Dr Uche Olowu, outgoing Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), has urged stakeholders in the banking industry to leverage on emotional intelligence to build ethical leadership in the sector.
Olowu, also the 20th President of CIBN, made the call while delivering his presidential valedictory address via a webinar on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event has as its theme: ‘Ethical Leadership in Banks and Emotional Intelligence,”.
“Leadership will succeed if people are emotionally engaged by priming good feelings in those they lead.
“Ethical leadership influences people to exhibit the right behaviour that can maximize values such as integrity, honesty, consistency etc.
“Also, emotional intelligence aligns with ethics to achieve organisational successes,” he said.
Olowu said emotions in interpersonal relationships, service delivery and intrapersonal relationship were major factors which influenced parameters in service-oriented firms like banking profession.
He said that these factors were amplified by the digital landscape in which banks operated, noting that pressures are exerted on these parameters.
He said inadequate knowledge about the efficacy of emotional intelligence in Nigerian banks had made bank managers marginalise and devalue the role of emotions in workplaces.
He said the emphasis was placed on First Class and Second Class upper degrees without looking at the ethical values, emotional intelligence and the implicit value of new entrants.
Olowu said that this had given the general impression that the industry tolerated unethical behaviours and was not premised on the capitalist ideals of profit.
He added that the four domains of emotional intelligence which predicted success were self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.
According to him, these domains are strengthened by emotional competencies which comprised individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and it is divided into personal and social competencies.
He, therefore, recommended that ethical leadership behaviour should be encouraged in banks to facilitate success through leadership commitment to ethical values, prudence and exercise of fair judgement.
He said emotional capabilities should be developed to create an atmosphere of trust, cooperation and ethical leadership.
He urged the industry to shun pressure of the moment leading to unethical behaviour.
He also called for the training and profiling for emotional intelligence across the broad spectrum of the banking workforce especially for all leadership positions in the banks.
According to him, this should be executed to arrest discomfort and provide reassurances in time of turbulence and threatening change.
Olowu said his achievements as 20th CIBN president included ensuring rules and standards, skills and competence, research and advocacy, technology and resources as well as brand and visibility.
NAN reports that the online valedictory address was chaired by Chief Victor Okoronkwo, Group Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Ltd/1st National Vice President of the Nigerian Gas Association.
It had Mrs Osaretin Demuren, Chairman, GTBank Plc and Chairman, Bank Directors Association of Nigeria, as Special Guest of Honour.