The role of emotional intelligence in leadership in the ferromanganese industry of KwaZulu-Natal
Padayachee, Clive Pravan
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Traditionally leadership is associated with cognitive skills such as critical thinking and effective decision-making. Recently, research has determined the even greater importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) in business leadership generally, and specifically in diversity management. This applies equally to industry. Psychometric assessments of sixty middle managers at Assmang Manganese, a large ferromanganese producer in KZN, revealed a major deficiency in diversity management skills, linked to low levels of EQ. In an empirical study, ten of these managers were re-assessed, using a multi-rating system, with regard to five specific categories of EQ considered most relevant to diversity management. The conclusions drawn from this study indicate: • significant discrepancies between the self-perception of the ten managers and the perceptions of their senior manager and subordinates • discrepancies between the scores obtained in this assessment and those of the earlier psychometric tests • that eight of the ten managers displayed low levels of diversity management, especially with regard to tolerance and empathy, and • that an urgent need exists for training and development in emotional intelligence as a means of enhancing the diversity management skills of middle managers at Assmang Manganese.