Motivationally Intelligent Leadership

Motivationally Intelligent Leadership

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3746-5.ch003
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This chapter sets the stage to build Motivationally Intelligent Leadership. We start with Emotional Intelligence (EI) to build leaders who recognize and employ their own emotions to conduct quality interactions with others. Leaders identify the value available to each party and then use two-way communication to get buy-in. Engaged interaction is defined as employing flexible, full-range communications to ensure that both, or all, parties listen, hear, and understand. This concept requires that all parties continue the interaction until management and team-building objectives are satisfied. EI and engaged interaction allow leaders to conduct effective communication with the team. Getting to know yourself and your team helps your ability to be impartial and listen for ideas, not just words.
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  • Emerging Research: The leader’s emotional intelligence can be viewed in terms of six leadership styles: coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and coaching (Goleman, Boyatzis et al., 2013, Girma, 2016). Leaders who can deal with disasters are coercive, and leaders who can engineer a turnaround are authoritative. Affiliative leaders can compromise to build team harmony and morale, and democratic leaders give their people a voice in decisions. Pacesetting leaders can define and exemplify high performance standards, and coaching leaders are supportive of the development of skills. No one style is best, because as leaders, master each of these styles, they gain additional power to shape employee performance and organizational climate (Girma, 2016). Mastery of these styles is what we call “leading.” SOURCE: The relationship between leadership style and employee job satisfaction study of federal and Addis Ababa sport organizational management setting in Ethiopia (Girma, 2016).


Leaders Begin With Emotional Intelligence

Motivationally Intelligent Leadership begins with Emotional Intelligence (EI). This leader recognizes and employs their own emotions to be effectively interact with their team. Effective leaders can deliver value to each party involved in the process and can achieve buy-in through good information-sharing approaches. A motivationally intelligent leader also employs engaged interaction characterized by flexible, full-range communications to ensure that all parties listen, hear, and understand. True engagement comes when everyone continues to interact until management and team-building objectives are satisfied. Using EI and engaged interaction together improves communication with the team.

EI is a theory that organizations can use to determine the desired behaviors for success. EI provides a basis to understand employees, because it is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, trust, creativity, and influence. Those who possess emotional intelligence can effectively acknowledge and value feelings in themselves and in others and can respond to those feelings in an effective way. Paying attention to emotions can save the leader time by allowing him or her to direct energies more effectively and by expanding opportunities. Emotional Intelligence has three driving forces: building trusting relationships, increasing energy and effectiveness, and creating the future.

The bottom line is that EI requires that you know yourself and your emotions. It requires honest self-analysis and an ability to manage your emotions. In terms of those around you, it requires empathy. Empathy is very important for leaders who pay attention to EI in the workplace. Ronald E. Wheeler, Director of the Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries at Boston University School of Law provides excellent insight on empathy.

Simply put, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. People lacking empathy are often called self-centered, narcissistic, or even sociopathic. Empathy helps you to be a good team player because it allows you to better understand the effects that your actions have on others. It helps you to see things through the eyes of others and to anticipate the wants and needs of others in the workplace. It allows you to be a more compassionate and kinder human being. Moreover, it helps you to avoid misunderstanding others’ intentions. (Wheeler, 2016)

What we know about EI goes beyond empathy. A couple of studies are relevant to our examination.

A group of researchers conducted a meta-analysis to understand how leaders’ EI relates to subordinates’ job satisfaction (Miao, Humphrey et al., 2016). EI can lead to job satisfaction, according to the findings of that study, which stated in part that emotionally savvy leaders tend to promote an emotionally intelligent organizational culture. The study contends that an EI culture is characterized by a focus on good personnel development through training. In this environment, employees can deal well with negative feelings and enter nurturing interactions. This suggests that communication can be improved in this EI-infused situation.

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