Emotional Intelligence in Healthcare Managers

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability of a person to understand personal feelings as well as feelings of others and use them indiscriminately to guide decisions making meaning the ability to use one’s emotions in ways that enhance positive results in the workplace. To some extent, emotional intelligence stretches out towards the ability of one person to influence how others perceive situations and control their environment. Social skills, self-regulation, motivation, self-awareness, and empathy form the most essential components of Emotional intelligence. Self-awareness means that a person understands their inner strength and weaknesses, and how those characteristics affect their job performance and other people at the workplace. Self-regulation means that a person takes time to ponder things over, thus, averting making rush decisions on an issue. Motivated people aim at achieving something which is beyond self-expectation and expectations of others. Social skills allow managers to create a cordial relationship with other managers and their juniors (Mayer, Roberts & Barsade, 2008).

Healthcare managers and emotional intelligence

High Emotional intelligence is a quality that allows a person to relate easily with others and derive productivity. It shows concern for other people and creates an environment of care. Healthcare managers must possess high levels of emotional intelligence to facilitate the creation of an assuring atmosphere for the patients. In addition, the characteristic assists managers to recruit well, retain, and enhance the level of motivation amongst the employees. Similarly, it allows managers to come up with achievable goals for the employees, thus promoting harmony (Grewal & Davidson, 2008). Only emotionally intelligent managers can offer a mentoring atmosphere to the workforce in the profession that is characterized by superfluous emotional burdens. It allows managers to respond articulately to social situations at the health facility, thereby increasing the level of satisfaction amongst patients (Feather, 2009).

Developing Emotional Intelligence

The development of emotional intelligence is a deliberate and conscious process. While most people claim that emotional intelligence is intrinsic, studies show that it is possible to develop emotional intelligence. For a person who is new in the field, he or she must start by assessing their level of emotional intelligence. The first option is to assess personal reaction to employee communication. This allows the identification of any underlying emotions that arise from the communication. Failure to discover emotional attributes to the communication shows poor emotional intelligence. This can be improved by asking questions directed towards understanding the communication. Secondly, by comparing against others a person can assess emotional intelligence. An emotionally intelligent person influences the people he/she interrelates with daily (Antonakis, Ashkanasy & Dasborough, 2009). A person may scrutinize to see the level of synchronization in streams of thought with people around. One should explore to find out if he/she correctly decodes communication or just assumes how others react. Thirdly, a person should take time to analyze how he/she responds to emotionally involving situations. In addition, psychoanalysts have come up with tests that a person can take to evaluate the level of emotional intelligence. The tests consist of a mix of self-reports and situations that arouse emotional responses. The responses comprise multiple choice answers with each carrying a score. Once computed, the scores provide an idea of the person’s emotional intelligence (Deshpande & Joseph, 2009).

An important aspect of emotional intelligence is that it can be developed (McEnrue, Groves & Shen, 2010). This happens through exposure to situations that require a person to control their reactions as well as express concern for the feelings of others. People tend to increase in their emotional intelligence with age as a result of exposure to real-life situations (Nelis, Quoidbach, Mikolajczak & Hansenne, 2009). The first key to developing emotional intelligence is identifying surroundings. A person should realize how the collective thought system influences the perception of immediate surroundings. Failure to identify with life causes a person to end up as a victim of circumstances. The second key involves consciousness about and identification of internal drivers that direct a person’s behavior and motivation. This aspect of self-realization allows a person to control how he/she views the environs, and the impact the personal beliefs contribute towards that perception. Thirdly, a person should learn how free his/herself. This involves establishing inner strengths that allow a person to put away negative thoughts, fears, and beliefs that limit his/her potential. A person must learn how to dismiss thoughts and feelings that work against their motivation. Lastly, a person seeking to be emotionally intelligent must not be egoistic. The person must maintain thought streams that bring out the best personality. This calls for the identification of natural states in which a person has experienced the greatest sense of connection.


Antonakis, J., Ashkanasy, N. M., & Dasborough, M. T. (2009). Does Leadership Need Emotional Intelligence?, The Leadership Quarterly, 20(2), 247-261.

Deshpande, S. P., & Joseph, J. (2009). Impact of Emotional Intelligence, Ethical Climate, and Behavior of Peers on Ethical Behavior of Nurses. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(3), 403-410.

Feather, R. (2009). Emotional Intelligence in Relation to Nursing Leadership: Does it Matter?. Journal of Nursing Management, 17(3), 376-382.

Grewal, D., & Davidson, H. A. (2008). Emotional Intelligence and Graduate Medical Education. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(10), 1200-1202.

Mayer, J. D., Roberts, R. D., & Barsade, S. G. (2008). Human Abilities: Emotional Intelligence. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 59, 507-536.

McEnrue, M. P., Groves, K. S., & Shen, W. (2010). Emotional Intelligence Training: Evidence Regarding its Efficacy for Developing Leaders. Leadership Review, 10, 3-26.

Nelis, D., Quoidbach, J., Mikolajczak, M., & Hansenne, M. (2009). Increasing Emotional Intelligence:(How) is it Possible?. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(1), 36-41.

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