This study was designed to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership practices in non-profit human service organizations.
From the population of non-profit human service organizations in the United States targeted to serving children, youth and families, 2,000 organizations were contacted, with 65 CEOs agreeing to participate and 38 completing usable surveys. Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and the Emotional Competence Inventory (Sala, 2002). Each respondent was also asked to have one colleague complete the LPI-Observer. The typical respondent was female (76%), Caucasian (89%), 40-56 years old (34%), with 2-5 years of service (32%).
Responses from the ECI and LPI were significantly correlated (p<.001). All five leadership practices were correlated with all four subscales of the Emotional Competence Inventory (self-awareness, social skills, social awareness and self-management). This relationship was true for both LPI-Self and LPI-Observers. No significant relationship was found between ECI scores and organizational performance (measured by such outcomes as high client satisfaction, low turnover rates, or meeting budgetary goals). LPI-Observer scores were significantly higher than LPI-Self scores on all five leadership practices, although the rank order of the practices was the same for both groups.