Leadership Styles and Emotional Intelligence in Educators

The field of education constantly evolves and creates multiple challenges for teachers that do not have the capability of remaining flexible and responding to the different transformations that range from social tensions to economic breakdowns. This sets the stage for knowledgeable leaders who are going to maintain and oversee the transition to even more positive changes. In order to become the key to future improvements, these leaders have to apply emotional intelligence and employ ethical principles to their decision-making in order to improve their status and self-image (Courtney, 2018, p. 27). Depending on the circumstances, a teacher’s ability to avoid failure depends on their emotional intelligence as well, as they have to make sure that their actions are not going to cause any adverse repercussions for other actors involved in the educational process. Cognitive or emotional resources should not limit teachers’ psychological abilities either, making it reasonable for them to investigate their leadership potential and gain professional momentum.

Synopsis of Leadership Styles

Whether it is in learning institutions or non-educational corporate agencies, leadership aspects are discussed in various theoretical approaches (Kleefstra, 2019). Among the most discussed models there is the transformational theory (Bass, 1990), responsible for the advent of the laissez-faire, transformational, and transactional leadership models. To be more specific, transformational leadership style breaches to address intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, idealized influence, and inspirational motivation that work all-round to empower the K-12 learners. When approaching the latter, teachers have to have a clear understanding of what leadership style they could apply in order to achieve better results and create an environment where growth and sustainability are welcomed and nurtured (Szeto, 2020, p. 271). The variance in guidance skills is one of the crucial contributors to the challenges that teachers have to experience when interacting with K-12 students. However, the concept of shared leadership is vital in this category, considering that it broadens the context of control (Bass, 1990). The technique offers a way that fosters the philosophical affirmation that every individual has the ability to accept sharing responsibility as leaders. A noble way of appreciating shared leadership strategy is by incorporating other leadership techniques and offering a proper way of organizing them.

There is a high, factual, and stout link addressing the aspects of emotional intelligence and leadership. The notion of emotional intelligence stands for a teacher’s ability to face different stressful situations without any damaging consequences that could affect the students’ well-being and learning process as well (Sampson & Horsford, 2017, p. 742). When there are problematic students, emotional intelligence is one of the top instruments in teachers’ toolkit. According to Fannon (2018, p. 27), emotional leaders become more influential because of the leader’s ability to stand for themselves. Thus, individuals that best understand themselves are at a higher position of confronting situations and offering virtuous leadership techniques. Therefore, emotional intelligence is directly connected to leadership, considering that the needs of the followers and the leader have to be linked to each other.

Emotional Intelligence Synopsis

The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) explicates the reasoning capacity concerning emotions and enhances the aspects of emotional thinking. Therefore, emotional intelligence is a cognitive ability or intelligence that explains the human ability to cognize, understand, and evaluate emotional meanings when solving problems (Bassem et al., 2017, p. 69). The notion purports that the perception of the mental process, feeling, and thinking all work in unison. On the other hand, Mayer and Salovey’s (1997, p. 541) ability model expounds on the concept of emotional intelligence tangibly (Puertas Molero et al., 2019, p. 190). The model discourses EI in four broader categories, the ability to use emotions, perceive, understand, and manage emotions.

The second model explains the emotional concept in the Bar-on phase, a model similar to Goleman’s (1998) model, but talks about emotional-social and non-cognitive intelligence models (Bassem et al., 2017, p. 80). This model takes care of five broader categories: interpersonal, intrapersonal, adaptability, stress management, and general mood management skills. The models explain that emotional intelligence is explained by personality abilities, mental and character skills. Emotional intelligence is an expression-driven mechanism and a method that helps a person to engage in proper self-management (Sampson & Horsford, 2017, p. 743). Self-imaging focuses on the self-perception and self-efficacy, a phenomenon that is valuable to the K-12 educational professionals.

In an attempt to understand emotional intelligence better, the model needs to be considered within the framework of the following stages. The first stage involves considering the concept as interrelated abilities affecting emotional intelligence (Szeto, 2020, p. 273). To attain these abilities, the leader should measure their aptitudes and see where they could improve. Mayer and Salovey (1997) suggest that emotional intelligence has to be measured through assessment reports on Emotional Intelligence’s behaviors and abilities. The third consideration is that emotional intelligence occurs by understanding competencies, predispositions, and perceptions on the aspects of emotions (Bassem et al., 2017, p. 81). It may be concluded that emotional intelligence, paired with effective leadership styles, could become a powerful instrument aimed at learner motivation and well-being.

Certified K-12 Educational Professionals

The educational profession is among the world’s leading professions committed to rendering quality assurance to learners in educational sectors. The teacher educational program, therefore, is a tool that strives to prepare the educational professionals for their mandate in this category (Opengart, 2007, p. 451). The educational program’s main agenda is to concoct, among others, the K-12 teachers to receive essential skills and knowledge to manage student (Birch et al., 2019, p. 848). Educational professionals cannot overlook the importance of leadership and emotional intelligence because of the growing demand for teachers who can build long-lasting relationships with every actor within the educational environment. As per Chesnut and Cullen (2014, p. 119), certified K-12 educational professionals require the concept of good leadership and emotional intelligence if they should survive or exercise suitable teaching styles.

The United States’ educational program assures that trainees can accomplish as much for the students. The high public education program offers students numerous bridging opportunities when it comes to pursuing a valuable career and useful jobs, students’ ability in a personal capacity and social mobility fulfillment, and growth. Therefore, the K-12 teaching strategy is aimed at a direct target or focus on the learning institutions considering that the institutions offer learning and teaching actions astoundingly (Irvin & Richardson, 2002, p. 56). Excellence occurs by teachers’ leadership understanding, especially in focusing on continuous improvement as stipulated by the teaching data. That means the K-12 students depend on teachers’ professionalism to succeed in the quest to receive as much as possible from the syllabus.

Certified K-12 educational professionals are vast determinants of that which the student gets in schools. According to Birch et al. (2019, p. 850), the quality of teacher education has become critical in improving the nation’s educational positions. When it comes to the student’s learning achievements, the most significant factor is the involvement of teachers. Thus, higher learning institutions are responsible for equipping the teachers with skills and pedagogy required for them to teach in contemporary society (Mérida-López & Extremera, 2017, p. 123). This fact approves that the certified K-12 educational professionals rely on the institutions to be the valuable teachers they should. However, the demonstration of their commitment connects the teacher preparation institutions to teachers in offering leadership and emotional intelligence skills. The teaching institutions empower teachers by certifying the K-12 educational professionals to the educational obligation.

Definitions of Terms

Defining Leadership

Leadership is usually displayed as a nonspecific process in practice, directed towards challenging the available process, and enables and inspires others to act. In the event, leadership models explain how to reach proper decision-making criteria and encourage other members to take heart. All leadership issues have outcomes, and it is through the outcome that leaders become more determined for success (Calo et al., 2015, p. 13). Leadership follows specific characteristics or traits, including being a critical thinker, a visionary person, a risk-taker, a forward thinker ready and open for challenges, and the ability to learn and overcome. Leadership is an aspect that operates on a scope that entails focused on forward-thinking mechanisms (Fannon, 2018, p. 47). Headship also operates on long-term planning and is a strategic marvel that requires insight and the need to confide in complex choices. Using leadership guarantees a leader to expedite an organization or a group of people towards meeting a specified goal.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence unravels the ability to understand, manage, and use an individual’s own emotions to relieve stress positively. Emotional intelligence supports good communication, defuses conflicts, and guarantees the ability to overcome particular challenges. In its application, emotional intelligence supports one to positively build effective relationships and succeed at work or school by making informed decisions (Fox et al., 2015, p. 11). In a more straightforward definition, emotional intelligence is the empowerment of individuals, especially leaders, in managing various issues.

Emotional intelligence can as well be understood by noting several additional attributes. Self-management empowers one to have the capacity to control impulsive behaviors and feelings and helps one manage emotions (Fannon, 2018, p. 30). Emotional intelligence also involves self-awareness, where the ability to recognize their own emotions and how they affect behavior and thoughts becomes a reality. In this regard, a person can understand one’s weakness and strength, which helps the person embrace confidence (Fox et al., 2015, p. 12). Emotional intelligence helps one to be socially aware of whatever they engage in. In this context, a person develops empathy in understanding other people’s needs, emotions, and concerns. It becomes easier for an emotionally intelligent person to pick up emotions, recognize, and feel comfortable about the available power mechanics in an organization or a group of individuals (Player et al., 2017, p. 333). The identification of an emotionally intelligent individual is by assessing the being’s ability to manage relationships. In this regard, an intelligent individual understands the aspects of developing and maintaining good relationships.

Certified Educational Professional

Quality teaching is an essential aspect of contributing to the change in terms of student learning. According to Dolev and Leshem (2017, p. 25), an educational system is only as good as the teachers it produces. For the sake of being an entity that honors professionalism, an education system should exhaustively address the world’s reality in teachers’ context. The institution is determined to meet the actual needs or requirements of the teachers as a way of helping them proceed to the heights they should in teaching. As a result, teachers go through professionalism rendezvous before they become certified. For teachers, therefore, professionalism occurs in-service and preservice for the sake of introducing skills and tools or, in a broader capacity, update the existing skills (Hodzic et al., 2018, p. 140). Thus, certified educational professional entails the empowering of the teachers’ competencies, including combining skills, knowledge, and understanding, by accepting values that the teachers receive from teaching institutions. Once the students are empowered through education, they become certified educational professionals.

Occupational Risks (Burnout & Turnover)

Burnout. The teaching profession is among the careers that top the list of careers that are in the category of stressors and have the ability to emotionally taxing professionals in that area. The stress in this job comes from the job’s demanding nature, which occurs due to emotional exhaustion and burnout (Rajendran et al., 2020). Therefore, the teacher attrition in the worldwide context is generally high and forms among the feared occupational risks. The burnout that is extensively noted among the teachers is emotional exhaustion (Bottiani et al., 2019, p. 45). This appears as a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion, arising from excessive continuous stress and far-reaching job demands. In reality, emotional exhaustion is the person’s ability to feel overextended by one’s work and cause fatigue and a sense of psychological drain. According to Kraft et al. (2016, p. 1427), emotional exhaustion is much more prevalent in women because of the nature of the roles they encounter outside class duties.

Emotional fatigue causes career turnovers to diminish and subject the career to unfamiliarity from the teachers. The job risk factors involve insufficient demand from the teachers as many despise the exclusive privilege of the career. At times, in some countries, the transfers are overrated, thus becoming some of the work-related risks facing this employment (Hodzic et al., 2018, p. 141). The presence of challenges linked to leadership makes it hard to apply emotional intelligence to educational scenarios because there are variables that define the need for stronger leadership and lifelong learning initiatives. Such variables explain why leadership techniques and emotional intelligence are two main factors that contribute towards proficiencies for certified educational experts within the K-12 setting.

Turnover. From the demanding nature of K-12 certified professionals, many trained personnel are quitting the profession at a higher rate. It is unfortunate to mention that teaching turnover is a global menace, which now influences students negatively. The students are impacted negatively, and the learners suffer in terms of meeting their achievements, which, to some capacity, is a highly costly phenomenon (Yan, 2020, p. 93). Turnover issues negatively dictate the teaching environment, as the scenario makes less qualified professionals enter the market. Those who are sticking to this type of profession in the majority are the less qualified. The consequences of such a problem are that students are poorly prepared, and the relationship between the teachers and the students deteriorates even more.

In this regard, it is essential to mention that the teaching profession is one of the jobs that demand more thorough attention paid to the key aspects of leadership, as among the important factors that would enhance this organization’s performance. The presence of a high turnover rate among teachers might be a direct sign of the lack of proper leadership skills and abilities. Through leadership, this stage can be described as a cumulative process that helps stakeholders achieve the school’s purpose is one of the best tools that would correct the turnover issue for the learners (Grant et al., 2019, p. 301). Even though there are multiple initiatives intended to bring the situation back to status quo, it is heartening to note the rate at which students are structurally affected.

In terms of interaction, leadership means giving everyone inspirations and motivations that build potential in others (Fannon, 2018, p. 62). In the event, good leadership ensures the fostering of an environment that offers learning chances, fluid teamwork, and collaboration and, as a result, attracts high performers among employees. In the impetus category, leadership occurs as a situational and self-directed phenomenon or values the aspects of being opportunistic, courageous, and attracts serendipitous in the context of managing specific and uncertain outcomes (Grissom et al., 2016, p. 244). Through leadership techniques, it becomes easier to lure more teachings into a training career, to overcome turnovers.

In conclusion, Leadership Styles are widely connected to Emotional Intelligence in Certified Educational Professionals (K-12 Setting). Virtuous leadership styles support the use of emotional intelligence in offering high standard learning experience to the K-12 students. On the contrary, poor leadership styles mean poor emotional intelligence use for certified educational professionals serving in K-12 settings. Even so, the profession exposes professionals to a situation that subjects them to burnouts and, in the event, affects the turnover of the teachers in this category. It is right to note that EI is referred to as the emotional quotient, but it is all about the perception of oneself and other people’s thinking.

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