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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Randall Koger

Second Committee Member

Marlin Bates


This study explort1d the impact of emotional intelligence on supervisor/employee communication. The purpose of th~s study was to investigate 1) how emotional intelligence affects supervisor and employee communication from both supervisors' and . employees' perspectives; 2) how supervisors and employees perceive the effects of emotional intelligence on the active listening of supervisors; and 3) relationships among supervisor/employee communication, emotional intelligence, and active listening. This study is expected to facilitate a better understanding of the relationship between active listening and the emotional intelligence of supervisors.

Focus groups were conducted to collect sup~rvisors' and employees' perceptions and thoughts on communication, emotional intelligence, and active listening. This . method was used to identify emotional intelligent competencies related to effective communication between supervisors and employees and active listening. This study also examined how supervisors should demonstrate those .competencies. The data collected generated particular themes and relationships between supervisor/employee communication, emotional intelligence, and active listening and to answer the research questions that were posed for the study.

Participants in the study discussed the importance of establishing trust in the relationship, listening to their employees' ideas, and valuing a personal relationship with ,..---------- their employees. When looking at the impact of emotional intelligence on supervisor/employee communication the results from this study showed that supervisors understood that emotions are part of the work environment and listening to employees is critical. Employees in the focus groups believed that supervisors need the ability to deal with emotions in the workplace and understand that sometimes those feelings are generated in an employee's personal life. The key to developing positive supervisory communication is through supervisors role-modeling critical competencies related to emotional intelligence. Establishing trust in the supervisor/employee relationship is directly correlated with effective communication. Active listening is one method supervisors can use to demonstrate and establish trust in the relationship.



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