Using Emotional Intelligence & Happiness to Ascend to Organizational Excellence
Faculty Presentation

Faculty Conference Presentation

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran and Lisa Martin will present their findings on “Using Emotional Intelligence & Happiness to Ascend to Organizational Excellence,” at the ACRL 2021 Virtual Conference, to be held April 13-16, 2021.

Academic librarians frequently report low morale (Davis Kendrick 2017), concerns with job autonomy and satisfaction (Patillo, Moran, and Morgan 2009), and challenges with emotional labor and burnout (Matteson and Miller 2013). These are complex issues, so there is value in asking whether there are librarians who have found ways to be happy in the academic workplace. Emotional intelligence and happiness have been studied separately in academic librarians (emotional intelligence from Hernon, Rossiter, Kreitz, etc.; happiness from Bell etc.) but they have not until now been studied together. The panelists, authors of the study, sought to answer the question “Are emotionally intelligent librarians happier?” The question is complicated, and further research needed, but the panelists use the study results as a springboard to provide some initial perspectives along with practical steps to take at the individual and organizational level to increase emotional intelligence and happiness.

Emotional intelligence was measured in the study using the Short Profile of Emotional
Competence (S-PEC), an instrument validated in the psychological literature. The S-PEC measures intra- and inter-personal EI (that is, the emotional intelligence of the individual and how that individual relates to others) and provides an overall measure of emotional intelligence. Happiness was measured in the study using the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), also an instrument which has been validated in the psychological literature. Happiness is challenging to measure, but there are several psychologists who have dedicated their academic careers to finding ways. The SWLS, created by several of those experts, measures the cognitive and emotional components of well-being and life satisfaction. The SWLS is frequently used with other instruments measuring emotional well-being, as it complements these well, thus the two instruments were chosen to work together in measuring respondents’ emotional intelligence and happiness. Qualitative questions about emotional intelligence and happiness within the workplace were also asked for further context.

The results of the study, and in particular the implications for academic libraries, will be the focus of the panel discussion. The panelists will provide data, both qualitative and quantitative, to attendees alongside more information on the instruments used in the study (both of which are freely available), and then engage the audience in active discussion about effective strategies for positive change at the individual and organizational level. Attendees will generate these strategies via a think-pair-share model which allows for individual variation at the think and pair stage but also allows for the generation of broader strategies that could be effective across libraries regardless of type, size, and culture. Ultimately, attendees will walk away with new knowledge, tools and strategies to put into practice within their organization.

Presenters: Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran
Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: https://conference.acrl.org/