Cultural Differences and Emotional Intelligence Essay.
During an the assessment of several countries, values of open-mindedness, inclusion, respect and tolerance are more likely to be attained within a prospectus that encourages the increase of Emotional Intelligence (EI). In this research paper, the role of EI in determining leadership effectiveness was reviewed to explain emotional characteristics specific to five countries: Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, and China. These countries were included in a study called Project Globe. GLOBE is the acronym for Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness.
In this study, four cultural clusters were utilized, and the role of emotional intelligence was evaluated in determining leadership effectiveness.
Emotional Intelligence was appraised more favorably than technical skills and cognitive skills, especially when referring to social skills, and transformational/charismatic leaderships were preferred across cultures. The intent of the collaborative effort of Team 4 was to explore the cultural values and practices in five different countries and to identify their impact on organizational practices and leadership attributes.
One way to explore cultural similarities in the world is to study cultural clusters which are a group of countries that share many similarities.
The countries in a cluster are more like each other than another country from outside the cluster (Javidan & House, 2002). A study conducted by the consulting firm KPMG (Project Globe) tested the proposition linking EI and cross-cultural leadership by surveying managers from four cultural clusters (Anglo, Latin European, Eastern European, and Southern Asian).
Project GLOBE was a multi-phase, multi-method research project in which some 170 investigators from over 60 cultures representing all major regions in the world joined forces to examine the interrelationships between societal culture, organizational culture, and organizational leadership. Clustering of nations was a real-world way to depict intercultural similarities as well as intercultural differences- 61 nations were categorized into 10 distinct clusters. Four clusters and their respective leadership styles and traits were evaluated: the Anglo cluster; the Latin Europe cluster; the Eastern European cluster; and the Southern Asia cluster.
The Anglo Cluster included Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa (Nigeria), and the United States of America. These countries are all developed nations, predominantly English speaking, and among the wealthiest countries in the world. Charismatic, team-oriented, and participative leadership styles were perceived to be the most effective in the Anglo Cluster. The charismatic leadership behaviors included being visionary, motivating, and appealing to the fundamental values of followers. Self-awareness of interactive skills may be a crucial component to manager effectiveness in high power Anglo cultures.
Each national culture carries definite leadership behaviors that are perceived to be applicable for that specific country. Being charismatic in Australia can sometimes conflict with the importance of impartiality for successful leadership-therefore, a leader must be visionary and inspirational but still be viewed as “one of the boys” (Ashkanasy, Trevor-Roberts, & Earnshaw, 2002). The barometer for measuring someone’s level of emotional intelligence is a function that is used though domains that have been emphasized by analysts.
Three tests that have been utilized are the ability model, the mixed-ability model, and the personality model. The ability model is measured with the Mayor-Salovey Emotional Intelligent Test using four types of abilities: perceiving emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions and managing emotions. The mixed ability model was used to test for emotional intelligence. The five main concepts of this measurement are self-awareness, social responsibility, adaptability, stress management and general mood. The personality model was used to measure a series of behavior test and is used more as a self-reporting test.
The use of the emotional intelligence concepts in the workplace has increased business performance. Higher levels of emotional intelligence has resulted in better performance in certain areas in the workplace such as better participative management, putting people at ease, self-awareness, balance between personal life and work, straight forwardness and composure, building and mending relationships, decisiveness, confronting problem employees and change management. Managers can also be toxic for the workplace based on their attitudes-this is where the concept of resonance plays a vital part.
The use of literature on emotional intelligence and its utilization is very minimal in Nigeria. There is no significant difference in occupational stress between secondary school teachers with low emotional difference and those with high emotional intelligence. The effect of emotional intelligence with work-family issues resulted in a conflict within the workplace. Emotional intelligence should be considered in employee selection and placement process for managerial effectiveness to be guaranteed-the managers with high emotional intelligence should be posted to highly challenging managerial positions and vice versa.
Leadership qualities in Nigeria are very poor and implementing emotional intelligence can improve their economy. Improvement includes more intelligent Nigerian leaders who can improve the professional performance in their organizations through emotional intelligence. The perceptions of Nigerians can be shaped and made as a result of training in emotional intelligence which will produce Nigerian leaders who will lead by example. The Latin European cluster consists of France, French Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, and Spain.
In Latin Europe, charismatic/values-based, team oriented, and participative leadership were considered the most effective leadership attributes which included being visionary, inspirational, self-sacrificial, having integrity, decisiveness and performance orientation. Team-oriented leadership compromises collaboration, team integration, diplomacy, and administrative competence (Jesuino, 2002). Emotionally self-aware leaders can be candid and authentic, able to speak openly about their emotions or with conviction about their guiding vision (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002).
This statement is true and can be seen in Mexico’s business practices. For example, in Mexico, emotions are not suppressed in business situations and discussions can appear to be hostile to those from a culture which frowns upon the any visible shows of emotion during business dealings (“Doing Business”, n. d. ). A visionary leader can impact this process positively by honoring the feelings and beliefs of the people around him, while steadfastly demonstrating the benefit of moving toward the company goal (Goleman et al.
, 2002). This outward show of emotion is seen as a positive attribute and implies commitment and emphasis. Meetings are seen as opportunities for the free flow of ideas and information — although it is best to avoid very open disagreements with the most senior Mexican present as this could be construed as disrespectful and confrontational. Open signs of emotion, through the use of interruptions and speaking loudly, are seen as a sign of active engagement rather than an unnecessary loss of control.
When a Mexican becomes highly emotional during a meeting one should not assume that they have lost their sense of professionalism (“Doing Business”, n. d. ). Emotion is an important factor that contributes to Mexican business meetings. Creating organizations that are emotionally intelligent is ultimately the leader’s responsibility. It is up to the leaders to help the organization identify its reality and assist their members to uncover their own roles in that vision (Goleman et al. , 2002). Social awareness-particularly empathy-is crucial for the leader’s primal task of driving resonance.
By being attuned to how others feel in the moment, a leader is able to provide a sense of shared values and priorities that can guide the group. Empathy-which includes listening and taking other people’s perspective-allows leaders to tune into emotional channels between people that can create resonance (Goleman et al. , 2002). The Eastern European cluster encompassed Albania, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, and Slovenia. In the Eastern European cluster, the key elements of successful leadership were compiled mostly of transformational-charismatic and team-oriented leadership.
Participation has some historical roots in the region, as large consultative bodies combined with authoritarian leadership style has been a prevailing pattern in status conscious eastern societies. Extensive research and several studies have been conducted over the last decade in regards to emotional intelligence and leadership styles in Russia. Van Gardner (2010) stated, “this recent focus on developing organizational leaders is largely a result of the recent changes in the political and economic environments in Russia, following the country’s recovery and stabilization from its financial crisis of 1998” (Van Genderen, 2010, p.
77). A Leadership Dimensions Questionnaire (LDQ) was used to assess prevailing leadership styles. Three distinct leadership styles were identified: engaging leadership (transformational), involving leadership (participative) and goal leadership (transactional). The leadership’s success is a result of a threshold of cognition (IQ) and high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ)-the three paradigms IQ, EQ and MQ (managerial competencies) were highly correlated. An interesting result of the investigation was that no significant differences were found between the Russian men and women participating in the research (Van Genderen, 2010, p.
86). Human resources has become an important factor within an organization-the only sustainable competitive advantage organizations of the future will possess is the value added by their employees. Designing effective leadership development programs to foster such executives has been described as ‘the biggest challenge that looms in the new millennium for HR managers” (Van Genderen, 2010, p. 88). This holds true for all organizations. Instituting confidence and reciprocal respect establishes smooth transitions when conducting business transactions in Argentina.
Serenity can guarantee accomplishment as it may take several visits to the country to finalize any business transactions. Dealing with organizational leaders is time-consuming due to the many levels of decision making combined with an enormous amount of bureaucracy. Generally, greetings among industry people is a handshake and a brief nod of the head. This is appropriate to both men and women. Once a connection has been made resulting in friendship, hugs and kisses become the standard form of greeting. Eye contact is encouraged and personal space is minimal; pulling back will create an atmosphere of untrustworthiness.
The glue that holds people together in a team, and that commits people to an organization, is the emotions they feel (Goldman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2004). The Southern Asia cluster consisted of India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, China, and Thailand. Transformational–charismatic and team-oriented leadership are perceived as the most effective leadership styles (Gupta, Surie, Javidan, & Chokar, 2002). Leaders are expected to act as patriarchs who help subordinates point towards more aspiring and mutual goals by ensuring their actions and decisions develop and maintain the team and family orientation in their organizations.
The global leader needs to be open to arbitrations and viewpoints to make sure he/she does not alienate any group members. When it comes to China, four very different traditional Chinese leadership approaches are identified and discussed by Emotional Intelligence Expert Sebastien Henry. This discussion provides us a starting point for our analyses. The four historic leadership approaches Henry examines are: legalistic, strategic, naturalistic, and humanistic (Henry, 2009). It should be noted, according to Mr. Henry, “none of the four leadership styles give a
lot of room to emotions when it comes to leading people. ” (Henry, 2009) The legalistic approach (Han Fei Zi) was characterized as perhaps the most contradictory to the principals of emotional intelligence as there was the belief that man was “naturally evil and that strict rules and punishment were needed” (Henry, 2009. The strategic approach (Sun Tzu) is also not considered to be overly EQ aligned as, within this approach, thoughts on leadership were famously applied to the winning of battles with little focus on the use of emotions in other areas.
Interestingly, the very famous book The Art of War, a famous ancient Chinese military work was authored by the high ranking military general Sun Tzu. In the naturalistic approach (Lao Zi–Chuang Zi), also known as the Taoist approach, the emphasis is on the spiritual development of the leader. “The accomplished leader is the one that followers barely notice: almost invisible, unassuming, but nurturing and always present, just like the Tao” (Henry, 2009).
We find some of the concepts in the traditional naturalistic approach to perhaps represent a precursor to present day EI concepts, and although emotional intelligence expert Sebastien Henry concludes, “there is not a lot in the Dao De Jing (??? ) about the emotional side of leadership except that the leader has to aim at ultimately reaching within herself a place of deep inner peace that emotions won’t affect,” which is precisely what we see as perhaps the precursor to current EI concepts (Henry, 2009).
Lastly, the humanistic approach (Confucius, Mencius) is often believed to be the approach that is most closely aligned with emotions and the concepts being discussed by Goleman and other emotional intelligence experts. The concept of compassion, a concept many consider a fundamental principal of emotionally intelligent leadership, could be closely linked to the famous Confucian concept of benevolence which is fundamental to the humanistic, Confucian approach.
Going forward, while it may or may not appear that the Chinese were overly concerned with emotional intelligence in their traditional leadership methods, recent developments indicate there is little chance the Chinese will be left behind in the exploration, experimentation, and utilization of the promising, performance enhancing benefits of emotional intelligence in the immediate future . Very recently, a Chinese Communist Party publication, the Study Times, published a 3000-word article entitled the Emotional Quotient and its Three Major Components.
It seems clear this article was a response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s public statement that “it isn’t one’s educational background, integrity, experience, or people you know that matters. What it takes to be a good communist leader President Xi said is Emotional intelligence” (Li, 2013) . Overall, any way you look at it, what seems clear is that in most Asian cultures-as well as in Latin America and some European countries-establishing a strong relationship is a prerequisite for doing business (Goldman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2004, p. 64).
The countries that participated in Project GLOBE provide to managers a meticulous instrument to help recognize the similarities and differences among various cultures worldwide. The most valuable message managers in any culture can take from this study is to take a proactive and positive approach to resolving issues, especially those involving cross-cultural issues. The findings and insights from Project GLOBE can and should at the very least be utilized to enlighten managers on how to better manage the conveyance of information and knowledge across cultural borders. References
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