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Emotional Intelligence: The Challenge For Effective School Leadership

1721 words - 7 pages

The purpose of the paper is to guise available variables around Emotional Intelligence and School Leadership Effectiveness. Emotions are our state of being or mood, how we feel at a particular time. Intelligence is the ability to think and reason; therefore, emotional intelligence is to be aware of one’s state of being or moods and to also be cognizant of the mood of others (Mayer et al 2007). Thus being emotionally intelligent can lead to better decision making, better managing which leads to better leadership (Blell 2011).Thorndike defined social intelligence as “the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls – to act wisely in human relations”. Gardner included ...view middle of the document...

In schools the stress level for principals and all staff is extremely high. Research has shown that a principal who is depressed or anxious and displays this in her interactions with others will exacerbate the already great challenges of his or her school. And conversely, an optimistic and supportive principal can reduce school stress and help everyone cope and grow, Perrius (2011). With the new thrust in education leadership, the types of leadership and new ways to lead are at the forefront of revolutionizing the education system. In order to create a modern system based on performance school leaders should embrace modern approaches to effective leadership. Goleman et al writes: “As effective as resonant leadership is, it is just as rare. Most people suffer through dissonant leaders whose toxic moods and upsetting behaviors wreak havoc before a hopeful and realistic leader repairs the situation.”

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
The four skills that make up emotional intelligence as developed by Goleman (1995) and summarized by Bradberry and Greaves (2009) are: personal competence and social competence which includes self-Awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. It is worthy to note that Emotional intelligence skills provide developing leaders with an increased understanding of the impacts of emotions within a team or organization. Caruso and Salovey (2002) demonstrated the advantages EI has with respect to six common challenges in leadership: (a) building effective teams, (b) planning and deciding effectively, (c) motivating people, (d) communicating a vision, (e) promoting change, and (f) creating effective interpersonal relationships. Emotional intelligence is definitely the new and better way to be a high performing school leader. School leaders have the privilege of encountering many diverse personalities and can effect positive changes within an educational institution as well as encourage better performing teachers and students who are not only academically sound but emotionally aware and intelligent.
Statement of Research Problem
The purpose of this case study is to explore the effectiveness of Emotional Intelligence in school leadership in Jamaican secondary schools, within the parish of Kingston, using four secondary schools. The researcher proposes to explore how emotional intelligence can be used as a contrivance to empower staff, create a culture of excellence based on the principles of the psychological theory. The researcher is interested in why some leaders are able to motivate their subordinates based on their personality and ability to effect excellence in others and the institution in they are in charge of and as a result be regarded as high performing principals. Wallace 2009 positions that, “Effective leadership is vital to the success of a school. Research and practice confirm that there is slim chance of creating and sustaining high-quality learning environments without a skilled...

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