Even though someone may say that demonstration of emotions is unprofessional, those still drive people’s behavior, including their behavior in the workplace. That is why proficient leaders should always take into account a human factor and be able to recognize, understand and manage emotions, both their own and those of the workforce. All of these qualities constitute emotional intelligence (EI), a relatively new concept, which every leader in the modern business environment should be aware of. This paper discusses the importance of emotional intelligence and the ways to promote it in a particular organization on the example of Apple Incorporation.
Defining the Concept
The term emotional intelligence can be defined as an individual’s ability to perceive, understand, evaluate and express emotions or feelings, as well as regulate and manage those (Batool, 2013, p. 87). Since people’s emotions can affect their behavior and performance, the qualities mentioned above can help leaders to enhance employees’ productivity and the development of an organization as the whole.
As Aristotle once said, being angry is easy; much more difficult is to be angry “with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time” (Batool, 2013, p. 85). That is the prime example of the concept of emotional intelligence. If a leader sees that one of his followers is very upset about something and gives him a day off, that is one more example of EI use. Acting in such a way, a leader avoids the mistakes this employee can do in his work and raises his motivation (a person will be thankful for such empathy and will do his best in the future).
Emotional Quotient and Intelligence Quotient: What is the Difference?
The concept of emotional quotient (EQ) is very different from that of intelligence quotient (IQ), even though both of them identify an individual’s intelligence to some extent. However, the focus is set of different characteristics: while IQ addresses general knowledge and estimates logic, EQ focuses on much more vague concepts, like personality, ability to understand and use emotions properly, etc.
Why do Leaders Need EI?
The need to use emotional intelligence is dictated by the very concept of the modern business environment. While the classic historical models of leadership have been sufficient earlier, they do not fit nowadays. Today’s workforce does not want to accept autocratic styles of leadership anymore (Batool, 2013, p. 87). Employees want to be valued and heard, and they want flexibility. Emotional intelligence can provide all of the above. The second reason to use EI is the fact that it works. A lot of studies have proven a significant impact that EI has on services, sales, productivity and profit of the organization (Lynn & Lynn, 2015, p. 1).
Finally, the use of emotional intelligence can help to make leaders and employees closer, contributing to better teamwork, groupthink, and groupshift, which, in its turn, improves the performance of the whole company (Robbins & Judge, 2015, p. 292).
Consequences of not using emotional intelligence in leadership practices are directly related to the reasons mentioned above. Firstly, if leaders ignore the need of EI skills, employees will just leave for other places. In the present-day business environment, they have a lot of options to choose from (Batool, 2013, p. 87). Secondly, the performance of the organization will be noticeable worse in view of the second and third reasons to use EI.
Elements of Emotional Intelligence Leaders Must be Aware of
To increase leadership effectiveness, leaders must be aware of the following elements of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills (Batool, 2013, p. 88). While self-awareness means that an individual is aware of his own emotions, self-regulation assists in controlling those. Empathy helps to understand emotions of other people, and social skills make the communication with others efficient. Motivation sets the standards for the quality of work, affecting the company’s performance.
The Strategy to Implement
For this assignment, I have chosen Apple Incorporation to demonstrate that even the most successful companies need emotional intelligence to work better. The strategy I suggest to implement is based on the five elements of EI mentioned above. Addressing each of them, we can guarantee that the strategy will be successful. To start with, we need to examine which level of EI leaders already have: Conscious and Competent, Conscious and Incompetent, Unconscious and Competent, or Unconscious and Incompetent (Andreatta, 2013). For this purpose, tests should be developed and made.
Then, leaders should complete particular tasks addressing every element of EI with a special focus on their weak sides. For example, if a leader is unconscious but competent, the focus should be set on self-awareness and empathy. If a leader is incompetent, then self-regulation and social skills should be addressed. Self-awareness can be enhanced by asking a person to write a diary, empathy can be addressed with the help of body language skills exercises, self-regulation can be improved by practicing in experiencing different emotions, and social skills may become better through learning conflict resolutions, for example.
Andreatta, B. (2013). Cultivating emotional intelligence. Web.
In her video, Britt Andreatta shares her knowledge regarding emotional intelligence and how EI skills can be learned. She also discusses which levels of awareness and competence individuals can have.
Batool, B. F. (2013). Emotional intelligence and effective leadership. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 4(3), 84-94.
The article discusses the concept of EI, its importance in leadership practices and different ways to enhance it. The main purpose of the study is to show how EI affects organizational performance.
Lynn, A. B., & Lynn, J. R. (2015). The Emotional Intelligence Activity Kit: 50 Easy and Effective Exercises for Building EQ. New York, NY: AMACOM.
Even though the concept of emotional intelligence is vague and unclear, EI skills still can be taught and learned. The author discusses 50 ways to do this.
Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2015). Organizational Behavior (16th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
The book sheds light on organizational behavior, from a single individual to the whole organizational system. The resource is very good for the academic research on the topic.