Southwest Airlines : The Highest Levels Of Emotional Intelligence

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Southwest Airlines is known as one of the most caring and considerate companies. Since 1971, Southwest Airlines has prided itself in their exemplary customer satisfaction and family like approach to customers. American Airlines excels in many areas, but the ones that will be discussed are emotional intelligence, and cultural organization. More often than not, developing these areas are easier said than done. Emotional Intelligence is defined as the “ability to understand emotions and manage relationships effectively” (Pg. 76). Southwest Airlines displays some of the highest levels of emotional intelligence. For example, Dave Ridley (Senior Vice-President of Business Development) mentions that while a day at the airport can be stressful, “a gentle hand, a kind spirit, an extra effort going the extra mile” is what makes customers want to come back. This directly relates to emotional empathy. Emotional empathy is a branch of emotional intelligence and is defined as “the ability to feel what the other person is experiencing in a particular situation” (Pg. 81). The employees of Southwest Airlines use emotional empathy to identify those travelers who are having a stressful time and by exuding encouragement and kindness, the travelers feel more at ease. Employees being able to recognize signs of stress in their customers and being able to apply the right type and right amount of emotion (as dictated by the display rules), makes those travelers more satisfied with their

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