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The emotional and socialintelligences of effectiveleadershipAn emotional and social skill approachRonald E. Riggio and Rebecca J. ReichardKravis Leadership Institute, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont,California, USAAbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a framework for conceptualizing the role ofemotional and social skills in effective leadership and management and provides preliminarysuggestions for research and for the development of leader emotional and social skills.Design/methodology/approach – The paper generalizes a dyadic communications framework inorder to describe the process of emotional and social exchanges between leaders and their followers.Findings – The paper shows how emotional skills and complementary social skills are essential foreffective leadership through a literature review and discussion of ongoing research and a researchagenda.Practical implications – Suggestions for the measurement and development of emotional andsocial skills for leaders and managers are offered.Originality/value – The work provides a framework for emotional and social skills in order toillustrate their role in leadership and their relationship to emotional and social intelligences. It outlinesa research agenda and advances thinking of the role of developable emotional and social skills formanagers.Keywords Emotional intelligence, Social skills, Leadership developmentPaper type Conceptual paperIn his classic work on managerial skills, Mintzberg (1973) listed specific interpersonalskills (i.e. the ability to establish and maintain social networks; the ability to deal withsubordinates; the ability to empathize with top-level leaders) as critical for managerialeffectiveness. Even earlier than 1973, researchers examined the role of broadinterpersonal skills, such as empathy, social skills, and tact, in predicting leadershipemergence and effectiveness (see Bass, 1990 for a review). Managers, executives, andhuman resources professionals clearly understand the importance of stronginterpersonal skills. A common theoretical framework linking emotional and socialskills with leadership effectiveness is necessary to guide research and the assessmentand training and development of organizational leaders.This paper takes a framework for understanding the emotional and social skills thatunderlie any form of interpersonal communication, and applies it specifically to leaderand managerial processes and outcomes. We make comparisons between thisemotional/social skill approach and the emerging constructs of emotional and socialintelligences – two other constructs that were developed in the sphere of interpersonalcommunication and later applied to management. Further, in a series of researchpropositions we discuss how specific types of skills should play an important part inThe current issue and full text archive of this journal is available atwww.emeraldinsight.com/0268-3946.htmThe intelligencesof effectiveleadership169Journal of Managerial PsychologyVol. 23 No. 2, 2008pp. 169-185q Emerald Group Publishing Limited0268-3946DOI 10.1108/02683940810850808effective leadership and management. Based on existing research and our researchpropositions we present an agenda for further investigation of emotional and socialskills and leadership. Finally, we discuss the measurement of emotional and socialskills and their practical implications for leadership development.Emotional and social skillsEarly research on social skills focused primarily on clinical populations, using socialskills assessment and training as a means of understanding and treating certain formsof psychopathology or problems in psychosocial adjustment (Curran and Monti, 1982;Trower et al., 1978). At the same time, emotion researchers began to examine the role ofemotional skills in social interaction and interpersonal relationships. For example,Gottman and his colleagues (Gottman, 1982; Gottman and Levenson, 1986; Gottmanand Porterfield, 1981) stressed the role of effective communication of emotions in themaintenance and development of marriages. Possessing emotional and social skillswas also associated with higher quality social relationships and more supportive socialsupport systems (Riggio et al., 1993; Riggio and Zimmerman, 1991). Moreover, deficitsin emotional skill have been implicated in certain forms of psychopathology, leading tolow levels of social and emotional competence that can break down family and otherrelationships (Perez and Riggio, 2003; Philippot et al., 2003).Research on emotional skills, primarily associated with investigations of nonverbaland emotional communication (Friedman, 1979; Riggio, 2006; Rosenthal, 1979), pavedthe way for the construct of emotional intelligence. First presented by Salovey andMayer (1990), but popularized by Daniel Goleman (1995, 1998), emotional intelligence(referred to as EI or EQ) is a multidimensional construct that is likened to verbalintelligence, or IQ. Both IQ and EQ are composed of different and somewhat distinctabilities.The soundest approach to emotional intelligence is the abilities model suggested bySalovey, Mayer and colleagues (Caruso et al., 2002; Mayer et al., 2000; Salovey andMayer, 2004). The abilities model consists of four general emotional abilities:(1) identifying emotions, which involves the ability to recognize emotions in oneselfand others, as well as the ability to express emotions;(2) using emotions to facilitate thinking, which involves using emotions toimproving thinking processes and harness the power of positive moods;(3) understanding emotions, including the complexities and subtleties of emotionsas well as their interrelationships; and(4) managing emotions, which involves skills in regulating and controlling feltemotions in a positive fashion.This four-factor structure of emotional intelligence is typically measured with theMayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT; Salovey et al., 2004), aperformance-based assessment tool.Emotional skills are related to the ability to accurately express, read, andunderstand emotions; all of which are components of emotional intelligence. However,EI is broader than the emotional skills approach, since it also includes the ways thatemotions inform mental processing. Emotional skills represent the more “social”JMP23,2170elements of emotional intelligence in that they focus on how emotions are conveyedbetween or among individuals in social interaction.Social skills represent a broader range of abilities that is most closely linked to theconstruct of social intelligence. Although social intelligence, the ability to think and actwisely in social situations, was first explored by psychologist Edward Thorndike(1920), and later by Guilford (1967) in his model of “behavioral intelligence,” it is only inthe last few years that social intelligence has been popularized by Goleman (2006) andAlbrecht (2006). Social skills that are key components of social intelligence include thefollowing: the ability to express oneself in social interactions, the ability to “read” andunderstand different social situations, knowledge of social roles, norms, and scripts,interpersonal problem-solving skills, and social role-playing skills. Interestingly,although social intelligence has been connected to effective social functioning ingeneral (Cantor and Kihlstrom, 1987) and to effective leadership specifically (Zaccaro,2002), there has been no agreed-upon framework outlining the specific dimensions ofsocial intelligence or ways to measure it. We argue that our emotional and social skillsframework is not only more parsimonious than these previous models of social andemotional intelligence, but it also has the advantages of the availability of validmeasurement and an emphasis on skills that are open to development.Proposed framework of emotional and social skills and leadershipIn this paper, we expand on a model of emotional and social skills proposed by Riggioand colleagues (Riggio, 1986; Riggio and Carney, 2003; Reichard and Riggio, 2008) andapply it to the domain of leadership effectiveness. This framework, which is groundedin basic research on interpersonal communication, suggests that emotional and socialcommunication can be conceptualized as composed of three basic skills: skill inexpression, or what communication scholars refer to as encoding skill, skill inrecognizing and decoding messages from others, and skill in regulating and controllingcommunication behaviors. Each of these three skills operate in both the emotionaldomain (emotional skills) and in the verbal/social domain (social skills).As shown in Table I, the three emotional skills are:(1) emotional expressiveness;(2) emotional sensitivity; and(3) emotional control.While emotional expressiveness is the ability to communicate nonverbally, especiallywhen sending emotional messages, emotional sensitivity refers to skill in receiving andinterpreting the nonverbal, or emotional, expressions of others. Finally, emotionalcontrol refers to regulating nonverbal and emotional displays.The three corresponding social skills are labeled:(1) social expressiveness;(2) social sensitivity; and(3) social control.Social expressiveness is ability to communicate verbally and skill in engaging others insocial interaction. Social sensitivity is verbal listening skill, but also ability to “read”social situations, and general knowledge of social rules and norms. Social control refersThe intelligencesof effectiveleadership171to sophisticated social role-playing skills and tact in social situations. These threebroad social skills represent the communicative elements that are associated withmodels of social intelligence (see Guilford, 1967; Riggio, 1986), as well as relatedconstructs such as social insight and perspective-taking (Chapin, 1942; Davis, 1983;Hogan, 1969; see also Riggio et al., 1991). Here, we argue these are the key emotionaland social skills necessary for effective leadership.Emotional expressiveness and leadership P1.Emotional expressiveness is positively associated with perceptions of aleader’s charisma and effectiveness. As noted, emotional expressiveness is the ability to convey emotional messages toothers and, we argue, is an essential component of successful leadership. For example,the role of emotional expressiveness in leadership has been closely associated withcharismatic leadership (see Bass, 1990; Riggio, 1987). Specifically, research hasdemonstrated that the manipulation of a leader’s emotional expressiveness can lead toperceptions of charisma (Cherulnik et al., 2001; Howell and Frost, 1989), and thatemotionally expressive leaders were, in fact, more effective (Groves, 2006). Charismaticleaders use their ability to express emotions to rouse and motivate followers and tobuild strong emotional ties with them. There is a great deal of evidence that expressiveindividuals are evaluated more positively in social encounters, are rated as being morephysically attractive, have a broader network of social ties, and are more confidentpublic speakers – all characteristics that are associated with charisma (Friedman et al.,Skill Definition Examples of leader behaviorsEmotionalexpressivenessSkill in communicating nonverbally,especially in sending emotionalmessages, nonverbal expression ofattitudes, dominance, and interpersonalorientationMotivating/inspiring followers;conveying positive affect and regardEmotionalsensitivitySkill in receiving and interpreting theemotional and nonverbalcommunications of othersUnderstanding followers’ needs andfeelings; establishing rapportEmotional control Skill in controlling and regulating one’sown emotional and nonverbal displays,especially conveying or maskingemotions on cueRegulating inappropriate emotions;masking or stifling the expression ofstrong emotionsSocialexpressivenessSkill in verbal expression and theability to engage others in socialdiscoursePublic speaking; persuasion; coachingSocial sensitivity Skill in interpreting the verbalcommunication of others; ability tounderstand social situations, socialnorms, and rolesEffective, active listening; regulatingand monitoring of social behaviorSocial control Skill in role-playing and socialself-presentationBeing tactful; leader impressionmanagement; social and leaderself-efficacyNote: Definitions adapted from Riggio and Carney (2003)Table I.The emotional and socialskills framework:definitions and leaderbehaviorsJMP23,21721980, 1988; Riggio, 1986). Although individuals vary in their degree of natural andspontaneous expressiveness, the ability to express emotions can be developed (Riggio,1987; Taylor, 2002).Of course, emotional expressiveness is not the only emotional skill possessed bysuccessful charismatic leaders. Charismatic leaders are able to regulate their emotionaldisplays and are sensitive to followers’ needs and emotions (Conger and Kanungo,1998; Riggio, 1987). The transfer of emotions in charismatic leadership is a reciprocalprocess, known as “emotional contagion,” in which leaders express emotions tofollowers, and leaders “feed off” the emotional reactions of followers (Reichard andRiggio, 2008). For instance, transformational and charismatic leaders use emotionalexpressiveness to move and inspire followers, and the transmission of emotions hasbeen well documented (Bono and Ilies, 2006; Friedman and Riggio, 1981). P2.Leader emotional expressiveness is positively associated with a positiveemotional climate in followers. Research supports the relationship between emotional expressiveness and aspects ofcharismatic leadership and the charismatic leadership process (i.e. emotionalcontagion). We propose that leaders also use skill in emotional expression to foster apositive emotional climate in the group or organization. For example, leaders such asSouthwest Airlines’ Herb Kelleher and Cisco Systems’ John Chambers, became wellknown for their ability to create and sustain a positive emotional climate among theiremployees. Research has demonstrated that positive affect in a work group is related tobetter group motivation and coordination (Barsade, 2002; Sy et al., 2005) and to bettertask performance, particularly on creative tasks (Isen, 2004). Furthermore, according toFredrickson’s “broaden and build theory,” positive emotions increase attention andcognition resulting in upward spirals of positive emotional well being (Fredrickson andJoiner, 2002). In a recent series of studies, Bono and Ilies (2006) demonstrated thatcharismatic leaders who experienced and expressed positive emotions had moresatisfied followers who rated their leader as more effective and Halverson (2004) foundthat the contagion of positive emotions was related both to positive perceptions ofleaders and followers’ incidence of organizational citizenship behaviors.In certain situations, of course, leaders need to convey negative emotions, such asdispleasure with a colleague’s performance or disapproval of a course of action.Effective sending of such negative emotional messages requires particular skills inboth emotional expression and emotional control in order to convey displeasure, butnot more extreme emotions such as irritation, frustration, or anger, which might becounterproductive and damage the leader-colleague relationship.Emotional sensitivity and leadership P3.Leader emotional sensitivity is positively associated with high qualityleader-member relationships. Emotional sensitivity is the ability to read and decode others’ emotional and nonverbalmessages. Originally conceptualized as leader empathy (Bass, 1960, 1990), emotionalsensitivity allows leaders to gauge the emotional reactions and general emotional toneof a group. We propose that coupled with the ability to express emotions accurately,emotional sensitivity is critical to the development of a strong relationship between aThe intelligencesof effectiveleadership173leader and individual followers (as well as the development of close relationships withsupervisors and with managerial peers).It is in the genre of recent leadership theories such as leader-member exchange(LMX) and transformational theories that a leader’s emotional sensitivity is especiallyhighlighted. The importance of emotional sensitivity is perhaps best illustrated by thetransformational leadership component of individualized consideration. Individualizedconsideration refers to the transformational leader’s ability to be aware of specificfollower feelings and needs and to be responsive to them (Bass and Riggio, 2006).Indeed, one of the most common complaints about otherwise technically competentmanagers is that they are “unresponsive to” or “out of touch with” team members,suggesting low levels of emotional sensitivity.Specifically, the development of high-functioning work teams requires stronginterpersonal relationships, with team members sensitive to one another’s moods,attitudes, and needs. Drawing on LMX research, Uhl-Bien (2003) asserted that thedevelopment of relationships between leaders and followers as well as among teammembers is critical to leader and managerial effectiveness. In fact, she argued thatgiving greater attention to the development of relationship-building skills in managerswould enhance leadership development efforts. P4.Leader emotional sensitivity is associated with better assessment of negativemoods among followers. We further propose that a leader’s emotional sensitivity can also be important inassessing negative moods in the workplace. With increasing concern aboutdysfunctional emotions and behaviors in the workplace, including expressions ofanger leading to acts of violence, the emotionally sensitive manager may be able topick up on a follower’s negative affect and take action before negative emotionsescalate and lead to counterproductive work behaviors, or before the disgruntledemployee influences others (Ostell, 1996).Emotional control and leadership P5.Leader emotional control is positively associated with leader impressionmanagement and effective leadership under stress. Emotional control, the ability to regulate both the expression and experience ofemotions, or intra-individual regulation, is a critical component of emotional skill andis particularly important in the workplace (Cote, 2005; Gross, 1998, 1999; Riggio, 2006).Whereas strong emotions, positive and negative, are often freely expressed in the homeor in the context of personal relationships, the expression of emotions in the workplaceis typically more subtle and subdued requiring more skill in emotional control.We propose that emotional control is an important element of effective leadershipbecause leaders of all types must often stifle the expression of their felt emotionalstates to create a calm and controlled impression. In fact, there is an extensive literatureon the role of impression management in leadership (e.g. Gardner and Avolio, 1998;Sosik et al., 2002), and controlling the expression of emotions is an important part ofimpression management (Chemers, 1997; Giacalone and Rosenfeld, 1991). The mostcommonly researched construct related to emotional regulation and impressionmanagement is called emotional labor. According to Ashforth and Humphrey (1993),JMP23,2174emotional labor refers to the display of expected emotions by service agents duringservice encounters and has some negative consequences depending on the intensity ofthe expression (i.e. surface acting versus deep acting). These concepts of impressionmanagement and emotional labor have been extended to the leadership domain (e.g.Wong and Law, 2002).We suggest that there are a variety of leadership situations that require emotionalregulation. For example, emotional control and impression management areparticularly important during a crisis, which Mitroff (2007) argues every leader inevery organization will eventually face. Managing emotions during crises can be animportant skill for leaders to develop, especially because the emotional sensitivity offollowers is extremely heightened in these situations. Other situations that may requireemotional regulation and impression management include engaging in heatednegotiations, interviewing for a position, and reprimanding a subordinate.Social expressiveness and leadership P6.Leader social expressiveness is associated with leader emergence and upwardleader career progression. We propose that social expressiveness, or verbal speaking skill and fluency and theability to engage others in social interaction, is important for leaders. For example, theeloquence of great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Winston Churchill, andFranklin Delano Roosevelt suggest that being able to express one-self clearly andcompellingly can be a powerful social skill. In addition, leaders need to engage othersin conversation, such as knowing how to “work a room”. We propose that as managersrise in the hierarchy to higher levels of leadership, speaking skill and thus skill in socialexpressiveness will become more and more important. In one study of fire serviceofficers/leaders, we observed increases in social expressiveness and other social skillsmoving up the organizational hierarchy (Riggio et al., 2003).We further propose that social expressiveness is also important in one-on-onesituations such as conducting interviews and in performance evaluation or coachingsessions. There is evidence that verbal articulation and the ability to engage others iscritical in the interview situation (Riggio and Throckmorton, 1988). Likewise, skill inverbal expression should be important when providing sensitive feedback toemployees regarding their performance, although effective coaching likely calls intoplay a wide range of both social and emotional skills.Social sensitivity and leadership P7.Leader social sensitivity is positively associated with leader careerprogression and leadership success. Social sensitivity is the ability to read and interpret social situations, as opposed to theemotional sensitivity’s focus on reading others’ feelings. Social sensitivity also includesknowledge of social norms, roles and scripts. We argue that both emotional and socialsensitivity allow managers to truly know and understand what individual workers andthe work group are feeling and experiencing. This helps the leader navigate duringinteractions with followers and the work team.The intelligencesof effectiveleadership175In addition to monitoring the social situation and other people’s behaviors, anotheraspect of social sensitivity involves the ability to monitor one’s own social behavior.This is closely related to the well-researched construct of self-monitoring (Snyder, 1974,1987). It has been suggested that self-monitoring is a way of conceptualizing generalsocial skills/competence, as factor analyses of the Self-Monitoring Scale have shownthat it is composed of three factors:(1) extraversion (similar to social expressivity);(2) other-directedness (the element of social sensitivity that involves observingoneself in social situations); and(3) acting (similar to the skill of social control) (Briggs et al., 1980).It has been argued that because it is not a unitary construct, self-monitoring is actuallya surrogate for a broader range of social skills (Riggio and Friedman, 1982). This isperhaps the reason why self-monitoring has been found to be an important predictor ofleader emergence (Day et al., 2002).Finally, it is proposed that social sensitivity is also important in understanding andmanaging one’s career path. This aspect of social sensitivity is similar to whatSternberg and associates have called tacit knowledge (Sternberg, 2002; Sternberg andWagner, 1986). Tacit knowledge consists of the unspoken rules that an individualneeds to be successful in a given position, role, or social environment.Social control and leadership P8.Leader social control is positively associated with leader self-efficacy andability to enact the leadership role. Social control is defined as skill in role-playing and social self-presentation and isperhaps the most critical leadership social skill. Managing people and leading groupseffectively involves a very complex social role. The skill of social control has beenlikened to “savoir-faire” or “knowing what to do” and is associated with being tactfuland socially competent (Eaton et al., 2007). Research has found that the skill of socialcontrol is related to the emergence of leaders in small groups and to their ratedeffectiveness, presumably because they are able to better enact the role of aprototypical leader (Riggio et al., 2003). Again, this skill of control over one’s socialbehavior combines with emotional control to create an individual who isextraordinarily effective in playing the complex role of leader.There is considerable evidence that the possession of social control is related to asense of confidence and self-efficacy in social situations (Riggio et al., 1990).Self-assuredness and a belief in one’s ability to lead are instrumental for effectiveleadership (Murphy, 2002) and are critical for a leader’s ability to engage in imagemanagement (Chemers, 1997).DiscussionBased on existing research and in a series of research propositions, we have presenteda framework for emotional and social skills, and discussed how these are related, orshould be related, to important leadership processes and outcomes. Specifically, skill inemotional expressiveness, emotional sensitivity, and emotional control should result inJMP23,2176such leadership behaviors and outcomes as motivating and inspiring followers,understanding followers’ needs and feelings, and regulating inappropriate emotions.The social skills, including social expressiveness, social sensitivity, and social control,are expected to contribute to such leadership processes and outcomes as publicspeaking, coaching, effective listening, and impression management.Understanding the role of emotional and social skills in effective leadership: a researchagendaAlthough there has been some preliminary research on understanding the role thatemotional and social skills play in leadership effectiveness, there is a great deal ofresearch that is either in progress, or yet to be done. Models of emotional and socialskills, such as the one presented here, have been used almost exclusively by social andclinical psychologists who have been concerned with understanding effectiveinterpersonal communication. Extending emotional and social skill research to thedomain of leadership will allow a deeper understanding of the specific processesleaders use to influence and affect followers. This will allow insights into how to betterdevelop leaders, a topic that we will discuss shortly.Existing research has demonstrated that emotional expressiveness is a keycomponent in charismatic leadership, and it is related to a leader’s ability to inspire,and presumably motivate, followers via the emotional contagion process (e.g. Groves,2006; Reichard and Riggio, 2008). Research also has shown that the expression ofpositive emotions has a positive effect on groups (e.g. Bono and Ilies, 2006). Less isknown about how leaders express negative emotions (disapproval, anger,disappointment) and what the expression of negative emotions might mean forgroup performance and affective climate. One possibility is that skilled and controlledexpression of negative emotions is particularly important for leaders in the workplaceto avoid “demotivating” workers or preventing the build up of resentment andresistance. While skilled emotional expressiveness may be the key, effective expressionof negative affect likely involves skills in expression, emotional regulation/control, andemotional sensitivity (in order to gauge how the negative affect is being received byfollowers).In recent years, there has been considerable research interest in the role of emotionalsensitivity, or the ability to “decode” emotions in the workplace. Some of this researchhas used measures of emotional decoding skill as a surrogate for emotional intelligence(Rubin et al., 2005), and other studies have explored the notion of emotional“eavesdropping” (ability to decode others’ emotions even when they are not intendingto convey them; Elfenbein and Ambady, 2002). One reason for the research interest inemotional decoding is that there are a number of validated measures available toresearchers, as we will outline in the next section. This interest in the ability to “read”others’ emotions makes sense. As noted earlier, emotional sensitivity is at the core ofleader “empathy” and is likely critical to the building of effective leader-memberrelations. Yet, the exact role of emotional sensitivity in effective leadership is largelyunexplored, and offers fertile ground for researchers.Similar to the recent interest in emotional sensitivity, there is exploding interest inpeoples’ abilities to regulate and control emotions. Some of this research has beenconducted by neuroscientists who are interested in how emotional regulation plays arole in coping with life stress (Gross, 2007). Other work suggests that there areThe intelligencesof effectiveleadership177connections between emotional control and general social competence (Gross, 1998).Although it seems obvious that an effective leader must possess good skills inemotional control, particularly during crises (i.e. remaining “calm, cool, and collected”),there has been relatively little research on the role of emotional control in leadership. Itis also important to note here that emotional skills may not necessarily be a case where“more is better.” Our research, and particularly our training work, has shown, forexample, that individuals who are particularly good at controlling and masking theiremotional expressions (and especially if they are not emotionally expressive) seemdistant and aloof. We have demonstrated that an “imbalance” in possession ofemotional and social skills is related to poorer psychosocial adjustment in clinicalgroups (Perez et al., 2007), and we expect that the same relationship exists betweensocial skill imbalances and poor leadership.There is a growing body of evidence that social skills, particularly skills in socialexpressiveness and social control (role-playing skill) are related to effectiveness ingeneral social situations (Eaton et al., 2006; Riggio and Carney, 2003), and to leaderemergence and rated leader effectiveness (Riggio et al., 2003). Research in progress isexploring how these social skills relate to leader impression management, and whethersocial skills can predict the rate at which leaders progress through the leadership ranksover time. The recent interest in social intelligence (e.g. Goleman, 2006) should alsospur research on leader social intelligence, particularly since it has been demonstratedthat social skill measures may serve as an indicator of general social intelligence(Riggio et al., 1991).Finally, social sensitivity, which is a combination of effective listening and ability todecode and understand social situations, seems to be critically important for a leader’ssuccess. It is interesting to note that although effective listening is generally believed tobe an important skill for success in social life (and, of course, leadership), a review ofthe literature finds no empirical studies that have looked specifically at listening andleadership. Part of the problem is that it is difficult to operationally define effectivelistening. Again, using social sensitivity as a surrogate measure of listening maystimulate research in this area.Practical implications: assessing and developing a leader’s emotional and social skillsCommon sense and some research evidence suggest that highly developed emotionaland social skills should give leaders a decided advantage. To this end, we haveconducted workshops and other training programs to assess and develop individuals’emotional and social skills. Initially, this work was done with the “general population,”such as groups of students and workers (Riggio, 1987; Taylor, 2002). Our research hasalso explored the role of these skills in psychopathology/social adjustment using thegeneral population (Riggio et al., 2003) and clinical groups (Perez et al., 2007). Assuggested here, however, we have in the past decade applied general emotional andsocial skill training to leaders and followers. While rigorous evaluation of thesetraining efforts is yet unpublished, it is clear that the majority of leaders/managerswho have undergone these training programs find it a valuable learning experience.Indeed, we offer it as a concrete, skill-based alternative to workshops designed toimprove emotional intelligence (and more recently, social intelligence). We will hereexplain the rationale behind our emotional and social skill training programs and thegeneral processes involved.JMP23,2178We have suggested that emotional skills of expressiveness and sensitivity areimportant in motivating others and in developing good working relationships.Emotional regulation and control over strong, felt emotions is also a critical skill andplays an important part in impression management. Social expressiveness is related tothe leader’s “presence” and presentational skills, while social sensitivity allows theleader to analyze social situations, be an effective listener, and to monitor oneself andthe situation. Finally, social control is closely linked to ability to play the complexleadership role. The question is, however, whether managers can easily developemotional and social skills, and how to go about it.The first step in a program designed to improve emotional and social skills is toassess the leader’s current level of skills. There have been two broad approaches formeasuring emotional and social skills:(1) performance-based assessments; and(2) self-report measures.Performance-based measures of emotional skill include instruments such as the Profileof Nonverbal Sensitivity (PONS; Rosenthal et al., 1979), the Brief Affect RecognitionTest (BART; Ekman and Friesen, 1974), and the Diagnostic Analysis of NonverbalAccuracy (DANVA; Nowicki and Duke, 1994, 2001). These tests consist of videos orphotographs of enacted emotions with respondents’ accuracy at decoding representingtheir scores on emotional sensitivity. The ability to accurately express emotions hasalso been assessed through performance-based measures by having individuals posebasic facial expressions (e.g. happiness, sadness, anger, etc.) on cue (or by triggeringnatural emotional expressions), video recording these expressions, and having judgesattempt to decode them. The percentage of judges who correctly identify the expressedemotions constitutes the individual’s emotional expressiveness score.Standardized performance measures of emotional expressiveness and emotionalregulation/control have not been developed. These emotional abilities have beenmeasured with various self-report instruments (see Riggio, 2006, Riggio and Riggio,2005, for reviews). This parallels the measurement of emotional intelligence, whichtends to be self-report in nature with the exception of the MSCEIT, aperformance-based test (see MacCann et al., 2003, for a review).The measurement of social skills and social intelligence has also relied on bothperformance-based and self-report measures (e.g. Marlowe, 1986). Examples ofperformance-based measures include the O’Sullivan and Guilford (1976) tests of socialintelligence and the Interpersonal Perception Task (Costanzo and Archer, 1989), whichmeasures both the ability to read social situations and emotional/nonverbal cues. Inaddition, social skills in clinical populations have been measured through the use oftrained observers who assess social skills while watching individuals interact in socialsituations. The Social Skills Inventory (SSI; Riggio and Carney, 2003) is a 90-itemself-report measure that assesses the three basic emotional skills (emotionalexpressiveness, emotional sensitivity, emotional control) and the correspondingsocial skills (social expressiveness, social sensitivity, and social control) associatedwith the framework presented earlier. The SSI has been used extensively in research tomeasure possession of basic emotional and social skills in a variety of contexts. Mostrecently, the SSI has been used to measure the emotional and social skills of leadersThe intelligencesof effectiveleadership179and the extent to which possession of these skills relate to leader effectiveness (e.g.Riggio et al., 2003).In research and in workshops, the self-report Social Skills Inventory allows arudimentary assessment on each of the six skill dimensions in comparison to norms(see Riggio and Carney, 2003). This allows some indication of skill strengths and areasthat need attention. Yet, the various emotional and social skills interact to some extent.For example, although emotional expressiveness and sensitivity are typicallycorrelated (if you can express emotions well, you are usually able to decode others’emotional messages; Riggio, 1986), low expressiveness and high sensitivity mayindicate someone who is shy and perhaps hypersensitive to others’ emotions. Similarly,high emotional expressiveness and low emotional control may be indicative ofsomeone who is emotionally “out of control” (in an extreme sense, think of comediansRobin Williams or Jim Carrey). The opposite, low expressiveness and high emotionalcontrol suggests someone who appears emotionally distant and aloof. When it comes topossession of emotional and social skills, we propose that a balance among the variousskill dimensions is important. For example, one study with a clinical population foundthat it was the imbalances among the various skill dimensions that are most predictiveof psychopathology and social adjustment problems more so than the total amount ofemotional and social skills (Perez et al., 2007).The self-report assessments can be bolstered by using a performance-basedmeasurement instrument, such as the Interpersonal Perception Task (IPT), which is avideotape of actual live scenes of social interactions designed to measure sensitivity toemotional, nonverbal, and social cues. By providing feedback about correct andincorrect responses, participants can also receive some instruction about which cuesthey should attend to and about the role that common biases and stereotypes play inaccurate analysis of social situations. Research has shown improvement in emotionaland social sensitivity for trainees who use the IPT to practice identifying subtlenonverbal and social cues (Costanzo, 1992).Feedback is very important in honing emotional skills in particular becausenonverbal cues of emotion, unlike verbal statements, are subtle and occur outside ofnormal spheres of awareness. Therefore, workshops to develop emotional and socialskills make liberal use of videotaped performances, role-playing sessions, and otherexercises with detailed feedback provided by both the workshop facilitators and otherparticipants. The use of 360-degree feedback from a leader’s typical followers, peers,supervisors, and relevant others, can also be a valuable source of feedback.Targeted training interventions to help leaders achieve the optimal levels ofemotional and social skills may include role-playing scenarios and reviewingvideotaped performances, development of verbal and nonverbal “listening skills”,exercises in emotional expression and control, and keeping a diary of emotionalsituations and reflecting on them.While there is considerable evidence in the clinical psychology literature that socialskill training is effective in overcoming problems in social engagement andovercoming social reticence and shyness (Carducci, 1999, Trower et al., 1978), morerecent evidence has demonstrated that emotional skills, particularly expressiveness,could be improved during a multi-week training session (Taylor, 2002). Throughtargeted training, relying on accurate assessment, and constructive feedback, theemotional and social skills of leaders can be improved.JMP23,2180ConclusionThere is little doubt that “people skills” – ability to communicate effectively, tomanage social interactions and social relationships – are critical for today’s successfulleaders. To conceptualize these critical leader abilities, this paper draws on earlyresearch on emotional and social skills in psychology, and demonstrates how anemotional and social skill framework both relates to and can play a role in thedevelopment of effective workplace leaders. The parallels between the emotional andsocial skills framework and the new construct of emotional intelligence, and the olderconstruct of social intelligence, are noted. We suggest that emotional and social skillscan be targeted for assessment and development and can be an important componentof a leadership development program. 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