Female intuition and emotional intelligence linked to management success

FEMALE SENIOR managers who are more likely to influence change and make their mark on the companies they work for show higher emotional intelligence (EI) and have a more intuitive decision-making style

FEMALE SENIOR managers who are more likely to influence change and make their mark on the companies they work for show higher emotional intelligence (EI) and have a more intuitive decision-making style.

A study of 176 female managers also found a laissez faire leadership style, associated with a lower EI and low understanding of identifying and managing emotions, results in leaders offering little support to subordinates.

Another leadership style – transactional – was also related to lower levels of intuition, an autocratic type of leadership relying on transactions such as exchanging work conditions for outcomes.

The study, conducted by Swinburne University’s Centre for Neuropsychology, found female managers who displayed transformational leadership (the highest level) were likely to change workplace culture and showed an intuitive style of decision making and exhibited a higher EI.

The transformational leader emphasised the intrinsic value of effort and was able to articulate a clear vision for the future. These leaders were better at expressing their feelings to others, identifying and understanding the emotions of others.

“In times of change and uncertainty, it is this management style that is more important as managers size up a situation, integrate and assimilate large amounts of data and deal with incomplete information successfully,” said Luke Downey, PhD candidate at the Brain Sciences Institute.

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