motivation as third sphere of personality is defined as a state which generates actions and is similar to desire.5 Motivation refers to biological urges or learned goal-seeking behaviour.6

In short words, EI refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.7 Of course, there are various definitions of EI, often depending on the favoured EI model of the corresponding author: Some researchers suggest that EI can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic.

Since 1990, Peter Salovoy and John D. Mayer have been the leading researchers on EI. Mayer 8 and Salovoy 9 define EI as “[...] the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”10 Their EI- model is part of chapter 2.2.

In 1995 the concept of EI was popularized after the publication of Daniel Goleman’s bestseller book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. According to Goleman 11 (1998), “Emotional Intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.”12 His EI-model is also part of chapter 2.2.

Salovoy, Mayer and Goleman have formed the field of EI and they are even today the leading researchers in this field:

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Figure 1: History of EI Source: Dattner (s.a.), p. 6.

2.2 Models of Emotional Intelligence and its Measuring

As stated in chapter 2.1, there is a wide range of EI definition. Up to the present day, there are the two most popular models of EI:

-Ability-based EI models
-Mixed models of EI

A summary of the existing EI models is attached to this document (appendix 3).

The most famous ability-based model is that of Salovoy and Mayer published in 1997. This model is a revised one based on Salovoy and Mayer’s original model of EI – published as first formal model of EI in 1990 (for details to the Salovoy and Mayer’s 1990 model see appendix 1).13

In 1997, Mayer and Salovoy presented a revised and refined conceptualization of EI that strictly constrains EI to a mental ability concept. The revised ability model of EI shown in figure 2 defines EI as a collection of emotional abilities that can be divided into four branches 14 being arranged from more basic to higher-level skills. Within each branch, four representative abilities are described. The Mayer and Salovoy Ability-Based Model views emotions as useful sources of information that help one to make sends of and navigating the social environment.15 The model proposes that individuals vary in their ability to process information of an emotional nature and their ability to relate emotional processing to a wider cognition:16

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Figure 2:Salovoy and Mayer’s 1997 model of EI. Source: Schulze et al. (2005), p. 37.

The current measure of the Mayer and Salovoy’s model of EI is the Mayer- Salovoy-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT).17

The most popular mixed model of EI is the Emotional Competencies Model (or Goleman Model) created by Daniel Goleman. This model focuses on EI as a wide array of competencies and skills that drive managerial performance. The term “mixed” refers to the fact that Goleman posits that individuals are born with a general emotional intelligence (trait-based) that determines their potential for learning emotional competencies.18

The original model was developed by Goleman in 1995 and reviewed by him in 1998. Goleman’s 1995 model organized 25 social and emotional competencies into five dimensions of EI: self- awareness, self- regulation, self-motivation, social awareness, and social skills. 19 In 1998, Goleman proposed the following four broad dimensions of EI: self-awareness, self- management, social awareness and social skills 20:

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Figure 3: Emotional Competencies Model (Goleman Model) 1998 Source: Duparré (2008), p. 31.

According to Goleman these four dimensions, including 19 social and emotional competencies, are interdependent and, to some degree, hierarchical. Whereas self-awareness and self-management focus on the EI

competencies with regard to manage myself, social-awareness and social skills focus on the EI competencies with regard to manage relations with others.21 Daniel Goleman worked with Richard Boyatzis and Hay Group to develop two measurement tools based on his model:

-Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI), created in 1999
-Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI), created in 2007

The ECI is a totally confidential questionnaire of 72 questions, answered by individuals about themselves.22 The ECI measures all 19 competencies of the four dimensions. The individuals are asked to nominate some colleagues who know them well and who are prepared to fill in an (online) questionnaire. The results are analysed and a feedback report produced.

The ESCI is the latest 360-feedback tool based on the ECI and measures 12 competencies organized into the same four clusters. The ESCI aims to offer a way to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individuals, giving them precise, focused information on exactly which competencies they want to improve in order to meet their career goals.

In fact, there are a number of models and questionnaires aimed at measuring Emotional Intelligence, often based on self-report questionnaires. One Example of an online EI test in form of a self-report questionnaire is attached to this assignment (appendix 2). Here, the author has gun through 106 questions concerning her emotional insight, expression, integration as well as her motivation and control and maintenance of emotions. But as such self- report questionnaires have limitations in identifying levels of self-awareness, measures that allow individuals to go beyond their existing knowledge and comfort zones seem to be the more successful approach.

As this assignment focuses on clarifying the competencies leaders have to focus on to develop a high EI, the following chapter 3 mainly bases on the Emotional Competencies Model by Daniel Goleman and clarifies its competencies in detail.

3 Leading with Emotional Intelligence

3.1 It Is All About Primal Leadership

Great leaders ignite our passion and inspire the best of us. A leader’s success mainly depends on how he does it. Nothing a leader does will work as good as it could or should if he fails to drive emotions in the right direction.23 There is an often hidden, but crucial, dimension in leadership – the emotional impact of what a leader says or does.24

According to Goleman, the emotional task of the leader is primal: It is the original and the most important act of leadership.25 In a human group, the leader has maximal power to sway everyone’s emotions. “When leaders drive emotions positively, [...], they bring out everyone’s best.”26 This effect is called resonance. Therefore, dissonance is the real opposite. Dissonance appears when leaders drive emotions negatively, undermining the emotional foundations that let people shine.27

The key to make primal leadership work to everyone’s advantage lies in the leadership competencies of emotional intelligence: How leaders handle themselves and their relationships. How easily people catch a leader’s emotion depends on how expressively the leader’s face, voice and gesture conveys his feelings. 28 Leaders with a great skill at transmitting emotions and a high degree of optimism and enthusiasm retain their people and also attract talented people.

The four dimensions of the Goleman EI model - self-awareness, self- management, social awareness and relationship management (social skills) – are closely intertwined, with a dynamic relationship among them.29 They are the basic ingredients of effective primal leadership – of resonance. A leader cannot manage its emotions well if he has little or no awareness of them. And if emotions are out of control, his ability to handle relationships will suffer.

3.2 The Four Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence: Goleman’s Leadership Competencies

According to the Goleman EI model, there are four EI dimensions with a total of 19 competencies that create a resonant leadership:

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Figure 4: Emotional Intelligence Dimensions and Associated Competencies (Goleman) Source: According to Goleman et al. (2002), p. 39.

Self-awareness and self-management are the two personal competence components. The capabilities of the personal competence determine how leaders manage themselves.30


In a simple way, self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions as well as one’s strengths and limitations and one’s values and motives . 32 Emotional self-awareness means reading one’s own emotions and recognizing their impact to guide decisions. Accurate self-assessment is defined as “knowing one’s strengths and limits”. A sound sense of one’s self- worth and capabilities is meant by self-confidence. People with strong self- awareness are realistic. There are honest with themselves and honest about themselves with others. Self-aware leaders understand their value, goals and dreams.


Self-management in general means the focused drive that all leaders need to achieve their goals.34 Effective leadership demands the same sort of capacity for managing one’s own turbulent feelings while allowing the full expression of positive emotions. Emotional self-control means keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control. Transparency is the competence to display honesty and integrity as well as trustworthiness. To be adaptable means to be33

flexible in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles. The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence is meant by achievement. Initiative describes the readiness to act and seize opportunities. Seeing the upside in events means being optimistic.

Social-awareness and relationship management (social skills) are the two social competence components. The capabilities of the social competence determine how leaders manage relationships.35


Social awareness – particularly empathy – is crucial for the leader’s primal task of driving resonance. Empathy is the fundamental competence of social awareness. Leaders showing empathy sense other’s emotions, understand their perspective and take active interest in their concern. Empathy, which includes listening and taking other people’s perspectives, allows leaders to tune into the emotional channel between people that create resonance. Leaders who read the currents, decision networks and politics at an36


1 See Salovoy et al. (1997), p. 4.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotion, 13.05.2008.

6 See Salovoy et al. (1997), p. 4.

7 See http://psychology.about.com, 09.05.2008.

8 John D. Mayer is Professor of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.

9 Peter Salovey is psychologist and currently working at Yale University.

10 Salovoy et al. (1997), p. 5.

11 Daniel Goleman is psychologist and New York Times science writer.

12 Dattner (s.a.), p. 2.

13 According to Salovoy and Mayer’s early work in 1990, EI comprises three conceptually related mental processes involving emotional information: a) appraisal and expression of emotion, b) regulation or control of emotion and c) utilization of emotion in adaptive ways:

14 Due to the division into four branches, this model is also known as the four-branch model of EI.

15 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence, 09.05.2008.

16 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence, 09.05.2008.

17 This test is based on a series of emotion-based problem-solving items and is modelled on ability-based IQ tests. By testing a person’s abilities on each of the four branches of EI, it generates scores for each branch as well as a total score. MSCEIT consists of 141 items and takes 30-45 minutes to complete.

18 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_intelligence, 09.05.2008.

19 See www.mnre.gov, 24.04.2008.

20 See Goleman et al. (2002), p. 253-256.

21 See Duparré (2008), p. 30.

22 See www.ashridge.org.uk, 16.05.2008.

23 See Goleman et al. (2002), p. 3.

24 Ibid., p. 4.

25 Ibid., p. 5.

26 Goleman et al. (2002), p, 5.

27 See Goleman et al. (2002), p, 6.

28 Ibid., p. 11.

29 Ibid., p. 31.

30 See Goleman et al. (2002), p. 38.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid., p. 40.

33 See Goleman et al. (2002), p. 38.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.


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Title: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership