Page 27

LE_JAN2016

Modern Leadership & Management The importance of emotional intelligence By Connor Mooney Many modern professionals in managerial or team leader roles often find there can be a fine balance between the social elements of managing a team and the managerial responsibility of delivering results (Dansereau, et al., 1975). This can lead to developing managers, coaches and leaders to swither between “being liked” and “delivering results”, many believing there cannot be common ground between the two (Maslow, 1943). The Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory explores this balance in more detail, suggesting that relationships between managers and team members falls on a spectrum. This can range from low quality exchanges which are largely justified through pay, reward and transactional leadership (Eagly, et al., 2003). To high quality examples where social elements such as trust and respect are more evident and suggest a more transformational leadership approach (Duckett & MacFarlane, 2003). The difficulty aspiring managers seem to face is the devel-opment of their emotional and social intelligence (Emotional Intelligence & Social Intelligence) and finding which leadership approach suits their environment best (Bawany, 2015). Having had recently carried out research on the effects of Emotional Intelligence development within Halfords (the U.K.s leading retailer of Leisure and Automotive goods) it was found that managers who have had Emotional Intelligence develop-ment have higher performance figures and leadership indexes than those who have not. The research carried out explored Halfords Aspire Programme, which is an internal development course which trains aspiring managers to assistant and store level management, in an effort to understand the impact Emotional Intelligence development has on management. The Aspire programme develops elements of empathy, subor-dinate recognition and reward, internal communication clarity and a focus on personal strengths, which are all elements typi-cally associated to the development of emotional intelligence (Frese, 2008) (Wong & Law, 2002). The research observed the Sales vs. Target figures of 151 store managers, which at the time was 33% of the store manager workforce, and found that managers who have had Emotional Intelligence development had higher performance than those without. But interestingly it was also found that when managers have a poor leadership index (who have a poor social relationship with their team) there is no negative impact on sales performance. Table one on the left shows the top 10 performing stores in the division, of these 10, only two of the managers had not re-ceived the Aspire emotional intelligence training from Halfords: Based on the findings of the research it was concluded that through the development of emotional intelligence the manag-ers’ team performances increased and the managers Leadership Index Score (given to them by subordinates) also increased. It was found that you don’t need to be “liked” as a manager to lead a highly performing team, but by developing a managers emotional intelligence they become more efficient, better liked by the team and the overall team performance improves. The research had some important findings for Halfords and retailing managers, however the study also supports the social aspects involved in leadership and management. It’s important for leaders to understand their team and a large part of under-standing that is through empathy, this is an element of Aspire that Halfords has built into their training programme that colleagues need to attend to further their career or step into a management role. I would suggest to aspiring management and future leaders that, based on the research I have conducted, alongside the wider academic and professional body of literature that Emotional Intelligence is a key element to understanding your team, in-spiring others and should be at the very core of leadership. LE References Bawany, S., 2015. What Makes A Great Leader?. Leadership Excellence, 32(12), pp. 5-6. Dansereau, F., Graen, G. & Haga, W. J., 1975. A Vertical Dyad Linkage Approach to Leadership with Formal Organizations: A longitudinal Investigation of the Role Making Process. Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance, 13(3), pp. 46-78. Duckett, H. & MacFarlane, E., 2003. Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership in Retailing. Leadership & Organizational Development Journal, 24(6), pp. 309-317. Eagly, A. H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M. C. & Van Engen, M. L., 2003. Transforma-tional, Transactional, and Laissez-Faire Leadership Styles: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Women and Men. Psychological Bulletin, 129(4), pp. 569-591. Frese, M., 2008. Effectiveness of Error Management Training: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), pp. 59-69. Maslow, A. H., 1943. A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), pp. 370-396. Wong, C.-S. & Law, K. S., 2002. The Effects of Leader and Follower Emotional Intelligence on Performance and Attitude: An Exploratory Study. The Leadership Quarterly, 13(3), pp. 243-274. Connor Mooney is an analyst at British Telecom. He started his professional career working with BT as an Improvement Consultant using Lean and Six Sigma techniques. Email john.mooney@bt.com Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. Table 1–Top Ten Sales Vs. Target Stores and their Emotional Intelligence Development Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 01.2016 Submit your Articles 27


LE_JAN2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above