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Emotional Intelligence in the Health Care

EI Level and Leadership in the Health Care Environment

Not many people know how crucial the role of emotional intelligence for effective leadership can be. Kerr, Garvin, Heaton, and Boyle (2006) tell about the importance or even the necessity of cooperation of such processes like thinking and feeling and develop a theory “on the extent to which people’s cognitive capabilities are informed by emotions and the extent to which emotions are cognitively managed” (p. 265). Leadership, in its turn, is considered to be an ability of a person to influence human behavior and predetermine the outcomes of their activities. In fact, leadership is a kind of emotional process. Its success depends on how fast and properly a leader is able to recognize the emotions of his/her workers, make the necessary conclusions, and do something adequately.

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Nursing is the sphere of life, where leadership means a lot because it does not only define the quality of medical workers but also influences human lives directly. It is very important for a leader to have a high level of emotional intelligence in order to be able to “read” the emotions, predict the intentions, and control them in a proper way regarding personal leadership needs. A high developed level of emotional intelligence promotes the ability to “engage sophisticated information processing about one’s own and others’ emotions and the ability to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior” (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2008, p. 503). As a rule, a high level of EI may enhance effective leadership in the health care environment, offer some new ideas on how to organize the work, and introduce good approaches to improve the chosen sphere. However, a poor level of EI usually hinders the development of leadership abilities and creates certain challenges in the field. People should try their best to work on their emotional recognition and improve it in practice.

With the help of special tests and quizzes, it is possible for an ordinary person to check the level of emotional intelligence and learn how to use it in a good way. For example, the identification of my own emotional intelligence levels helps me realize that I am able to read other people and clearly understand what they want and feel. I have a chance to become a better leader in the health care sphere as my skills help to realize what people actually think of what is offered, ordered, etc. Some leaders do not pay much to the emotions of others as they do not find them crucial in the work performed. I think that, in fact, emotions define the quality and results of work considerably. It may happen that people do not want to talk about their fears or doubts. Good leaders should detect any of these emotions to eliminate them or, at least, not make them an obstacle to the way to organizational success.

Results and Core Themes of the EI Quiz

The results of the EI quiz, as well as the entire process, turn out to be rather interesting and helpful. It is not only a captivating task to analyze the emotions of different people in the pictures. It is an educative process that explains each emotion and its possible effects. For example, it is a new thing for me that the only distinctive feature of love and happiness is a tilt of the head to a particular side. The only thing that confuses me is the inability to distinguish interest from surprise as I believed that it was enough for a person to have straight-up eyebrows and a slight smile. However, an open mouth was the main thing that differentiated the emotions. I could not help but get confused because the offered emotion of surprise was more like amusement. And I am the kind of person, who does not believe that amusement and surprise are similar things.

There were also two more emotions that made me think sometimes: anger and pain. On the one hand, it is clear that the expression of pain differs from anger due to the necessity to protect the body against possible physical or emotional hurt. On the other hand, I am the person that usually gets angry as soon as I feel pain. This is why the necessity to press the lips together (anger expression) makes me believe that this is a pain characteristic based on the necessity to be protected and restrained.

At the same time, it was rather captivating to compare my results of the test with the test results offered by my friends and family. I was amazed that my mom could not guess half of the emotions offered, and my friends have scores lower than mine. So, the fact that I got 19 from 20 impressed me a lot. I start thinking about the possibility to play poker. At the same time, I believe that I already have one of the points that a good leader should have, and I am ready to improve my qualities to become a considerable part of the health care system.


Kerr, R., Garvin, J., Heaton, N., & Boyle, E. (2006). Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 27(4), 265-279.

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Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D.R. (2008). Emotional intelligence: New ability or eclectic traits? American Psychologist, 63(6), 503-517.

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