The Impulsiveness (Low) Facet in Leadership and Education

The Impulsiveness (Low) Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch010

Abstract

This chapter establishes how leaders promote the impulsiveness (low) facet in their leadership via decision-making, preventing emotional hijacking, and preserving relationships. In addition, this chapter also displays how educators promote the impulsiveness (low) facet in their classrooms via balanced decision-making, preventing emotional hijacking, and embracing their roles as leaders in the classroom by preserving relationships. Finally, this chapter also indicates the viewpoints of those who oppose the promotion of the impulsiveness (low) facet in leadership and education.
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Introduction

Control, control, you must learn control. -George Lucas

On virtually every movie, television show, or even in real-world courtrooms, when an individual is on trial for murder, you can predict their arguments. They say things like, “I was temporarily insane,” “I did not know what I was doing,” “I was blinded by rage,” “I could not control myself,” and “it is all a blur to me now.” Still, a person is dead because of the actions of another person, whether or not they were temporarily insane or blinded by rage. This phenomenon occurs because oftentimes, human beings react before fully realizing the consequences of their actions, a tactic that has enabled human beings to survive to this very day (Goleman, 2005). However, when our brains are short-circuited and we give into our impulses (Goleman, 2005), we often end up regretting our actions, and wishing that life, like software, had an undo button.

Well, the author is happy to tell you that although life does not—most unfortunately—have an undo button, there is a pause button, which comes in the form of the impulsiveness (low) facet, which Petrides (2009a) defines as the ability of individuals to be capable of “thinking before acting and reflecting carefully before making decisions” (p. 60). In addition, these individuals “weigh all the information before they make up their mind, without however being overly cautious” (Petrides, 2009a, p. 60). The promotion of the impulsiveness (low) facet of trait EI is of paramount importance for those in leadership and education. This is because the actions taken by a leader or educator have consequences for their followers, students, and the organization/institution as a whole and if the leader or educator takes these actions in a rash or impulsive manner, the consequences could be dire.

Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to determine how leaders and educators alike can use their pause button via the impulsiveness (low) facet, and will meet the following objectives:

  • Portray how leaders promote the impulsiveness (low) facet in their leadership via an examination of decision-making, emotional hijacking, and preserving relationships.

  • Describe how educators promote the impulsiveness (low) facet in their classrooms via an investigation of decision-making and emotional hijacking, and how they can embrace their roles as leaders in the classroom by preserving the quality of the educator/student relationship.

  • Impart the opinions of those scholars who argue against the promotion of the impulsiveness (low) facet in leadership and education.

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Impulsiveness (Low) In Leadership

According to Ainslie (1975) when individuals give into the temptation of impulse, they may “have not really learned the consequences of their behavior” (p. 463). For example, if a leader berates a follower for a mistake, the leader may not understand, in the heat of the moment, that their actions irrevocably damage the quality of the leader/follower relationship, and may even cause that particular follower to leave the organization. Ainslie (1975) also suggests that individuals who give into their impulses may rationalize their behavior, going back to the example of a leader berating the follower; the leader could rationalize their action in their mind by saying something like, “Since I yelled at them, now they will know not to make the same mistake twice.” Finally, Ainslie (1975) suggests that individuals give into their temptations when “imminent consequences have a greater weight than remote ones” (p. 463). In the leader/follower rebuke example, yes, the leader may understand that acting so harshly with a follower could damage the quality of the leader/follower relationship, but in the leader’s mind, actually yelling at the follower, could be more important than the quality of their continued relationship.

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