Despite the widespread belief that emotions and intelligence are two contradictory concepts, emotions are the greatest part of intelligence. Goleman (2018) affirms that EI accounts for 67% of the abilities necessary for superior performance in leaders, and matters twice as much as technical expertise.
Leadership in the Armed Forces can be explained as the activity of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. At the core of the leader’s mission is the task of influencing the thinking and planning of others.
Transformational leadership theory is the most renowned theory of leadership and it has been commonly referred to as charismatic, visionary, and inspirational leadership. Transformational leadership is a process that involves the leader engaging their followers by raising their motivation and promoting their attachment to the organization. There are many positive individual and organizational outcomes associated with transformational leadership such as, enhanced job satisfaction, increased organizational productivity and decreased levels of stress among followers.
Emotional Intelligence and Military leadership utilizes the transformational theory of leadership. Many researchers (e.g., Bass, 1998; Deluga & Souza, 1991; Fuller et al., 1995; Kane & Tremble, 2000) have emphasized the effectiveness of transformational leadership behaviour in Military environments. The importance of transformational leadership is highlighted because of the ability of transformational leaders to adapt to changing circumstances, which is of particular importance in a Military environment, and may utilize transactional strategies if deemed necessary for task or organizational effectiveness.
In high stakes situations, as evident in Military, even the slightest mistake may have tragic consequences. Learning effective strategies to manage our emotions is critical for laying a strong foundation for the development of foundation
for the development of positive relationships.
Being able to effectively build positive relationships in diverse settings is a key attribute of cross cultural competence that may be improved through EI training. By practicing emotion recognition/regulation strategies, individuals will begin to replace ineffective decision-making with productive responses to challenging situations.
The Armed Forces may benefit in the way it leads, educates and develops its leaders, transforming concepts of command and leadership and applying them diligently in order to improve leadership methods and techniques through EI and other power skills trainings.
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