The Link Between Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1659 Words
Date:  2021-03-19

Transformational leadership is intertwined and to a large extent synonymous with emotional intelligence. The relationship between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence come from their components; what they entail. According to many writers that have carried out research on leadership, one common denominator in their results has always been that good leadership requires emotional intelligence (Harms, P & Crede, M. 2010, 5). Emotional intelligence has always been one of the major qualities which distinguish good leadership from mediocre leadership. It entails elements such as self-awareness, self-control, and empathy all of which makes up or is a prerequisite for transformational leadership. As such, emotional intelligence has positive outcomes on good leadership styles. This paper is going to explore on the linkage between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence basing on a different analysis of the same carried out by different researchers.

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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a very special aspect when it comes to leadership. It entails how an individual or a leader can monitor his and other peoples emotions, identify unique talents and skill of their followers and know how to harness all that to bring out the best out of them. This social intelligence is what separates brilliant individuals from brilliant leaders or managers (Kumar, S. 2014). Emotional intelligence determines how people handle different challenging situations, how people control their emotions, and also how people cooperate and interact with others regardless of their feelings towards them. According to Van Rooy, D, and Viswesvaran, C. (2004), emotional intelligence can be defined as the non-verbal and verbal capabilities, which permits an individual to generate, identify, understand, evaluate and communicate his and other peoples emotions. This ability is usually crucial in transforming how people think, thereby guiding peoples actions to make them successfully adapt to the challenges of their environment. As such, emotional intelligence is very crucial in helping one to understand properly and regulate emotions an ability which is also important in interpreting these emotions into cognitions.

Emotional intelligence has several components which include comprehending ones emotions i.e. knowing how to identify and manage ones emotions and the ability to delay personal gratification. The other component is on how to understand and manage other peoples emotions and managing relationships (Modassir, A & Singh, T. 2008, 7). As such, the components of emotional intelligence can be divided into two broad categories of personal and social proficiency. Personal competencies provide an individual with the necessary skills required to exercise emotional awareness and self-control. These skills are very crucial whenever an individual is adapting to changing environment, challenges or obstacles. Social competencies, on the other hand, equips an individual with the necessary skill required to comprehend what other people feel, how to manage their feelings and build relationships. This skill is very crucial not only for team members but also for the person managing the team members. Successful leaders know how to understand their employees, how to motivate them and resolve conflicts amongst them. Also, due to emotional intelligence, leaders can understand the perspective of their subordinates, empathize with them and appreciate their weaknesses and strengths.

Emotional intelligence is a very important quality when it comes to leadership because it helps people handle all kinds of situations with a sober mind. People especially those in leadership can handle matters with the necessary balance of maturity required. Emotional intelligence enables leaders to maintain their focus on what is important while at the same time considering the perspective of all stakeholders involved (Modassir, A & Singh, T. 2008, 8). By understanding the emotions of ones team members and knowing how to manage these emotions; figuring what makes a team work, this trait enhances performance and productivity of the leaders plus their team members. It also brings greater job satisfaction a key ingredient to success in most organizations. Emotional intelligence also plays a crucial role in how people can better adjust to the implications of policy change within an organization (Vakola, M., Tsaousis, I., & Nikolaou, I. 2004, 92). The employees who usually resist change in workplaces are usually not very proficient in controlling their emotions hence unable to deal with the affective consequences that come with the change in the workplace. To the contrary, emotionally intelligent employees who can exercise self-emotional control are usually quick to adapt to the change with a positive perspective. As such emotional intelligence plays a key role in managing change, attitudes and solving problems within an organization.

Transformational Leadership

Different personalities throughout history have managed to influence people in masses and have left lasting impression on the populace living today. These leaders such as Napoleon influenced their nations to follow them to war others such as Martin Luther King, Jr. managed to change the perception of how people were looking into life. These leaders motivated and inspired their followers into believing in them, and devoted to their cause. As such, leadership can be defined as power; the power to influence others to follow a cause or need to achieve a specific goal. Transformation leadership, on the other hand, surrounds how the actions of leaders influence the values, motivations and decision made by their followers (Kumar, S. 2014). Transformational leadership usually involves mentoring of subordinates and individual development. It is a change or transformation process where leaders engage their subordinates in such a way that transforms relationship changing the authoritarian perception on leaders. Transformational leaders usually focus on how they can build an effective team, evoke their team members emotions or motivate them to produce their best and most importantly build a climate of trust and self-believe among its members. These traits by transformational leaders are usually linked with emotional intelligence since they are usually bent on how to influence others to achieve a specific goal.

Transformational leadership comprises of four items which include idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration and inspirational motivation (Kelloway, K, Slater, F & Barling, J. 2000, 157). Individualized influence usually comes about when individuals in leadership positions get the trust and respect from their team members or followers. Normally, this trust and respect are a product of leaders leading from the front i.e. doing the right thing as opposed to leaders ensuring that their followers do the right thing. These leaders are usually good role models to their followers. By so doing, these leaders are normally capable of transforming the opinions, goals, values and belief of their followers. Intellectual stimulation is how leaders articulate their visions and goals in a way acceptable by followers. Intellectual stimulation also encourages the use of intelligence whenever one is solving a problem. Through intellectual stimulation, instead of leaders providing answers to employees whenever a challenging situation arises, subordinates are usually encouraged to come up with their answers.

Individual consideration is another component of transformational leadership which involves looking at group members as separate individuals and appreciating their different capabilities. It is important for leaders to be able to be responsive to employees different and unique needs while at the same time be able to recognize the individual efforts contributed by each team members. Inspirational motivation or communication of high expectation to followers is the final component of transformational leadership. This component is usually flanked by charisma. Whenever a leader is motivating his followers, he should be charismatic enough to have the followers attention. Charisma allows leaders to inspire their subordinates and assure them they are capable of achieving all things they set their mind on. Leaders are usually keen to identify the different qualities of their followers whenever possible they can coach and advise these followers to improve their standards.

The fruits of transformational leadership are usually reflected on how followers behave, their conversation and inherent motivations. Transformational leadership usually has an aspect of growth and development where followers are intellectually motivated and learn to make decisions. This growth is usually important when changing the perception of followers and when helping followers adjust from the old way of doing things to the new ways. The different components of transformational leadership components lead to a positive outcome in growth and development of employees which consequently lead to the success of an organization. Transformational leadership is multifaceted and requires several qualities to be a successful leader. However, one key component which is required in this process is emotional intelligence. A leader must be to identify different aspect features of their followers social self-concept something which requires emotional intelligence. All of the transformational leadership components are embedded in emotional intelligence.

Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Compared to other forms of leadership such as transactional leadership, transformational leadership has been found to bear the positive result of empowering and motivating followers. The different component of transformational leadership contributes to increasing workers satisfaction commitment and productivity. In order to identify a leader capable of enforcing the different components of transformational leadership, emotional intelligence has proved to be the best measure of nurturing competent leadership skills. The ability of emotional intelligence to monitor and manage people's emotions forms the foundation of a competent transformational leader (Palmer, B., Walls, M., Burgess, Z., & Stough, C. 2001, 7). There is a strong correlation between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. All the components of emotional intelligence such self-control and awareness, empathy and motivation correspond directly to the aspects of the transformational leadership of individual influence, inspirational motivation and individualized consideration. The following diagram depicts the direct correlation between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership.

From the above diagram, we can see how emotional intelligence is related to three components of transformational leadership. Those leaders, who are capable of practicing self-awareness, display their self-control and delay their satisfaction usually, serve as good examples to their followers hence earn their followers respect and admiration. This aspect or component of emotional intelligence is consistent with the spirit of individual or idealized influence. Though emotional intelligence, leaders are able to determine the levels which followers expectations can be raised. This motivational component of emotional intelligence relates to transformational leadership component of inspirational motivation. By understanding ones followers emotions, a leader can accurately estimate how far the followers expectations can possibly...

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The Link Between Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence. (2021, Mar 19). Retrieved from

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