Difference Among Gender in Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The topic of emotional intelligence among employees in the workplace is among the most abundant, yet most important to take into consideration when managing a company or corporation. With its many definitions and aspects, this paper will discuss the true definitions of emotional intelligence and how it can be so different among genders in the workplace.
The three main points that will be discussed include the main differences among genders in emotional intelligence, why these differences are so important from a company’s perspective, and what companies should do about these differences to ensure a positive and efficient work environment. Many considerations are taken when a company or corporation analyzes an individual. This analysis can be taken anytime from the interview stage to a workers termination. Emotional intelligence is a consideration being taken by more and more companies due to its direct relationship with that person’s ability to succeed within the organization.
The Article “Leadership Style and Emotional Intelligence: A Gender Comparison” explains Emotional intelligence as “not easily defined in a text-book definition, it is concerned with a variety of interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects, and the ability to monitor your own feelings as well as the feelings of others. In order to have strong emotional intelligence a person possesses abilities in the following categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Self-motivation, understanding ones emotions, managing relationships” (Noor, Uddin & Shamaly, 2011).
More specifically, organizations are recognizing the differences between men and women in this category as to more effectively train male vs. female employees as well as where to place them within the organization. DIFFERENCE IN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AMONG GENDERS Women usually exhibit group-oriented behavior, while men excel in analytical thinking. Men have trouble identifying emotional signals unless they are distinctly articulated, while women typically choose to verbally express their emotions. Women, on average, are better than men at some forms of empathy, and men are generally better at managing stress.
Although men and women exhibit drastically different forms of emotional intelligence, they most definitely share some commonalities. A man may be better than a particular female when it comes to dealing with empathy, and a female may better than a particular man at dealing with stress (Goleman). People who excel in emotional empathy make good counselors, teachers, and group leaders because of their aptitude to sense how others feel and react to certain situations. If a friend is upset, a woman’s brain attaches to, and imitates those feelings in an attempt to give them a feeling of solace.
A man’s brain senses the emotions, tunes them out, and attempts to solve the problem at hand. The male tune-out process works well when there’s a need to shield oneself against stress so he can focus on finding a resolution to the problem. The female predisposition to stay attached to ones emotional state helps in nurturing and supporting others during emotionally demanding conditions. Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University says, “There’s an extreme “female brain” which is high in emotional empathy, but not so good at system analysis.
By contrast, the extreme “male brain” excels in systems thinking and is poor at emotional empathy” (Goleman). Psychologist Ruth Malloy is the Global Managing Director of Leadership and Talent at Hay Group in Boston and studies excellence among top leaders. She found that leaders in the top ten percent of business demonstrate little to no differences in emotional intelligence. She goes on to state that among top managers, men are as good as women and women are as good as men when it comes to dealing with emotional disturbances (Goleman).
One article stated that scientists made a similar observation while studying chimpanzees. The scientists found that when a female chimpanzee sees another chimp that is troubled or wounded, she mimics the distress. This is their way of showing empathy towards one another. Some chimpanzees will go over to its injured counterpart, and begin rubbing, patting, or stroking them in order to calm them down. It was observed that the female chimps do this more often than male chimps do. However, the alpha males of the group try to calm down members of its group more frequently than female chimps.
This goes on to show that nature supports the assumption that leaders need to be emotionally inreligent in order to excel (Goleman). WHY DIFFERENCES IN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE BETWEEN GENDER ARE IMPORTANT Using emotional intelligence to identify differences within employee emotions has relevance within the workplace for a variety of reasons. Today’s organizations have been identified as, “arenas in which all human emotions are likely to emerge (Noor, Uddin ;amp; Shamaly, 2011). ” As the workplace becomes increasingly diversified, managers must be equipped to address a wide spectrum of emotions.
Each member of an organization’s workforce handles emotions in their own unique way. A manager must be able to identify the emotions of their employees to ensure a harmonious work environment. A high degree of emotional intelligence will allow a manager to embrace positive emotions that increase productivity, while deterring negative emotions that negatively affect output. When negative emotions are prevalent within the work environment, organizational stress is likely to occur. Consequences of organizational stress can be highly detrimental to the company and include decreased creativity, turnover, and increased insurance costs.
When a company possesses a manager that excels in emotional intelligence and recognizes the differences in employee emotions, the result will be a unified and highly productive work environment. WHAT COMPANIES SHOULD DO ABOUT DIFFERENCE IN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE By understanding the difference in emotional intelligence among employees, companies can incorporate this knowledge in the workplace to ensure a stress-free and efficient work environment. There are several steps that managers can take to ensure that they are projecting this difference in emotional intelligence among employees in a positive way.
Although the interviewing process thoroughly determines whether or not a potential employee would be qualified for the job, sometimes this process can be deceiving when it comes to analyzing the candidate’s emotional intelligence. In the article “Managing Emotional Intelligence in U. S. Cities: A Study of Social Skills among Public Managers,” authors Berman and West explain that some candidates are very skilled at articulation and self-promotion so it is recommended that companies demand demonstrated evidence of the candidate working with others and developing networks.
The article also states that these selection processes can “obtain detailed information about people skills by examining employee performance appraisals, by assessing candidates’ self-knowledge and emotional literacy, and by asking questions or engaging in role-playing that demonstrates emotional intelligence under trying circumstances” (Berman and West, 2008). Another way that companies can approach this difference in emotional intelligence among employees is through the use of feedback and entoring on the job. This is helpful because it increases accurate awareness about one’s EI skills. Since self-perceptions are often very different from those made by others, feedback helps people become aware of these differences and thereby strengthening their EI skills. Mentoring also furthers EI skills by allowing managers to reflect and discuss their actions in situations that require a high degree of judgment, as “people issues” usually do (Berman and West, 2008).
The final and most abundant method used by companies to manage emotional intelligence in the workplace is the use of training and development. Offering a variety of trainings that target diverse emotional intelligence among employees such as emotional literacy, teamwork, change management, and anger management can significantly increase work efficiency and the quality of communication among employees (Berman and West, 2008).
These training workshops can improve the employees’ ability to monitor their own emotions and those of their coworkers, which will significantly improve the job culture and the environment in the workplace. Although emotional intelligence among employees is very diverse, it is extremely important for a company to be able to target this difference and apply it in a way that will not only help the company itself prosper, but keep the employees happy and stress-free on the job.
By taking the time to understand and promote the many aspects of emotional intelligence among employees, managers can efficiently and effectively place their employees in the proper positions that will create a well-organized and positive work environment. References Berman, E. M. , ;amp; West, J. P. (2008). Managing emotional intelligence in U. S. cities: A study of social skills among public managers. Public Administration Review, 68(4), 742- 758,599. Retrieved from http://ezproxy. oswego. edu:2048/login? rl=http://search. proquest. com/? url=http: //search. proquest. com/docview/197178169? accountid=13025 Goleman, D. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/the-brain-and- emotional-intelligence/201104/are-women-more-emotionally-intelligent-men Noor, M. A. , Uddin, I. , ;amp; Shamaly, S. (2011). Leadership style and emotional intelligence: A gender comparison. European Journal of Business and Management, 3(10), 27-52. Retrieved from http://www. iiste. org/Journals/index. php/EJBM/article/view/657/550