Assessing Emotional Intelligence and Its Impact in Caring Professions: The Value of a Mixed-Methods Approach in Emotional Intelligence Work with Teachers
A considerable body of research into the impact of having emotional intelligence has attracted attention to the concept. The strength of this research lies in the link between scores on emotional intelligence tests and outcome measures such as performance in work or in other aspects of life. Much of the focus in this has been in the use of emotional intelligence measures by management consultants, meaning many studies have been conducted in the context of organisational research and managerial practice with comparatively little attention been given to “caring” professions such as teaching where emotional intelligence is argued to be important. This is all the more important since what data exists on emotional intelligence and teachers suggests that, during their preservice stages of teacher education at least, they typically have a level of emotional intelligence significantly below the average for the wider population. What, then, can be meaningfully said about the ways in which emotionally intelligent people would perform differently than less emotionally intelligent people in a profession like teaching?