Emotional Intelligence and Organizational Change Research Paper

Emotional intelligence is also essential in facilitating successful organizational change. Successful organizational change requires a competence development mechanism to enhance adaptability to change. Leadership plays a significant role in developing emotional intelligence in a workforce. Organizational change efforts in often cases face resistance primarily because of the implementation methods fail to communicate the change initiatives to the employees in an effective manner. Potential uncertainties associated with change also challenge successful organizational change, thereby necessitating for the development of emotional intelligence, to facilitate successful change implementation. The meta-study, which is of focus, illustrates how employees react to change, through data gathered from the use of a questionnaire, and further recommends the use of Kotter’s eight step model to enhance successful organizational change.

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In every organization, the concept of change is inevitable and essential for the overall growth, success, and sustainability. Change occurs in diverse areas of a firm, including policy changes, leadership change, or operational change. Successful leadership during organizational change requires the development of Emotional and Social Intelligence (Rød and Marita 11). The primary drivers for change include the need to take advantage of new opportunities, the need to address external factors, such as competition, and the need to adapt to changing regulations or market demands. Despite the potential for change to result in positive outcomes for an organization and its employees, change often faces resistance primarily due to the fear of the unknown outcomes. Therefore, some organizational changes may not turn out as successful and effective as previously intended. Successful change management requires focusing on key factors including communication, engaging the stakeholders involved, and understanding that the process of change takes time, as noted from the meta-study conducted below. Focusing on the people, by understanding their emotions or reactions and enhancing their emotional intelligence, is critical to successful change initiatives. Therefore, through emotional intelligence, resistance to change is minimized, since the employees are able to recognize the need for change, eliminate barriers to change and accept to take on new initiatives that will result in organizational success.

Literature Review and Topic Statement
A recent article in the Harvard business review sought to find out whether or not there is a link between emotional intelligence and effective performance or change adaptability by highlighting the nature of emotional intelligence. As seen in Esther’s scenario, who, despite having emotional intelligence, seems to be stuck at her job. Emotional intelligence can be uneven, thereby resulting in inadequacy among the employees (Goleman and Boyatzis 1). Overall, emotional intelligence facilitates effective change management since it helps the employees to become self-aware, socially aware, and engage in effective self-management and relations management.

Emotional intelligence and work performance are inter-related concepts because it is the emotions that make a human being and propel us to interact with other people. Therefore, effective teamwork and successful team projects are dependent on emotional intelligence. Currently, the need to network or connect the global market has led to the formation of global teams, whose effectiveness relies on interpersonal connections and emotional intelligence. According to the findings from the Association of Talent Development, change in often cases influences the development of strong emotions, such as resistance, hence the need to cultivate emotional intelligence (Derven 1). Emotions can narrow the productive choices of employees. According to Grensing-Pophal (1), the concept of change within an organization results in confusion, denial, and frustration since the employees prepare to adapt to new beginnings or change processes.

The Association of Talent Development also supports the claim that emotional intelligence is essential in enhancing awareness to other people’s responses, thus enhancing the ability for employees to embrace change initiatives without being defensive. Additionally, emotional intelligence also helps organizational employees to avoid undue stress. According to research findings, there are at least six ways through which emotional intelligence can be used as an effective tool for change management. Therefore, emotional intelligence can be used to mitigate stress, enhance learning agility, enhance the recognition of employees, facilitate enhanced decision-making, result in productive actions, and facilitate recovery from adversity (Derven 1).

Psychologists define emotional intelligence as the ability of a person to effectively manage his or her own emotions and the emotions of other people. Through emotional awareness, employees within an organization become more self-aware and are, therefore, able to harness abilities, such a problem-solving. Moreover, through emotional intelligence, people are able to develop essential skills to help them adapt through the processes of change, and are further able to calm their emotions and those of the other people during a rigorous process of change.

Given that emotional intelligence may be uneven or lacking in some individuals, it is important to realize the diverse ways through which an individual can develop their emotional intelligence. According to an article on Forbes, there are five distinct ways through which an individual can enhance or develop their emotional intelligence. Among the ways to develop individual emotional intelligence include finding a way to manage own emotions, such as avoiding to jump into conclusions (Stahl 1). The reason why most employees express resistance to change is due to jumping into conclusions over matters that are unknown. Therefore, it is vital to manage emotions by avoiding to jump into conclusions.

Being mindful of one’s vocabulary, during communication, is also essential to harnessing emotional intelligence. Additionally, it is important to practice empathy towards colleagues and clients to avoid engaging in behaviors that can trigger increased stress level. By being empathic, a person is aware of their individual feelings as well as the feelings of other people (Stahl 1). Knowing individual stressors is also key to becoming emotionally intelligent, as one can be in a position to avoid or mitigate the influences of stressors (Derven 1). Despite the fact that challenges are a part of life, it is important to establish a mechanism to bounce back from adversity. By engaging in positive thinking, it is possible to avoid engaging in meltdown, hence facilitating the ability to embrace change initiatives.

The competencies of emotional intelligence, which include self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills facilitate job satisfaction, which in turn facilitates effective reception to change initiatives or change management (Ugoani 1). Different article and study illustrate the significance of emotional intelligence in driving successful change initiatives in an organization. The competencies of emotional intelligence are key to facilitating successful change management. Therefore, by becoming self-aware, aware of other people, and developing social skills among other factors stress levels associated with change can be minimized and employees can be more willing to accept and embrace change initiatives. According to the articles and literature analyzed above, it is vital to also note that emotional intelligence is a dynamic skill that requires to be developed. In other words, emotional intelligence is an evolving concept. Also, various challenges, such as organizational change processes, are a significant test of emotional intelligence. High levels of emotional intelligence make an individual all rounded in terms of the success of their relationships as well as their effective work performance.

Topic Statement: ways through which emotional intelligence can drive successful change in an organization

Research objectives
To establish how emotional intelligence facilitates successful change management.

Specific objectives
To establish the presence of employee resistance, frustration, and confusion during organizational change. To identify ways through which emotional intelligence can diminish resistance, confusion, and frustration during the implementation of change initiatives.

Research Design and Methodology
According to a research conducted to establish the impact of emotional intelligence on organizational change, the primary method of collecting data involved the use of questionnaires. Asking questions facilitated the communication of feelings from the respondents concerning diverse aspects of organizational change. The research design entailed the use of few questions, with substantive responses to avoid survey fatigue and encourage participation (Malone 55). The questions were asked on a monthly basis, with each month focusing on one organizational department. Following one month after the implementation of change, a department would submit individuals in the management, operations, and other staff roles to respond to particular questions to establish the impact of change processes. Once each department submitted their responses to the questions (in the appendix section), they were thanked for their feedback, thereby developing continued trust.

Results and Analysis
The results of the study were primary aimed at enhancing the understanding about the concerns of the employees. Through the building of trust, the leadership was able to enhance the development of emotional intelligence among the employees, to a point where their input was considered as valuable to the overall success of the organization. From the study, social awareness can be seen as key to the successful transition of an organization, by adopting changes that are embraced by the stakeholders involved. The responses to the questions in the questionnaire were focused on establishing how the strong emotions among employees at different levels or roles can influence their reactions towards process of change, and influence their ability to accept or resist to change initiatives.

Significance of the Study
Conducting the research or the study was significant since it highlighted the impact of organizational change on employee performance. Moreover, it facilitated the assessment of emotional intelligence levels among the study participants. Understanding the emotional intelligence levels determines how the study participants will react to change initiatives. The study also facilitates the establishment of a link between emotional intelligence and successful organizational change management, and further provides recommendations on how to increase or enhance emotional intelligence levels among the study participants. The employees of every organizational level, including top-level management and general lower level employees, are likely to benefit from developed emotional intelligence.

Based on the analysis of literature conducted above, as well as the study involving the use of a questionnaire, the relevance of emotional intelligence in an organization can be seen among employees at different levels and departments within an organization. The most common aspect notable from the literature research is that the emotional competencies, such as self-awareness and social awareness, play a critical role in determining the reaction of employees towards change initiatives. It is important to also note that through emotional intelligence, the employees are able to benefit through numerous ways. For instance, besides the ability to embrace change as an advantage of harnessing emotional intelligence, it is vital to note that emotional intelligence further results in job satisfaction and enhanced employee performance. However, it is important to also seek to understand whether the concept of emotional intelligence only impacts on the internal environment of the firm, or can extend to the external environment to impact stakeholders, such as clients and customers. The customers of an organization are also directly affected by change processes of an organization. Therefore, do the customers of a firm need to enhance or develop their emotional intelligence, and if so, how can they develop it and what will be the expected outcome?

From the governmental research involving the questionnaire, it can be recommended that organizations use Kotter International’s Accelerate’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change, which provides an effective platform to approach change efforts. From Kotter’s model, it can be more effective to implement change, since the model guarantees better communication of change processes, as well as a step by step guideline to avoid confusion and frustration during change. The indicators of low emotional intelligence are denial or resistance, frustration, confusion, and a high turnover rate. Therefore, it can be recommended that employees should develop their emotional intelligence to enhance their ability to embrace organizational change. Change is often considered as being important since it results in a better working atmosphere, enhanced efficiency of operations, and enhanced organizational revenues among other merits. In developing the emotional intelligence levels, it can be recommended that the employees should engage in ways to manage their negative emotions in relation to organizational change. For instance, instead of judging the change as bad and a pathway towards job insecurity, the employees should analyze the initiatives for change from diverse viewpoints to enhance their ability to see the positive impacts of change. Moreover, practicing empathy and focusing on communicating how the change makes them feel is essential to adapting to change. From the questionnaire involved in the research, it can be seen that focusing on the overall well-being of the employees is a crucial step to developing emotional intelligence. That way, everyone can be aware of each other’s feelings, which is an important step in developing emotional intelligence. Another recommendation is that the employees should be aware of their stressors and work towards addressing them.

Current studies suggest that emotional intelligence is a critical factor in facilitating job satisfaction and increased performance by the employees. Through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management, the concept of emotional intelligence facilitates the achievement of successful change management, which means that change initiatives face minimal resistance and employees are not frustrated by the organizational changes. Research illustrates that emotional intelligence levels among a diverse workforce are likely to be uneven and proposes recommendations, through which emotional intelligence levels can be developed. For instance, knowing individual stressors, practicing empathy, and managing negative emotions help develop individual emotional intelligence levels. Emotional intelligence can be used as a tool for enhanced performance and successful change management by helping to mitigate stress, promoting the recognition of employee needs and interests, facilitating effective decision making, and facilitating recovery from challenging situations. Without emotional intelligence, change initiatives often encounter challenges.

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Works Cited
Derven, Marjorie. “Is Emotional Intelligence the Key to Effective Change Management?”. Main, 2018, Accessed 9 Oct 2018.
Goleman, Daniel, and Richard Boyatzis. “Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On?”. Harvard Business Review, 2017, Accessed 9 Oct 2018.
Grensing-Pophal, Lin. “How Emotional Intelligence Facilitates Change Management – L&D Daily Advisor”. L&D Daily Advisor, 2018, Accessed 9 Oct 2018.
MALONE, PATRICK. “What We Can All Learn From the Government About Organizational CHANGE.” TD: Talent Development, vol. 70, no. 12, Dec. 2016, pp. 52–57. EBSCOhost,
Rød, Anne, and Marita Fridjhon. Creating Intelligent Teams. KR Publishing, 2016. EBSCOhost,
Stahl, Ashley. “5 Ways to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence”. Forbes.Com, 2018, Accessed 9 Oct 2018.
Ugoani, John Nkeobuna Nnah. “Emotional intelligence and successful change management in the Nigerian banking industry.” (2017).