Tobephobic Leadership

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The aim of this study was to investigate the role of emotional intelligence (EQ) to develop the knowledge, skills, attitude, and values of leaders in their working environment. Research affirms that EQ is equally important as the cognitive abilities (IQ) and technical skills for leaders to demonstrate. This study investigated whether leaders who had a high level of EQ would be imbued with collegial skills. On the flip side, another objective of this study was to determine the notion of tobephobic leadership and how this affected the job satisfaction of employees. Four hundred and seventy-four respondents participated in this quantitative study. They were required to complete a structured questionnaire that examined their leaders’ intrapersonal and interpersonal emotionally intelligent behaviours (EIBs). What emanates from this exploratory study is that leaders who lacked EIBs adopted a tobephobic approach, consequently creating anxiety and stress in the workplace. In contrast, exemplary collegial leaders who effectively used both IQ and EQ inspired the best from their workers and sustained high performance individuals, teams, and organizations. This research strongly suggests that the complexities of organizations require a new focus on collegial leadership, as opposed to tobephobic leadership, that extends far beyond possessing IQ alone. Furthermore, this study reveals that EQ is not in opposition to IQ, but it is an extension of the leaders’ potential to succeed. Of necessity, traditional cognitive intelligence (IQ) must be combined with non-cognitive intelligence (EQ) to help leaders perform at their best and inspire their employees to be successful and happy.