Title

The relationship between emotional intelligence of school principals and their ability to identify the strengths or talents of a member of their leadership team

Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Rose McNeese

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

The role of high school administrators has become increasingly complex, as many school populations have reached the thousands. The responsibilities placed before school administrators, particularly principals' responsibilities, mirrors that of city management. School leaders are charged with the challenges of exhibiting expertise in the fields of educational leadership, instruction, facilities management all while developing and implementing a school mission with sincere purpose for the students and school community. Additionally, school administrators must be able to address the social-emotional needs of their staffs, students and school community. The purpose of this study was to illuminate effective leadership through an exploration of the relationship between emotional intelligence of school principals and their ability to identify the strengths or talents of a member of their leadership team. There were a total of 52 participants in this study, which consisted of 26 principals and 26 assistant principals/assistant administrators from all three school levels: elementary, middle, and high. The administrative participants were pairs; each participating principal was randomly paired with an assistant principal/assistant administrator from their school. The principals completed the Bar-On EQ-i 125 Emotional Intelligence Quotient Inventory, a survey, and a rating form in which they scored their paired administrator from a scale of 1-10, with increments of .10 on each of the StrengthsFinder Profile themes. The assistant principal/assistant administrator completed the StrengthsFinder Profile, and reported their top five strength themes. In order to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and the number of matched themes between the principal rating and the assistant principal/assistant administrator's results from the self-reporting StrengthsFinder Profile, correlation coefficients were calculated. Multiple regression techniques were used to explore the relationship between emotional intelligence scores, number of matched strengths, number of years the administrative pair had worked together and the total number of years the principal had served in the role of the principal. The correlation analysis revealed that there was no relationship between a principals' emotional intelligence and their ability to identify the top five strengths of their assistant principal/assistant administrator. Findings from the study may be used to restructure professional development for principals in order to increase their effectiveness as leaders, particularly in the area of strengths based leadership.