Emotional intelligence is a new concept that has been associated with effective leadership in the healthcare industry. Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability by which individuals (aspiring to be leaders) can recognize their emotions and understand the expectations of the organization and the subordinates and team members. This skill also helps the leaders to understand how their emotions affect people surrounding them, learn about the perceptions of others and interact with them effectively (Crowne et al., 2017).
This ability helps them to develop an idea about what subordinates feel and thereby helps in development and management of different relationships more effectively. People with high level of emotional intelligence remain aware that their emotions can drive their behaviors and impact employees both positively and negatively (Mintz & Stoller, 2014). Therefore, they try to learn the different ways by which they can manage their own emotions and that of others, especially in situations when they are under pressure.
This assignment would shed more light on the different aspects of this skill and how this skill helps leaders to effectively manage healthcare workforce and influence any changes required. This essay will establish the important procedures by which leaders would develop emotional intelligence and will show the ways by which emotional intelligence can ensure driving of innovation and change organization.
Emotional intelligence in the healthcare industry has gained significance because of the various beneficial outcomes that it accompanies. Studies have shown that healthcare leaders who fail to use full range of emotional intelligence especially in the ways they attend to emotions can have negative impact on their organization (Nightingale et al., 2018). It is seen to reduce the performance of subordinates and affect the morale and job satisfaction level of the subordinates. Low emotional intelligence of the leaders is seen to be indirectly correlated with patent satisfaction as well.
Leaders in the healthcare industries often face varieties of challenges that are quite similar to the leaders who work in the other industries like high pressure, huge workload and job burden, complex demands and limited resources. The only difference that leaders experience in the healthcare industry is the huge inflow of emotions not only from the burned-out nurses but also from the patients and family members who are suffering mentally and physically and need support. Therefore, leaders working in the healthcare industry always need to have high level of emotional intelligence where they can not only guide the nurses and other healthcare professionals but also handle emotional situations of patients effectively (Nowacki et al., 2016).
Leaders in the healthcare industry have to show high level of emotional intelligence under varieties of conditions and scenarios that require effective management of emotions. Studies have been conducted where nursing leaders have put forward several situations where they need to show high levels of emotional intelligence. Firstly, Often medical staffs might need to handle more number of patients than they can handle successfully. They become drained-out emotionally and physically and this affects the quality of care. They cannot respond to patients successfully which leads to patient confusion and dissatisfaction.
Two-way communication gets compromised (Tyczkowski et al., 2015). A flood of patient anger, frustration, and despondency along with severe frustration, disappointment, stress and anger from the workers are noticed. Such situations need to be affectively handled by healthcare leaders. They need to have high level of emotional intelligence to understand the emotions of both patients and workers, guide them, and counsel them accordingly. Proper emotional display, communication, empathy and mentorship can help handling the emotions of each of the stakeholders successfully making the situation better.
Secondly, often-healthcare subordinates might feel pressurized when the bottom-line productivity is seen to take priority over compassionate patient care that creates an internal moral conflict in them affecting their care service delivery. In such situations, leaders need to be aware of the emotional conflicts that the nursing subordinates face (Spano et al., 2016). Then only the leaders can guide the nurses, causing changes to the thinking procedures and making them adjust to the stress. Thirdly, tensions emerge between the healthcare teams who are interacting with each other across medical specialties as well as disciplines.
This might be because different experts have their own individual unique viewpoints towards disorders and complex cases of the patients. These might also affect the emotions of the professionals, making them getting involved in various conflicts (Delmatoff et al., 2014). Only healthcare leaders who have high level of emotional intelligence can bring changes to such scenarios, understanding each emotions properly and accordingly developing strategies for overcoming the barriers and challenges and developing effective teams for providing high quality care to patients.
Self-awareness is considered one of the most important attribute of emotional intelligence that healthcare leaders need to develop in order to lead healthcare workers efficiently. Self-awareness can be defined as the ability that helps in recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions. As the leaders can understand their emotions, they do not allow their feelings to rule them. Researchers are of the opinion that such components of emotional intelligence make individuals more confident (Carragher & Gormley, 2017).
These leaders trust their own intuitions and do not let their emotions to go out of their control. Such leaders also take honest look at them and analyze themselves to evolve as more emotionally strong persons. They are seen to know their strengths and weaknesses and accordingly work on these arenas proper so that they can perform all skills efficiently.
It is important to discuss about the benefits of self-awareness in the leaders in the healthcare industry. Firstly, self-awareness helps in serving as a foundation for behaviors and skills like that of goal-setting, effective communication, listening, motivation, and time as well as stress management. High level of self-awareness makes leaders better at skills such as listening as well as stress management. This is mainly because it helps in improving understanding of an individual leader about his own self (Shakir et al., 2017).
Secondly, this skill helps the leaders in developing a solid sense of one’s basic preferences and inclinations and these is indispensable in diagnosing different sources of conflicts and selecting appropriate strategies. It also helps in managing interpersonal relations as well as different conflicts. Studies suggest that without self-awareness and self-knowledge, it becomes difficult for any particular individual to excel as a leader as he would not be able to understand the areas of his excel and areas of his weakness or areas where he needs help and the different situations that he finds difficult. Therefore, self-awareness can help to change various situations by the leaders towards a more positive outcome in the healthcare industry (Weiszbrod, 2015).
Another important component of emotional intelligence is called self-regulation. This can be defined as the ability of controlling emotions and even impulses. People who self-regulate do not allow themselves to become angry or jealous. They also do not make any impulsive and careless decisions. They are seen to think before they act. Some of the characteristics of leaders who have high level of self-regulation are thoughtfulness, integrity, comfortable with changes as well as the ability of saying no. this ability does not mean putting emotions on lock-down mode and hiding the true feelings. In place, the leaders need to wait for the right time, place as well as the avenue for expressing their emotions. Self-regulation means expressing of the emotions in an appropriate ways (Vendewaa et al., 2016).
It is important to discuss about the benefits of self-regulation in the leaders in the healthcare industry. Often in the healthcare organizations, different types of conflicts might arise. The subordinates and the workers might revolt against certain decisions made by the leaders regarding any changes in the healthcare decisions. The subordinates might also fail to understand what the leaders want to say and many not act accordingly. Often the leaders might also face pressure from the higher authorities forcing them to achieve difficult goals within short deadlines. Often all these situations might create strenuous conditions for the leaders making hem frustrated, agitated, disappointed or upset (Powell et al., 2015).
If they do not have high level of self-regulation, they might not be able to control and regulate their emotions and may get involved in conflicts. They might shout or misbehave with others that might affect the relationships and bonding in the workplace and might affect the smooth working climate. This might worsen the situation and affect the productivity of the subordinates as well as result in low morale and low job-satisfaction.
Studies are of the opinion that leaders who possess self-regulation ability are more flexible and can easily adapt well to different changes. Such leaders can also manage conflicts and diffuse tense and difficult situations effectively. They are also high in contentiousness. They are also found to be thoughtful about how they can influence subordinates and thereby become responsible for their own actions. Hence, such skills of the leaders help in smooth functioning of the work in the workplace with effective resolution of conflicts and proper negotiation to achieve the organizational goals (McClesky, 2015).
One other component of emotional intelligence is motivation. People with high level of emotional intelligence remain highly motivated. Such individuals are seen to defer any immediate results for any long-term success. They are also found to be highly productive and like challenges. They are also found to be effective in any tasks they do (Duplessis et al., 2015).
It is important to discuss about the benefits of motivation in the leaders in the healthcare industry. Intrinsic motivation is mainly seen to play an important role in the leaders in keeping up with the workload as well as the expectations of the higher authorities. Studies have suggested that often leaders are burdened with huge amount of workloads and the targets set by the higher authorities are quite difficult to achieve. They need to ensure that they make the subordinates work properly so that the set targets are met, often these stress make them feel burned out making it difficult for them to find enthusiasm in their hob roles.
Emotionally intelligent individuals are seen to remain motivated by things that are seen to be beyond mere external rewards. These things might include aspects like fame, money, recognition as well as acclaim. In place, they are seen to be harbor the passion for fulfilling their own needs as well as goals (Holliday et al., 2017). They are also seen to lead to internal rewards and even experience flow from being totally in tune with an activity and pursue various peak experiences.
Many of the studies have shown that people who are competent with this skill remain more action-oriented. These people are seen to set goals for change and innovation and experience the high need for the achievement. They always try to look for different ways for performing the tasks in better as well as innovative manners to achieve the goals faster. Such leaders are also found to be committed. They also are seen to be highly dedicated in taking initiatives when the task is put forth before them.
Empathy is the second most important element of emotional intelligence. It can be designed as the ability for identifying and thereby understanding the wants, needs as well as viewpoints of the people who are around. Leaders with empathy are good at recognizing the feelings of others even when the feelings are not obvious (Tyler, 2015). Therefore, studies have fund hat emotionally intelligent people with high level of empathy excel at managing relationships, listening and relating to others. These leaders are seen to avoid stereotyping as well as judging too quickly. They are seen to live their lives in a very open as well as honest ways.
It is important to discuss about the benefits of empathy in the leaders in the healthcare industry. Often, healthcare professionals serving the patients might face various kinds of problems, stress and fatigue. Often they remain burdened with more amount of work than they can complete successfully. They become drained out emotionally and physically. They are also seen to have poor work-life balance and are seen to be lacking motivation. In such areas, they often need leaders who are not autocratic and does not dictate them their works. This would lead to poor morale in low job satisfaction, as workers will feel that the organization does not care about them. In such areas, it becomes extremely important for the professionals to understand the concerns and problems faced by employees and make them feel cared by the organization.
Leaders with empathy can communicate in a compassionate manner making them feel that the organization genuinely feels for them and is trying its best to help them overcome their strenuous period (Barron & Hurley, 2018). Studies suggest that being empathetic only does not include recognizing the emotional attributes and states of the others. It can also include the different types of responses of the leaders towards the workers based on this information. Treating them with extra care and concern or making efforts to buoy their spirits help them feel that organization cares for them. This has positive impacts on their productivity as well as their performance. Studies suggest that being empathetic allows people in understanding their power dynamics that actually help in influencing social relationships.
Social skill is another component of emotional intelligence that helps healthcare leaders to establish effective relationships with the workers. This ability of the leaders can help in identification of the social cues for establishing common grounds effectively, managing relationships with the subordinates and thereby building networks. A number of aspects see to be intricately associated with high-level social skills of the leaders guiding healthcare teams in the healthcare industries (Heckemann et al., 2015).
Effective communication is one such aspect that involves effective listening and responding appropriately to the concerns of not only the workers but also the service users. Another important aspect of this skill is that it influences leadership traits enhancing the leaders to develop the ability for guiding and inspiring the workers. Another important aspect of harboring social skill is the ability for diffusing difficult situations by the correct application of persuasion and negotiation.
It is important to discuss about the benefits of social skill in the leaders in the healthcare industry. In the healthcare sectors, often leaders need to work with different healthcare professionals and experts who have different viewpoints regarding the healthcare interventions to be applied for complex disorder patients. They may also have different approaches to various patient cases and hence, not all works might work in similar manners. Often, different workers have their own natures and traits like some might be introvert, others may be talkative, one might require assistance while another might be overconfident and many others (Parnell et al., 2015).
Therefore, leaders need to establish unique relationships with all of them and make them an active member of the team so that they can put forward their best effort. In such situations, social skills enable the leaders to interact with the workers in the proper manner that satisfied the employees. This help in creating effective relationships that assure effective team working and compliance with the advices of the leaders. True emotional understanding mainly helps in involving more than just understanding own emotions and the feelings of the others; by making this information incorporated in the regular interactions and communications to develop good bonds of trust and mutual respect. Some of the skills like active listening, verbal communication skills, effective non-verbal communication skills and persuasiveness – all enable effective communication and hence trustworthy relationships (Hopkins et al., 2015).
From the above discussion, it can be seen that emotional intelligence plays an important role as effective leadership trait in the healthcare industry. It can be explained as the ability of te leaders in the healthcare industries to identify, use, understand and manage emotions in an effective as well as positive ways. Leaders who have high level of emotional intelligence can communicate better with their subordinates. They can successfully reduce the stress and anxiety of the workers and defuse any form of conflicts successfully. They also tend to improve relationships and empathize with workers by which they can build strong bonds with them based on trusts and mutual respect.
This helps to develop job satisfaction of the subordinates making them believe that the organization cares for their emotions, needs and concerns. This skill of the leaders thereby helps in enhancing the productivity as well as the performance of the leaders. Five important traits of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. These are important components of emotional intelligence and ensure the leaders to establish effective relationship with employees and leading them effectively to the organizational goals and missions.
Healthcare industries require leaders who are high on emotional intelligence not only to manage the emotions of professionals and make a better workplace culture for the employees but also to satisfy the emotions of the patients. These aspects would help in developing a workplace climate where subordinates would feel dedicated to work for the organization and the patients would be also highly satisfied from the care they receive.
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