Proceedings of The 11th International Conference on Research in Behavioral and Social Sciences
Relationship between emotional intelligence, leadership styles and performance: An analysis of South African public service cases
Dr. Shanil J. Haricharan
Growing evidence indicates a positive relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and leadership performance. Drawing on their EI competencies, exemplary leaders are adept at effectively integrating four resonant leadership styles, namely, visionary, coaching, affiliative and democratic. Using the Behavioural Events Interview (BEI) method, Emotional and Social Competency Inventory survey scores, and leadership performance nominations, this study examined the relationships between EI competencies, resonant leadership styles, and leadership performance of five executive managers in a provincial government in the South African public service. The results confirm positive relationships between leadership performance, EI competencies, and resonant leadership styles in an African setting. EI strengths guide and support the leaders’ resonant leadership styles. In addition, the top-performing leaders are highly proficient in integrating these styles as part of their repertoire of leadership behaviours. The BEI findings validate the leaders’ high EI competence scores measured in the ESCI survey and their leadership nominations. Moreover, the cases confirmed the managers’ success in resolving vexing and complex problems in a transforming environment. Additionally, the results highlighted the importance of personal values and dedication to exemplary public service in relation to individual, team and organisational performance. The results have implications for theory related to competencies as a behavioural approach to EI and performance, and for public sector policymakers and practitioners.
keywords: competencies, leadership behaviours, executive managers, leadership performance, South Africa