Leadership in retail in part marketing, and part management. It involves both encouraging consumers to make purchases, and encouraging employees to create a retail environment in which the customer can have a pleasant retail experience and is more likely to be convinced into upsales, buying newer or more expensive items, and act as return customers. This is especially true of cellphone and technology sales that are always changing, but which may encourage less frequent new purchases than other industries.
One way to improve both employee behavior and consumer satisfaction in the retail market is by increasing emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a leadership model that relies on increasing a person’s awareness of both their own emotional needs and responses, and the emotional needs and responses of others. While it is important for every employee to have some level of emotional intelligence, it is especially important for leaders to develop their emotional intelligence, and lead from an emotionally intelligent perspective (Cherniss et al., 1998).
One way that emotional intelligence effects leadership in retail is by altering the motivation of employees. Generally, employees who are taught to be more emotionally intelligent, and who are led by emotionally intelligent leaders, are motivated by their commitment to their fellow workers, and to the organization (Cherniss et al., 1998). This increases their productivity at work, and in the retail setting often leads to a cleaner and better organized retail space, and increased sales.
Emotionally intelligent employees, or those who have emotionally intelligent leaders also commonly provide a higher level of customer service. This is because they understand the emotional reaction and emotional needs of their retail customers, and can respond more accurately to those needs (Feyergerm & Rice, 2002).
Cherniss, C.C., Coleman, D., Emmerling, R., Cowan, K., and Adler, M. (1998). Bringing emotional intelligence to the workplace. The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence. Retrieved from http://www.eiconsortium.org/reports/technical_report.html
Feyerherm, A. & Rice, C. (2002) "EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND TEAM PERFORMANCE: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY", The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 10(4), pp.343 – 362