Date of Award

Summer 7-24-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor


Second Advisor


Third Advisor



Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the perception of Army counselors in the Military Family and Life Counselor (MFLC) program about the impact of emotional intelligence (EI) training on Army non-commissioned officer (NCO) leadership decision-making effectiveness in their supervision of the soldiers they are responsible for. This study also researched the perception of these counselors about the benefits and challenges of incorporating EI leadership preparation with traditional Army training for NCOs.

Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study explored Army counselors’ perceptions about the need for EI training for Army NCOs to perform as effective decision-makers. Since EI training is not currently included in current Army training (Marsh, 2009), this study also describes the perceptions of these counselors about the benefits and challenges of implementing EI training in the Army for NCOs.

Findings: EI training has a profound impact on Army NCO leader development, as evidenced by the following key findings: improved decision-making effectiveness, increased self-awareness, enhanced communication, and greater leadership effectiveness. However, challenges arise in the form of resistance and skepticism, as well as resource allocation and time constraints when implementing EI training.

Conclusion: Findings highlight the pressing need for the Army to prioritize further research on the importance of EI in leader development. Findings address the need to address resistance and skepticism that may exist within the Army and the importance of getting the buy-in of senior leaders to implement EI training. Findings highlight the need for the Army to adapt to the leadership needs of millennials.

Recommendations: Future research recommendations: replica of this study across other military branches to explore if EI training exists; recommend a correlation study to compare military units that have had EI training to identify the significance of performance indicators; a case study of Army NCOs with a focus on integrating EI training with tactical tasks for the new generation of soldiers; a Delphi study involving EI experts to identify specific EI skills for effective leadership; a mixed-method study to examine the impact of EI skills assisting NCOs with stress management

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