The Emotional and Social Intelligences of Effective Leadership PART I

The purpose of this paper is to describe a framework for conceptualizing the role of emotional and social skills in effective leadership and management and provides preliminary suggestions for research and for the development of leader emotional and social skills.

Managers, executives, and human resources professionals clearly understand the importance of strong interpersonal skills. A common theoretical framework linking emotional and social skills with leadership effectiveness is necessary to guide research and the assessment and training and development of organizational  leaders.

The abilities model consists of four general emotional abilities:

  1. Identifying emotions;
  2. Using emotions to facilitate thinking;
  3. Understanding emotions;
  4. Managing emotions.

Emotional skills are related to the ability to accurately express, read, and understand emotions; all of which are components of emotional intelligence.

skill in expression, or what communication scholars refer to as encoding skill, skill in recognizing and decoding messages from others, and skill in regulating and controlling communication behaviors.

As shown in Table I, the three emotional skills  are:

  1. Emotional expressiveness;
  2. Emotional sensitivity; and
  3. Emotional control.

While emotional expressiveness is the ability to communicate nonverbally, especially when sending emotional messages, emotional sensitivity refers to skill in receiving and interpreting the nonverbal, or emotional, expressions of others. Finally, emotional control refers to regulating nonverbal and emotional   displays.

The three corresponding social skills are  labeled:

  1. Social expressiveness;
  2. Social sensitivity; and
  3. Social control.

Social expressiveness is ability to communicate verbally and skill in engaging others in social interaction. Social sensitivity is verbal listening skill, but also ability to “read” social situations, and general knowledge of social rules and norms. Social control refers Skill,  Emotional expressiveness, Emotional sensitivity, Emotional control, Social expressiveness, Social sensitivity, Social control.