Obtaining and withstanding a leadership role in a health care environment requires many skills; obedience, trustworthiness, strategic vision, integrity, communication skills, etc. One important skill that stands out from the rest is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence gives one the ability to withdraw their own emotions from a situation to make a strategic decision for the benefit of a patient. Awareness and management of one's emotions are principal to the successful employment of emotional intelligence. The ability to combine emotion with intelligence will allow you to achieve the proper managerial skills needed, through utilizing and acting with both skills in mind (Akerjordet & Severinsson, 2004).
Three fundamental skills that are a necessity to good leadership are a guiding vision, passion and integrity. All of these are easier to achieve once emotions are withdrawn for each case. In saying that, passion and emotion go hand in hand. You can be passionate without bringing your own emotions to the table, which benefits the patient and allows them to make decisions for their health care based on their own emotions. In some cases, a patient may ask for advice or for a second opinion, and in this case their nurse should always be oriented to gaining the patients ultimate benefit.
A good leader is able to bring the best and the brightest qualities out of people, and apply it to the task at hand. It makes people feel like they’re part of the decision and the process and not just at the periphery. When people feel like they’re a part of something, it becomes easier to work together and focus on the main goal. This is an ideal situation in the medical field, where being a team is something you are part of everyday. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning. Collaborating as a team is the best for all parties involved: the team and the patient. This enables all health care team members to view all options and ideas, and ultimately make the best choices possible.
A person with an informal leadership style (natural born, characteristic of a person) often maintains emotional intelligence without much thought or learning. These individuals are often equipped with leadership skills at a very young age and strive to lead others, and govern a group. An informal leader is someone who stands out amongst a group without being appointed as a leader. This skill is very valuable in a health care environment when it comes to decision making. If the appointed leader is unavailable to make an important patient health related decision, this individual would bring ideas to the table that would aid the decision making process (Kelly, 2009).
The emotional intelligence theory by Daniel Goleman states that emotional intelligence according to him is a person’s self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, commitment and integrity, and a person’s ability to communicate, influence, initiate and accept change (Tan, Crestita, Beltran, Eden, 2009). I agree with this theory, and feel that