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A healthy atmosphere and morale in the workplace are essential to provide the best possible experience for employees. Quality leadership is a result of the hard work an individual has done to establish personal and professional goals. They have a passion for leading people and helping the staff to grow.  In this post, I will discuss insights from transformational leadership and the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Transformational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

The hallmark of transformational leadership is the ability of the leader to inspire workers by acknowledging the beliefs, values, attitudes, and motivations of their workers (Wang, Tao, Bowers, Brown & Zhang, 2018).  Transformational leadership is associated with a decrease in the number of nurse turnovers rates due to job satisfaction and healthy well-being (Wang, Tao, Bowers, Brown & Zhang, 2018). This type of leadership also improves patient satisfaction and reduction in nursing errors.  As a transformational leader with emotional intelligence, it is possible to engage staff by providing employee empowerment, strategy, innovation, and opportunity (Holmwood, 2019). What is the key to transformational leadership? Research is stating emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive, understand, manage, and use emotions in self and others, comprises a key factor in interpersonal relationships that are inherent in actualizing leadership, communication, and teamwork in healthcare” (Cox, 2018, p. 649).  Emotional intelligence is also a “measure of how we challenge ourselves to collaborate, how we employ our curiosity to dig into conversations, are centered and positively engaged in our world, and are accepting of our surroundings” (Holmwood, 2019). Transformational leadership, mixed with emotional intelligence establishes an understanding and awareness of how we influence our environment, which leads to a sense of well-being and positive growth.  Leaders are present and show up for their employees. They are authentic and have excellent communication skills (Marshall, 2011).

In my last job, I had a leader who sought to include everyone and was present.  She planned events just for staff, took time to get to know each employee, and took into consideration employee’s goals and thoughts.  It was not without conflict, but when conflict arose, she would bring them to her office and talk it out. The employees knew she was their cheerleader and trusted her decisions.  The environment was positive, and the employees had friendships outside of work together.

Another example of emotional intelligence in leadership that I experienced was working for a nursing professor. This professor spent time with each student helping them to discover their passions and talents in order to apply them to their current work. She placed us on teams to collaborate and learn from one another. This work experience increased my self-confidence and helped me discover my passion for nursing.

In contrast, a manager who leads by micro-managing, using punitive discipline, and lacks communication skills can deflate, and individuals purpose for their work. With transformational leadership, there is a sense of trust between the manager and employee, but with authoritarian leadership, the sense of trust is not present. As a leader, finding the balance between leading and serving is challenging, but worth the exploration.

Reference

Cox, K.M. (2018). Use of emotional intelligence to enhance advanced practice registered nursing competencies. Journal of Nursing Education, 57(11). 648-654. doi:/10.3928/01484834-20181022-04

Holmwood, T. (2019). Greater emotional intelligence is your key to superior team performance. Governance Directions, 71(4), 215-218. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=136273758&site=eds=live&scope=site.

Marshall, E., & Broome, M. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert to clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Wang, L., Tao, H., Bowers, B., Brown, R., & Zhang, Y. (2018). When nurse emotional intelligence matters: How transformational leadership influences intent to stay. Journal of Nurse Management, 57(11). 648-654. doi:/10.3928/01484834-20181022-04

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