Emotional intelligence is the ability of a person to control, evaluate, identify and express their emotions appropriately (Carson, Carson and Birkenmeier, 2016). Individuals with a high emotional intelligence make good leaders and team players due to their ability to empathize, understand and connect with people surrounding them. On the other hand IQ or intelligence is the mark obtained from various standardized examinations to determine a person’s mental ability. IQ is applied to measure academic ability and determine people with varies mental strengths. However, emotional intelligence is a better determinant of success within the workplace and is applied to determine leaders, and good team participants (Fiori, 2015). People with emotional intelligence are good team players, have leadership ability, successful in relationships, dedicated to service delivery; while the people with high IQ are good in challenging activities, and have ability to analyze and determine the gap.
Most important attribute for nurses
The most crucial emotional intelligence for leader nurse is self-awareness, described as the ability to control and monitor one’s thoughts from time to time. It involves what one sees themselves and how they see it. Self-awareness is a crucial attribute of emotional intelligence as it helps nurses recognize themselves as leaders and to be aware of themselves and their abilities. Therefore, self-awareness provides the nurse leaders with the right emotional intelligence to handle the tasks in the field, and relate successfully to their patients. However, this attribute needs to be complemented by the three other aspects to make an all-around successful nurse.
Cultural and generational differences
It is crucial for a leader nurse to consider various cultural and generational variations. The cultural variations include the difference between races, religions, languages and backgrounds. For instance, black people may have historical, emotional problems related to slavery and discrimination. Generational difference is the variations between the young and the old people and as such, the different categories of people have different emotions that should be considered by a leader nurse. A leader nurse should identify and respond to the emotions as it is an essential aspect of their service delivery and overall health of the society.
A situation that occurred in the workplace
In my workplace, a colleague did not show to have emotional intelligence in a case involving a young family which was expecting to have a newborn. However, the child was born dead, and the expected father accused the hospital of negligence. In contrast, the people involved in the operation had worked to their level best to save the mother and the child. In the operation room, it was found that the child could not survive and the mother was the priority and was therefore saved at the expense of the child. The colleague was disappointed by the behavior of the expected father and indicated that he should have been grateful because his wife was saved. The colleague did not have social awareness as she did not recognize the pain of the expected father and help him overcome it.
The way of building emotional intelligence
The greatest method that a person can use to develop their emotional intelligence is putting themselves in other people’s situation. When an individual puts himself or herself in the situation of others, they see issues in a different perceptive. Because they can see in the same dimension as others, they can feel the same way and respond most appropriately. Putting oneself in the same situation also increases the awareness of the individual in the situation. Therefore increasing emotional intelligence for a nurse leader is very crucial in enabling them to respond most appropriately to any situation.
- Carson, K. D., Carson, P. P., & Birkenmeier, B. J. (2016). Measuring emotional intelligence: Development and validation of an instrument. Journal of Behavioural and Applied Management, 2(1).
- Fiori, M. (2015). Emotional intelligence compensates for low IQ and boosts low emotionality individuals in a self-presentation task. Personality and Individual Differences, 81, 169-173.