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Relationships Among Nurse Executives’ Personality Style, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership Practices

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TITLE Relationships Among Nurse Executives’ Personality Style, Emotional Intelligence, and Leadership Practices
 
RESEARCHER Deena R. Rauch
School of Professional Studies
Gonzaga University
Unpublished master’s thesis: May 2008

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to identify relationships between nurse executives' personality style, emotional intelligence, and leadership practices in small and rural community hospitals.

METHODOLOGY
A convenience sample of 15 nurse executives and 38 nurse managers, working in 16 community hospitals with 100 or fewer acute care beds in one state from the Pacific Northwest region completed the Leadership Practices Inventory, the Hartman Personality Paradigm (Hartman, 1998), and Emotional Competency Inventory – Version 2. Fourteen hospitals were classified as rural; most were governmental, public hospital district facilities (80%). The typical nurse executive was married (80%), female (93%), with an average age of 47 years, holding either an associate or baccalaureate degree in nursing (66%), 22 years of experience in nursing, eight years in their current facility and five years in their current position. Nurse managers were married (79%), female (82%), with an average age of 48 years, with either an associate or baccalaureate degree in nursing (90%), 21 years of experience in nursing, 11 years in their current facility and five years in their current position.

KEY FINDINGS
Nurse executives reported engaging most frequently in Enabling, followed by Encouraging, Challenging, Modeling, and Inspiring. Nurse managers also rated nurse executives as most frequently engaging in Enabling and Encouraging and least in Inspiring. There were no significant differences between the two groups.

The author found "no significant relationships existed between innate personality style and leadership practices, meaning that personality style did not influence whether specific leadership behaviors were demonstrated or not" (p. 62).

Emotional intelligence and leadership practices were positively related to one another. Challenge was moderately to strongly associated with accurate selfassessment. Inspire was associated with accurate self-assessment, emotional self-awareness, emotional self-control, empathy, and inspirational leadership. Enable was associated with emotional self-awareness, initiative, optimism, transparency, empathy, teamwork and collaboration. Model was associated with accurate self-assessment, emotional awareness, initiative, optimism, transparency, empathy, developing others, influence, and teamwork and collaboration. Encourage was associated with accurate selfassessment, emotional self-awareness, initiative, optimism, empathy, and inspirational leadership. Based on these findings, the author observes:

it appears that the emotional intelligence competencies of accurate selfassessment, emotional self-awareness, and empathy are the three competencies that influence the use of successful leadership practices the most, and the greater the emotional intelligence, the more successful the leadership practices (pp. 48-49).

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