Positive nature and physical signals of encouragement effect cohesion in groups and successful group behaviour, his initial study included an analysis of how employees receive feedback and its impact on their motivation. Positive feedback provided with negative emotions (frowning) made employees feel much worse about themselves than negative feedback with positive emotions (nods and smiles). This is really interesting as it suggests the importance of the visual as well as what is said.
I would like you to think about the following quote:
“Leading effectively is, in other words, less about mastering situations—or even mastering social skill sets—than about developing a genuine interest in and talent for fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need.”
Yet still this discussion is rather one-sided. For example, what about the impact of followers? How might the emotions expressed by followers impact the leader? Is the emotional intelligence of the follower important in being able to perceive the emotions of the leader? Why/why not?
The other more obvious (and more studied) question raised by this quote is: While skills such as knowledge and problem-solving are important in good leadership, to what extent do you think this is superseded by behavioural and style aspects of leadership such as personality, sociability and emotions? And to what extent is this dependent on the perceptions of others (followers), or “in the eye of the beholder” so to speak?
One element of successful leadership which is particularly interesting is its subjective nature. There are so many ways of analysing success that often we can judge leaders as successful and unsuccessful in equal measure depending on the method you choose to test them.