Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Leadership

Running head: NURSING LEADERSHIP 1

NURSING LEADERSHIP 7

Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Leadership

NSG 4029 Week 4-Project

Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Leadership

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s own emotions and those of others; the ability to recognize different types of feelings and correctly label them, and to use this information as a guide for thinking and managing behavior in different kinds of environments (Goleman, 2014). Emotional intelligence is a vital component of effective leadership. An effective leader needs to be able to analyze their emotions and those of the people they lead so that they can easily adjust their emotions and influence on others’ emotions depending on the kind of environment they are in. This form of intelligence is important within the health care environment as nurses need to practice leadership that considers the emotional dynamics of the patients and their colleagues. The following is an evaluation of how emotional intelligence can either enhance or hinder effective leadership in the health care environment.

How EI Level can enhance Leadership

A high level of EI makes a person a better leader because of their enhanced self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s emotions and moods and how they affect other people. A person with a high EI is able to understand their emotional status and how the actions they project to others affect them (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). Therefore, they are able to control themselves to maintain only the emotional characteristics that affect other people and work positively. In the health care environment, a nurse affects nurses, other health care professionals, and patients with the kinds of emotions they express. When they are aware of how their personal feelings and emotions can be projected to others, they control themselves to avoid conflicts and negatively affecting the moods of the people that they interact with in the health care environment.

A high EI level also enhances leadership skills because it enables self-regulation. Self-awareness does not mean that one will always be able to maintain positive emotions. Emotional intelligence enables them to understand how to regulate themselves when they have negative emotions. Self-regulation is a commitment to accountability. An emotionally intelligent person is accountable for their actions therefore, they ensure that they maintain positive interactions that can lead to positive results (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). For instance, a nurse leader may experience very bad moods when dealing with a patient. Their emotional intelligence will enable them to work hard to ensure that the negative emotions are not projected to the patients. They will understand that projection of negative feelings can reduce the quality of patient experiences. Therefore, they are able to regulate themselves to avoid affecting others.

A high emotional intelligence level also makes a better leader by enabling a person to be empathetic. Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the emotional experiences of another person. A person who is empathetic is able to put themselves in the shoes of another. They are able to recognize the kinds of experiences they are going through and genuinely understand them (McCleskey, 2014). This is an important characteristics of a good leader because it enhances their ability to understand how their actions influence others. An empathetic leader is able to understand the unique feelings and emotions that others experience when certain actions take place. This quality helps with self-control and intentional actions towards others. A professional in the health care environment must understand the experiences of both their colleagues and the patients to be able to perform their services effectively. For instance, if another nurse is late for work because of a personal issue, they can understand their situation and fill in for them.

Emotional intelligence also makes a good leader by enabling better social skills. Social skills are an important asset to effective leadership. An effective leader needs to interact with the people they lead to be able to understand issues affecting them and how to implement effective leadership. Social skills involve being able to deal with challenging situations that can affect interpersonal relationships. They enable effective communication, effective conflict management, and better navigation through difficult social situations. An understanding of one’s emotions and those of others make it easier to perform these actions; thus, it enhances social skills. In the health care environment, effective collaboration is important for better patient outcomes and experiences (McCleskey, 2014). The social skills developed by emotional intelligence make it possible for nurses to communicate and collaborate with other professionals more effectively and caring for the patients in a better manner.

The lack of emotional intelligence means that a health care professional will not be able to perform the activities mentioned above. They are unable to self-evaluate and understand their emotions, they ae unable to regulate themselves, they are not empathetic, or good with social skills. Such people bring in negative interactions to the health care environment and affect both their productivity and that of the people they lead. They also transfer the poor emotional management to the patients and other people in the health care environment; leading to poor experiences for all people in this environment.

Emotional intelligence is generally an important component of effective leadership. The level of emotional intelligence enables a leader to cultivate immediate and extraordinary impact on the people around them. In a place with so many people like the health care, people have to interact for positive experiences and productivity to be enabled. Therefore, all professionals need to ensure that they develop their emotional intelligence to be better at their leadership roles.

Result of the EI Quiz

I took an EI quiz to determine my ability to recognize and discern other people’s emotions. This quiz included different faces expressing a particular type of emotion and I was to match the emotion to a list of choices. Out of the 20 questions of the quiz I got 17 correct. According to the result analysis of the test, 17/20 is a score of a relatively emotionally intelligence person. The score was above average, but there is a still some room for improvement.

This quiz was a demonstration that emotional intelligence is not something that is easy to fully understand and have. It seemed easy for people to understand emotions and discerning different emotions from each other. However, there are some emotions that may seem too similar. For instance, a person who is interested I something can easily be confused with a person who is excited about something. Such confusions are what caused the lower score on the quiz. However, research shows that emotional intelligence can be developed through practice. Once a person notices their inadequacies in understanding emotion, they can develo0p the interest to learn and study more about emotion.

Since taking the EI quiz, I have tried to understand more about three emotions that I was unable to discern. One of the emotions I was unable to discern was compassion. I found that an expression of compassion was quite similar to that of sadness. I have since learned that compassion expressions include some sort of social engagement. I was also unable to discern the expressions of happiness and fear. I mistook fear for surprise but now I understand that fear includes some form of confusion in a person’s expression. On the other hand, happiness is different from a polite smile because of the intense movement of muscles.

References

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press.

Goleman, D. (2014). What makes a leader: Why emotional intelligence matters. More Than Sound, LLC.

McCleskey, J. (2014). Emotional intelligence and leadership: A review of the progress, controversy, and criticism. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 22(1), 76-93.

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