The Trait Happiness Facet in Leadership and Education

The Trait Happiness Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch016
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to establish the ways in which leaders promote the trait happiness facet by finding meaning, practicing servant leadership, and being cognizant of burnout. In addition, this chapter also discovers how educators can promote the trait happiness facet in their classrooms by practicing servant leadership, having job satisfaction, and embracing their roles as leaders in the classroom by finding meaning in their work and being wary of the signs of burnout. Finally, this chapter also presents the beliefs of those scholars who believe that the trait happiness facet does not merit promotion in education and leadership.
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Introduction

I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve. -Jane Austen

Think back to your childhood, when, on Christmas morning, you ran to the tree in order to open your presents. Of course, you had the usual—socks, underwear, clothes, something that made noise, something else that needed batteries, but in the back, there was one remaining gift. You wanted it to be a special toy, since you did keep bugging your parents and Santa Claus about it, but you would not know for sure until you opened it. When you opened the gift, the only words like jubilation, contentment, pure joy, and happiness, could describe how you felt when you finally received the gift for which you longed so desperately.

According to Petrides (2009a), the trait happiness facet of trait EI, “concerns pleasant emotional states, primarily directed towards the present rather than the past (life satisfaction) or the future (optimism)” (p. 60), determines the extent to which individuals are “cheerful and satisfied with their lives” (Petrides, 2009b, p. 5), and “feel good about themselves” (Petrides, 2001, p. 3). Therefore, it is transparently evident that the happiness of an individual influences their sociability (Goleman, 2006; Kesebir & Diener, 2008), and since leadership and education are after all, about relationships (Kouzes & Posner, 2003), the trait happiness facet is of paramount importance to those in leadership and education due to their inherently social nature.

Therefore, in order to ensure that leaders and educators alike are able to remain cheerful and happy since their emotions affect their followers and students (George, 2000), this chapter will meet the following objectives:

  • Establish how leaders promote the trait happiness facet in their leadership by finding meaning, practicing servant leadership, and being cognizant of burnout.

  • Discover how educators can promote the trait happiness facet in their classrooms by practicing servant leadership, having job satisfaction, and embracing their roles as leaders in the classroom by finding meaning in their work and being cognizant of burnout.

  • Finally, this chapter presents the beliefs of those scholars who believe that the trait happiness facet does not merit promotion in leadership and education.

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