Leadership for Student Activities - February 2015, NHS & NJHS Edition - (Page 26)
Lessons for Leaders
Building Emotional Intelligence:
A Different Leadership Skill
J I M PATE R SO N
oday, discussion of leadership increasingly contains
talk about a personal attribute most of us wouldn't
have even heard of 10 years ago: emotional
intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a skill, experts believe,
that can be most easily learned at a young age. In one of
author Ken Blanchard's recent research projects, more
than 2,000 leaders said they worried about the country's
"leadership bench strength"-its capacity to train new
leaders. Then, a follow-up report asked leaders what key skills
leaders needed. The results cited communications and people
management skills first but named empathy and emotional
intelligence as other key attributes.
Empathy-or the ability to put oneself in another's
position and consider that point of view-is a key ingredient
in emotional intelligence. It helps leaders understand and
improve their work and the work of others. According to
Blanchard's report, "Leaders' ability to put others before
themselves, empathize, seek to understand, build rapport,
and show concern allows them to connect with their direct
reports. This skill directly impacts a person's ability to build
an environment based on trust, which allows people to
flourish and to achieve their full potential."
leadership for student activities
Emotional intelligence is "the ability to perceive, control
and evaluate emotions in oneself and others" (Cherry, n.d.).
Experts often say there are four parts to emotional
■ Perceiving Emotions: A person's ability to spot the
emotions of others and identify them in him or herself.
■ Understanding Emotions: The emotions we perceive
can have a wide variety of meanings. One has to be able
to understand, for instance, that their own anger or
satisfaction may come from something deeper than it first
appears and that emotions perceived in others may not be
immediately visible or accurate.
■ Reasoning with Emotions: Finding a way to use emotions
to improve thinking and understanding that emotions, for
better or worse, often drive our attention and thinking.
■ Managing Emotions: A key part of emotional
intelligence. Regulating emotions, responding
appropriately to what one feels, and responding to the
emotions of others are all important (Cherry, n.d.).
In the journal Human Resources, leadership researcher
Jennifer George (2000) stated: "Emotional intelligence has
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leadership for Student Activities - February 2015, NHS & NJHS Edition
Questions & Answers
From the Director
Maintaining School Spirit in a Digital Age
Building Teams, Building Friendships
Middle Level Activities
Lessons for Leaders
Things to Do
Leadership for Student Activities - February 2015, NHS & NJHS Edition