Pygmalion leadership, also known as the Pygmalion effect, is a term used to describe the phenomenon where people perform better when they are expected to perform better. A Pygmalion leader is someone who has the ability to inspire others to achieve their full potential by expecting the best from them. They believe in their team’s abilities and motivate them to succeed. Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in Pygmalion leadership as it helps the leaders build strong relationships with their team members, understand their emotions and influence them positively. In this article, we will explore Pygmalion leadership and its connection with emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence & Pygmalion Leadership
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise, understand and manage one’s emotions and those of others. It plays a significant role in leadership as it helps leaders connect with their team members on an emotional level. A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence understands the importance of positive reinforcement, clear communication, and empathy.
Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, explains, “The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents.” A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence knows that their role is to support and empower their team members to reach their full potential, and they do not see their team’s success as a threat to their own. They recognise and appreciate their team’s strengths and are always willing to learn from their team members.
As a Pygmalion leader, it is essential to have a growth mindset and encourage their team members to have a growth mindset too. Dr Carol Dweck, a psychologist and author of the book Mindset, said, “The growth mindset is a belief that intelligence can be developed. It allows people to enjoy learning and embrace challenges.” A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence recognises the importance of developing a growth mindset in their team members as it allows them to believe in their abilities to grow and learn.
A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence knows that it is not enough to have high expectations from their team members. They must also provide the necessary support and resources to help their team members succeed. Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager, once said, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence understands the importance of influence and uses it to build strong relationships with their team members.
Emotional Intelligence & Pygmalion Leadership Summary
In conclusion, Pygmalion leadership and emotional intelligence are inseparable. A Pygmalion leader needs emotional intelligence to inspire their team members to reach their full potential. By understanding emotions, connecting with team members on an emotional level, and encouraging a growth mindset, a Pygmalion leader builds strong relationships with their team members, providing the support and resources they need to succeed. As John C. Maxwell, a leadership expert, once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” A Pygmalion leader with high emotional intelligence knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way for their team members.
Watch the following video to hear Dr Martyn Newman from RocheMartin explain how Pygmalion leaders with high Emotional Intelligence can greatly improve an organisation’s performance and bring it to life.
Gain access to our Emotional Intelligence whitepaper and explore our Emotional Capital programme.