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Emotional empathy of postgraduate studentsLambert, Steve; Dimitriadis, Nikolaos; Venerucci, Matteo; Taylor, Michael G.; University of Chester; University of York; Brian PropagandaThis paper focuses on the leaders’ ability to recognise and empathise with emotions. This is important because leadership and particularly transformational leadership are principally focused on an individual’s social interactions and their ability to identify emotions and to react empathetically to the emotions of others (Psychogios and Dimitriadis, 2020). Many leadership theorists suggest the ability to have and display empathy is an important part of leadership (Bass, 1990; Walumbwa, et. al., 2008). To examine the extent to which those who work in jobs with a significant element of leadership education can recognise and empathise with emotions, ninety-nine part-time postgraduate executive MBA students took part in an emotional recognition test. First, all participants were shown a sequence of pictures portraying different human facial expressions and the electrical activity in the brain as a result of the visual stimuli were recorded using an electroencephalogram (EEG). The second stage of the research was for the participants to see the same seven randomised images, but this time, they had to report what emotion they believed they had visualised and the intensity of it on a self-reporting scale. This study demonstrated that the ability to recognise emotions is more accurate using EEG techniques compared to participants using self-reporting surveys. The results of this study provide academic departments with evidence that more work needs to be done with students to develop their emotional recognition skills. Particularly for those students who are or will go onto occupy leadership roles.
The need for empathy in school leadershipLambert, Steve; Taylor, Michael G.; University of Chester; Liverpool Hope University (Chartered College of Teaching, 2022-05-09)Hughes et al. (2005) state that empathy is an essential skill for leadership in any field of leadership. This paper reviews literature on the importance of empathy by exploring the applications of benefits in other professions such as nursing; transferrable lessons can be learned. For school leaders, having an emotionally intelligent understanding of what they need to perform successfully can also support how they manage their team to bring out the best in all team members. Finally, this paper aims to make recommendations for governing bodies and headteachers to identify what empathetic leadership might look like and how headteachers with the right empathy skills can be specified for future recruitment.