The research progress of Nursing Managers’ Emotional Intelligence

Xiumian Lai

Author Affiliations:

Department of Nursing in Chinese Medicine, Hospital in Baise Debao County, Guangxi,   Guangxi Baise

533700, China



The analysis and summary of the clinical nursing practice work shows that emotional intelligence is of great signification and function in nursing management. High and low emotional intelligence reflect the differences of managers’ sensibility quality, which plays a key role in achieving the goals of the nursing management and improving work efficiency. Take the cultivation of emotional intelligence as the measure of nursing cultural practices. Strive to cultivate service ideas and concepts of nursing managers’ humanistic care, actively building a soft environment of nursing service of humanistic care type. Build a platform to improve the management level of the nursing managers. This helps to to realise the goal of nursing management effectively.

Key words: Emotional intelligence; nursing managers

With the continual progress of medical research, nursing expectations are changing for the better. . At present, the rapid development of new technology of medical diagnosis and treatment, which requires nursing managers to adjust, innovate and think critically to act swiftly, knowledge and technology are able to keep up with the pace of the development of medicine. Actively explore nursing management system and management mode matched by hospital management modernisation and construction now, new requirements to humanistic quality of nursing managers are put forward. Facing the new situation that  is developing and changing constantly, nursing managers should be equipped to know how to re-adjust management ideas and adapt to current needs of the situation; it is a challenge that must be explored and thoughtfully explored.

1 The concept and connotation of emotional intelligence

1.1 The concept of emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is first proposed by two psychologists Peter Gonzalo Walid and John Mayer in 1990, and the term is used to describe the importantance of the success of emotional characteristics. The key really is to decide whether a person is successful in emotional ability rather than intelligence ability. EQ encompasses ability in self-control, as well as emotional ability  in understanding and expressing oneself to others.

1.2 The connotation of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to ability whereby one adjusts and controls his/her personal emotion to adapt to society. It is a kind of survival wisdom, to coordinate interpersonal relationships. American psychologist HR Gehrmann attributes emotional intelligence to ability in five aspects: the ability to understand their own mood, the ability to control their emotions, the ability to self-motivate their own mood and behavior, the ability to understand other people’s emotions and the ability to get along well with others. In the five aspects of emotional intelligence ability, emotional control is crucial. High emotional intelligence is equivalent to  having good psychology.

2 Emotional quotient and nursing management

2.1 The influence of nursing managers’ emotional quotient in nursing work

The application of emotional intelligence plays a very important role in nursing work. A healthy level of nursing managers’ emotional intelligence plays an important role in goal realisation, efficiency and the spurring of enthusiasm among nurses [1].

Nursing management is a grass-roots entity in the hospital. In order to realise the goal of nursing management and create a good working environment that is harmonious and full of vitality, everyone’s emotional intelligence must be stirred up, with its potential released to the maximum, stimulating the enthusiasm of each nurse to contribute towards better service for patients in the hospital.

2.1.1 Managers’ emotional intelligence influences management style and the science degree. In nursing management, managers’ emotional intelligence affects the style of leadership and scientific management degree. Leadership style and behaviour of high emotional intelligence quotient leaders are all established on the basis of objective reality rather than personal subjective tendency. Those leaders are attentive towards to the collection of quality information,advocating democratic management.

2.1.2  Managers’ emotional intelligence is closely related to the organisation efficiency. This is mainly the influence of emotional intelligence on nursing managers that influence organisational climate and culture. Management style has a direct impact on nursing management and even the operation and management of the hospital. The nursing managers need to blend in their own  charm in management, to win the favour and trust from subordinates with their own EQ levels, character, enterprise and leadership style. This enables every member of the team to maintain the best state of body and mind at any time, work with full enthusiasm and subsequently obtain good social  and economic benefits spontaneously.

2.1.3 Managers’ EQ affects interpersonal communication between themselves and employees. Nursing managers with high EQ have a strong psychological balance ability. They can offer reasonable, accurate attribution for subordinates’ faults. They encourage trust and dependency  from nursing staff, thus enhancing their authority and status in the organisation. They ensure that the communicated information is valuable  and real. Unhindered interpersonal communication can provide security to create a harmonious internal and external environment, and is more beneficial in achieving the goals of nursing management.

2.1.4 Managers’ EQ plays an important role in emergency and adversity. Being responsible with sober judgment in adversity is one emotional dimension, an indispensable psychological quality for a leader. Modern hospitals are facing complex internal and external environment and diversified competition. Personal mentality in adversity often decides the future of the development of the business organisation. Nursing managers with high emotional intelligence can clear-mindedly judge a state of difficulty, treat setbacks and failures correctly and enhance their self-confidence and psychology ability by psychological education; in nursing management, they are “people-oriented”, perform their duties, regulate  behaviour of each person and develop creative spirit of each person, thus achieving the goal of improving efficiency and continuous development.

2.1.5 Managers’ emotional intelligence decide self-knowledge and personal ability to upgrade. A highly qualified nursing manager must cope with the change of environment. The promotion of their emotional intelligence can help them in this respect and and understand others reasonably at any time, meanwhile providing positive psychological preparation for adopting refined speech and obtaining new knowledge. A manager with high emotional intelligence pays more attention to individual updates and learns from other excellent management experiences, to achieve personal, constant update.

3  The management of the nursing managers’ emotional intelligence

3.1 Know their own emotions

Knowing one’s own emotions is the premise of grasping one’s emotions. Nursing managers who have the ability can bear the pressure and grasp psychological balance [2]. When encountering difficulties and setbacks, they are not emotional, adjusting their state of mind, getting rid of a ill moods and facing up to  demanding situations with stability. Dealing with big problems according to principle and small problems according to style, they suffer well when necessary to keep the best state in dominating life’s success.

3.2  Manage emotions appropriately

Everyone has emotions, it is normal and humane to accept that emotions fluctuate according to circumstances. As a manager, one should strive to macro-manage the entire situation. They can learn to smile, praise, listen, be calm and be tolerant, learning to get along well with each colleague and patient, thus performing every task well. They will be able to do everything. If managers cannot find ways in mastering and adjusting their mood, it is easy to be beset by emotions. Once moodiness appear, not only does the enterprise suffer, but it may also affect normal life and work.

3.3 Self-motivation

IDepressive bad times can be lasting and more permanent but happiness can arrive in an instant if you let it. Nursing work is ordinary yet important. If you have the ability to motivate yourself, maintain positive thoughts when frustrated and on impulse, you can be restraint, patient, calm and maintain high enthusiasm, you will ensure your own path to success.

3.4 Know others’ emotions

One who knows his own strength and that of the enemy is invincible in battle. Nursing managers should also know others’ emotions on the basis of knowing their own emotions. Through careful observation, you can detect the needs of others from such information as others’ subtle action and expression; you can master the psychological changing habits of others and perceive the emotions of others, knowing fairly well and developing effective nursing measures to suit person to person.

3.5 Interpersonal relationship management

Interpersonal relationship is the art of managing others’ emotions. Nursing managers deal with very complex relationships, including those of patients, doctors, and mediate between superiors and staff of other departments and so on. A good interpersonal relationship is the basic guarantee for nursing management works to go smoothly. Master the art of communicating with others, increase self-personality charm so that people skills can progress in a relaxed and harmonious atmosphere.

4 Cultivation of nursing managers’ emotional quotient

4.1 The importance of  cultivation of nursing managers’ emotional quotient

In nursing management work, it is particularly important to seek out nursing managers with high EQ. At present, most of the nursing managers are selected from excellent nurses of clinical first-line , but they receive little formal psychology education and how to managefrustration knowledge, failure education , will exercise, team cooperation spirit, nursing management knowledge education and there is little cultivation in these areas [3]. Every year, although countries do have different levels of nursing management training courses available, these are not adopted and learnt or mastered systematically. In order to meet the challenges of the new era, it is imperative to improve nursing manager’s emotional intelligence. Human emotion has active functions; the effect of nursing management is closely related to emotional investment of nursing managers. A qualified nursing manager not only has extensive special knowledge, but also operational capability.[4]

4.2 The method of training the nursing managers’ emotional intelligence

4.2.1 By strengthening quality cultivation, advocating democractic atmosphere and science leadership, nursing managers need to learn humanities knowledge, to strengthen the cultivation of positive emotions and intelligence; they pay attention to learning, are familiar with various business technologies, and constantly improve their knowledge levels, solving major difficult business issues that other people are unable to[5]. They persuade others to accept mattersin their own way by reasonable methods, at the same time giving some degree of affirmation to those who bring forward different opinions. Learn to be compatible with dissent if their opinions are refuted by more reasonable opinions. They should have innovation consciousness because innovation is the core power of the sustainable development for hospitals; it is also the requirement of the whole social change within hospital management.[6] No innovation is should lag behind. Hospitals must surpass themselves continually  to develop. Nursing managers must overcome people by being virtuous, imply sensibility towardsprinciples, and treat advice and comments apporpriately, instead of being deceitfully oppressive towards subordinates. If this can be achieved. the perfect combination of emotion quotient and intelligence quotient are played out for the best management effect.

4.2.2 Set up good values, establish positive values and get a healthy life, release controlling influences and drive your team to success.  To allow the existence ofstronger forces in the organisation, continuously learning from competitors and accepting competitors’ temporary advantage  are crucial too

4.2.3 Social perception is the feeling towards others (including perception of oneself with regards to others). It  mainly refers to people’ role perception, mental perception, behaviour perception and emotional perception [7]. Avoid the spillover of bad temperaments at work; pay special attention in controlling your bad feelings, and pay attention to interpersonal emotional empathy, discovering others’ mentality, turning the whole team into a benign cycle. Only in this way, you can maximise management efficiency.

4.2.4 Cultivation of good interpersonal communication is a kind of basic skill and ability of managers. Record communicators’ opinions, view communicators with kind insight and get more real information. Be good at using nonverbal communication skills by combining elegant words, a sincere and warm smile, a friendly and modest attitude and solemn and sound manner[8]. These highlight the artistic charm and functions of your language.

4.2.5  Shape a good personal image, note down desire. Shape and show your personality but  appropriately controlling your desire for performance, because strong desire for personal performance promote  subjectivity and reduces objectivity of personal leadership. Give more opportunities for others to perform and treat them with the appreciation of reviewer and appreciator, enriching their inner world constantly, showing your true self. Good personal image should start even in the smallest of gestures

In management practice, nursing managers must pay attention to reshape emotional intelligence, correctly knowing its function for group mentality and population quality.Award  influence and charisma to the nurses, and fully mobilise the important “people” factor, using mood coordination to promote a positive role[9]. To improve the level of nursing management, provide high quality nursing service for patients.


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[3] Shen C H,Chen L L,Qiu S Z, et al. Analysis of Strengthening Cultivation of the Head Nurse.Chinese Hospital Management.2007;27(12):60.

[4] Hong L,Chou H W. Analysis of Skills of the Head Nurse’s Quality and Nursing Management Work.The Chinese Modern Journal of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.2008;(6):30.

[5] Li M,Li H,Deng X J, et al. The Application of the Team Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Management.Modern Chinese Medicine Application,2009,3(1):209.

[6] Zhang G Y. The Strategy of Hospital Management Concept and the Humanistic Management.China Medical Herald. 2008; 5(6):118.

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[9] Song H J. The Function of Nursing Managers’ Emotional Intelligence for Groups.Contemporary Nurse. 2005;(6):91.

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