Emotional intelligence in principals and how it influences teacher-principal relationships

Migdalia Maldonado Torres, Fordham University


The extant literature on the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace has focused on how emotionally intelligent leaders are more successful and effective. Tools and training programs have been designed to measure and enhance emotional intelligence skills, based on the belief that they can be learned. However, these have been researched and implemented more often in business organizations rather than in other settings. The current climate of increased accountability and transparency in schools has compounded the stress experienced by educational leaders, which, the results of this study indicate, can be alleviated by such training. This qualitative case study examined principals' and teachers' perceptions of the effects of emotional intelligence/literacy training programs on school principals. In-depth interviews, on-line documents, and observations in three New York City public schools with three principals and six teachers provided the data. All three principals had participated in an emotional intelligence program that assessed their emotional intelligence, provided feedback, as well as individual and team coaching. The results indicated that principals perceived that their training assisted them in their leadership role and enhanced their relationships with other administrators, staff, children, and parents. They felt strongly that it especially helped in handling difficult situations, because they were better able to reflect and control their emotions. The teachers too perceived the program as having had a positive effect on the principals. These findings suggest that programs in emotional intelligence/literacy could be a valuable component in the education and training of school leaders, administrators, staff, and teachers.

Subject Area

Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Maldonado Torres, Migdalia, "Emotional intelligence in principals and how it influences teacher-principal relationships" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3517901.