The Emotion Expression Facet in Leadership and Education

The Emotion Expression Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch007

Abstract

This chapter presents the ways that leaders promote the emotion expression facet in their leadership by investigating the importance of emotion to leadership, emotional expression, and the importance of having an emotional vocabulary. In addition, this chapter also discusses how educators can promote the emotion expression facet in their classrooms via a discussion of the inherent emotionality of teaching and learning, the importance of having an emotional vocabulary, and the need for educators to be open with their students. In addition, this chapter weighs the viewpoints of those who disagree with the promotion of the emotion expression facet in leadership and education.
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Introduction

Just because you have the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have. -J. K. Rowling

When you reflect upon your life, although you remember people and places, you also remember your emotions, such as a happy birthday party, a sad funeral, or the time that you and your significant other had a terrible argument. We remember emotions, because our minds treat emotionally charged events preferentially (Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010). Meaning that we are more apt to remember our emotions—a skill that has its roots in our earliest ancestry, since our ancestors learned to stay away from animals from which they were afraid and to warn others to stay away from these creatures as well, and it is quite possible that this emotional expression saved many lives.

Petrides (2009a) defines the emotion expression facet as the ability to “know what the best words are for expressing feelings accurately and unambiguously” (p. 59). Emotional expression is of paramount importance for leaders and educators alike since both teaching and leading are inherently emotional (Goleman, 2005; Mortiboys, 2012; Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010). In addition, both leaders and educators must express their emotions in a way that does not denigrate their students or followers, since an ill-expressed emotion can obliterate the quality of the leader/follower and educator/student relationship and can damage the psychological environment set by either the leader or the educator.

To elaborate further upon the importance of emotion expression in leadership and education, this chapter will meet the following objectives:

  • Determine how leaders promote the emotion expression facet in their leadership by discussing the inherent emotionality of leadership, emotional expression, and the need for leaders to have a good emotional vocabulary.

  • Elucidate how educators promote the emotion expression facet in their classrooms via a discussion of the inherent emotionality of teaching and learning, the need for educators to have a good emotional vocabulary, the importance of being open and sharing emotions with students.

  • Finally, this chapter also gives credence to the arguments of those who oppose the promotion of the emotion expression facet in leadership and education.

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Emotion Expression In Leadership

One thing that leaders must realize is that there are more emotions than anger. Therefore, if leaders are able to embrace their emotionality, they will be able to not only become more effective leaders (Goleman, 2005), but they will also be able to create a bond with their followers, thereby improving the quality of the leader/follower relationship (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). Leaders can accomplish this by realizing why emotions are important to leadership, expressing their emotions, and having a good emotional vocabulary, all of which merit further discussion in the subsequent paragraphs with support from the scholarly literature.

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