The significance of emotional intelligende and leadership styles of senior leaders in the North-West Provincial Government
Mfikwe, Nyakallo, Mmabatho Gugulethu
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A significant body of research has been built over the past two decades that has found Emotional Intelligence abilities to be associated with a range of important work-related behaviors. Particularly significant from a project's perspective are those associations found between Emotional Intelligence (El) and leadership, team effectiveness and work group effectiveness. The aim of this study was to establish the gender differences and significance of Emotional Intelligence and leadership styles of senior leaders in the North West Provincial Government. This study seeks to ascertain whether female or male senior managers, would be more Emotionally Intelligent and whether the Emotional Intelligence of male or female senior managers would equally have a significant impact on their leadership styles. For this purpose a sample of 85 managers were selected from various Government departments in the North West Province and they responded to questions on Emotional Intelligence, leadership style and a demographic questionnaire. The results of the study show that Emotional Intelligence and leadership styles do relate to one another. However, there were no significant differences in leadership styles and Emotional Intelligence when male and female managers were compared. Although previous literature showed that women leaders have better Emotional Intelligence as opposed to their male counterpart, and possible differences in leadership style are related to each other, the findings of this study did not show a significant difference. The author postulates that this is due to the fact that the core management criteria and standards used to evaluate the performance of senior managers in government, help build a common sense of good management practice in the public service. Despite the non-significance, recommendations are made for future applications; for instance on whether there could be a difference in the performance of female-led teams as opposed to male-led teams; or whether a variable such as age would have a significant impact on the Emotional Intelligence of either female or male leaders.