University of Maryland University College
Summary – The Emotional Intelligence of Leaders (Goleman, 1998)
In the article, “The Emotional Intelligence of Leaders,” Daniel Goleman (1998) argues that our ability to display and manage emotions as human beings is also essential for being a superior leader (p. 20). Goleman (1998) highlights that many are accustomed to appointing and recognizing leaders for their logical intellect, which are important leadership qualities (p.20). However, he believes that what separates many of today’s leaders is the level that they are operating at emotionally – emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1998, p. 20). Goleman’s viewpoint was supported by studies he reviewed that were conducted throughout various groups and businesses. The results of these studies involving high achievers displayed that characteristics concerning skill in the areas of emotions are what caused individuals to stand out (Goleman, 1998, p. 21). Goleman (1998) points out that the areas in our brains that keeps a collection of our emotions and handles stimulus picked up by our senses – the amygdala and the thalamus – are closely connected (p. 21). Thus, the conclusion is that emotions and thought go hand in hand, one is not complete without the other (Goleman, 1998, p.21).
Goleman (1998) also points out that emotional intelligence consists self-awareness, managing emotions, motivating others, showing empathy, and staying connected, which form the basis for qualities of leadership (Goleman, 1998, p.21). Self-awareness, is what enables one to make a decision while keeping your feelings and other important guiding factors at the forefront (Goleman, 1998, p. 21). Self-awareness also allows a person to have correct assessments of themselves and certainty in what they decide on (Goleman, 1998, p. 22). The managing emotion facet describes a person’s ability to have a handle on their feelings in order to effectively respond to any situation (Goleman, 1998, p. 22). Goleman (1998) notes that in a Stanford University study, children who were able to control their emotions also differentiated themselves from their peers and were more successful years later (p.22). Motivating others is a dimension of emotional intelligence where a person that is emotionally intelligent can inspire action in others by displaying and maintaining positive emotions (Goleman, 1998, p.23). Goleman (1998) goes on to discuss that showing empathy is the ability to tune in to others by discerning where they are emotionally and giving voice to those feelings (p. 23). Finally, Goleman (1998) describes that staying connected focuses on being able to link up with others, knowing that your emotional position will be very impactful and result in positive enhancements to a group (p.24).
In conclusion, Goleman (1998) explains that emotional intelligence can increas; people can be taught to be emotionally intelligent (p. 24). Emotional intelligence is usually developed as we grow older and it is best to help children develop positive emotional responses early on (Goleman, 1998, p.24). Nevertheless, adults can still develop and improve their emotional intelligence through commitment and consistency (Goleman, 1998, p. 24). Unfortunately, despite the major effects it can have and the fact that it can be developed, emotional intelligence has decreased over the years (Goleman, 1998, p. 26). Emotional intelligence is enhanced through dealing with people, but technological advancements and societal constructs have caused a decline in interaction with others (Goleman, 1998, p. 25). Nevertheless, according to Goleman (1998) emotions play a part in all of our dealings, so it is important for leaders to develop emotional intelligence so that they are distinguished and contribute to creating effective organizations (p. 26).
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