Exploring University Students’ Emotional Intelligence in Bahrain: Self-Awareness and Self-Management Among Generation Z with Leadership Positions

Mohamedi, T. (University of Nottingham Malaysia), Haslan, R. H. (University of Nottingham, Malaysia)

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is considered a crucial skill for leaders in this century, especially in the workplace. Being the next generation to enter the workforce, the interest is rising in understanding Gen Z and their characteristics. Research in this area has mainly focused on Western culture, where the definition of EI was developed and strongly seen as an effective instrument in the context of organisations. However, information about EI and leadership remains scarce in the Middle East. Particularly, this study explored how Gen Z university students with leadership position in Bahrain recognised their emotions, how these impacted their performance, and how these students managed their emotions while executing their responsibilities. This study employed a grounded theory approach in which semi-structured interviews were conducted among 13 students from Bahrain’s public and private universities. The research revealed that: (1) most students face a challenge in managing the academic workload and leadership responsibilities, (2) there are some differences in how male and female students cope with emotional distress, and (3) students may avoid expressing emotions to keep a professional response to issues. The findings could be helpful to better understand Gen Z’s self-awareness and self-management behaviour and prepare organisations for the upcoming workforce.


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Emotion Regulation