Emotional leadership: a phenomenological examination of emotions for Leadership Academy alumni

Longhurst, Terri, author
Davies, Timothy, advisor
Kuk, Linda, committee member
Anderson, Sharon, committee member
Hall, Bruce, committee member
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The act of leadership impacts leaders. With the increased acceptance of emotion, specifically emotional intelligence, in the workplace leaders interact and encounter more emotions than ever before. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to better understand how leaders, who have completed a State Leadership Academy, describe and interpret their emotion as leaders in their professional role. The emotional experiences of ten (10) Academy alumni were explored. Data were collected through individual in-depth, open ended interviews. Data were analyzed by using the major phenomenological research processes of Epoche, transcendental-phenomenological reduction, and imaginative variation. Three themes emerged from the data (a) sacrifice, (b) service, and (c) state. For participants, sacrifice was part of their role; making decisions is challenging, nonetheless they saw the peace and joy in this aspect of leadership. Participants were committed to serving their clients through hard work, being humble, and practicing reflection. Last, the participants were passionate about their organizations, communities, the Academy and the state. This study provided a glimpse into the emotional experiences of the participants; showed that participants have emotional experiences; and it showed that they do not always have a method to process these emotions. For many of the participants, the Academy provided that method of processing. Continuing to study the emotional experiences for deeper understanding on the impact will help expand the emotional lexicon of leaders and of leadership.
2014 Fall.
Rights Access
leadership programs
emotional intelligence
emotional leadership
emotions and the workplace
leadership development programs
Associated Publications