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Emotional intelligence.

[check] This checklist explains the concept of emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ or emotional intelligence quotient, and why it is becoming more important. It gives an overview of the basic principles and outlines why it is relevant for managers. A brief self-test indicator is given at the end.

Emotional intelligence is increasingly being regarded as a major key to personal success and as being more important than IQ. Some of the most successful people in life today are those who are regarded as having a high level of emotional intelligence whatever their level of IQ. Being able to manage themselves and others successfully is often a crucial factor in their success. With a growing emphasis on 'soft skills', managers need to be able to sensitively handle other people, both within and outside the organisation.

Definition

"The ability to perceive, to integrate, to understand and reflectively manage one's own and other people's feelings" John D Mayer (as quoted in People Management, 28 October 1999, page 49).

Emotional Intelligence at work

Most people do experience a range of both positive and negative emotions at work.

Examples can include:

* Satisfaction--you have done an excellent piece of work

* Exhilaration--you have won a major contract

* Pride--you have helped someone out of a difficult situation

* Anger--your work that has not been appreciated

* Frustration--because of delays in implementing your recommendations

* Anxiety--difficulty in meeting deadlines.

How does Emotional Intelligence work?

When emotions are experienced, such as satisfaction, anxiety or frustration, the human brain is programmed to respond to the threat and an emotional response is triggered. However, acting on that first impulse can lead to things being said or done that are later regretted. Emotional intelligence means that whilst you acknowledge that emotion, you then take a step back from that situation and let rational thought influence your actions.

Advantages of using Emotional Intelligence

These can:

* lead to improved relationships with colleagues

* help to keep yourself under control

* help to lower stress levels

* help keep you motivated

* enable you to communicate well and influence others without conflict

* enhance your standing in the eyes of your colleagues.

Disadvantages of using Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence:

* cannot always be learned, though it can be developed

* is sometimes dismissed as being just another management fad.

Action Checklist

1. Understand the theories of Emotional Intelligence

Two American psychologists, John D Mayer and Peter Salovey, first defined the phrase "emotional intelligence" in the 1980s. Daniel Goleman, another American psychologist later built on their work and published his well-known books on the subject. He also produced a framework for emotional intelligence, which consists of five elements:

Goleman's Framework:

* Self-awareness--understanding yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how you appear to others

* Self-regulation--the ability to control yourself and think before you act

* Motivation--the drive to work and succeed

* Empathy--how well you understand other peoples' viewpoints

* Social skills--communicating and relating to others.

Other important researchers into Emotional Intelligence include Dr Malcolm Higgs and Professor Victor Dulewicz. They identified seven elements of emotional intelligence, which can be broken down into three main categories:

* The drivers--motivation and decisiveness. These two traits energise people and drive them towards achieving their goals, which are usually set very high.

* The "contrainers"--conscientiousness and integrity, and emotional resilience. In contrast, these two traits act as controls and curb the excesses of the drivers - especially if they are very high and undirected, or misdirected.

* The enablers--sensitivity, influence and self-awareness. These three traits facilitate performance and help the individual to succeed. (Source: People Management, 28 October 1999).

2. Ask what this means for me

The following competencies are considered necessary for managers, and have particular relevance for emotional intelligence. For example, managers need to be able to:

* manage themselves (self-regulation and contrainers) and not venting their frustration on staff

* have self-awareness of their real, not perceived, strengths and weaknesses

* motivate others as well as themselves

* counsel or coach others within the organisation (social skills, enablers)

* encourage others, and offer advice (social skills, enablers)

* develop good working relationships (empathy and enablers).

3. Test and develop your Emotional Inteligence

A major problem when testing for Emotional Intelligence is that there is no one agreed standard definition of the concept. Practitioners and trainers use a widely varying range of characteristics and assessment methods, and many of the tests available for measuring EI, through the Internet, for example, reflect this. These tests are, however, useful in making people aware of the issues involved and can give an indication of where an individual's emotional strengths and weaknesses lie.

Another problem is whether EI can be developed. Certainly, skills such as team building and motivation skills can be developed. There are numerous books, seminars and courses that aim to do just that, or at least to give a better understanding of the issues involved. Until more academically rigorous and tested assessment outcomes are agreed, it may be safest to say that, for the time being, only some facets of EI can be learned or taught. Others, like adopting a more understanding attitude, or building drive and determination, can only come from within.

Examples of EI tests can be found at

www.eqi.org www.eiconsortium.org http://ei.haygroup.com/resources/topteams

The tests usually take the form of questionnaires or psychometric testing, measuring competencies or characteristics such as: emotional energy, stress, assertiveness, sociability, attitudes, decisiveness, objective judgement, self-esteem, courage and tolerance of and consideration for others. Some tests are wholly web-based; others paper-based. A simple test is given at the end of this checklist.

Dos and don'ts for using Emotional Intelligence

Do

* Observe your emotional reactions to other people.

* Consider how you might test and develop your emotional intelligence.

* Ask yourself honestly how well you react to the concerns of others.

Don't

* Assume that you don't bring your emotions to work with you.

* Think that emotional intelligence not relevant for your job.

* Think that your emotional intelligence needs no further development.

Further Reading

Books

The emotionally intelligent manager: how to develop and use the four key emotional skills of leadership David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey

San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey Bass, 2004 The EI advantage: putting emotional intelligence into practice Patricia McBride and Susan Maitland London: McGraw Hill, 2002

Primal leadership: realizing the power of emotional intelligence Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee Boston, Mass, Harvard Business School Press, 2002

Thought Starters

* Do youy think your communication with your colleagues could be improved?

* If angry, do you ay the first thing that comes to mind?

* Do you tend to ignore your emotional responses to events?
Emotional Intelligence Indicator ... nb this test has not been
validated in any way, and is intended to give an illustration only of
a few of the many characteristics that make up the overall concept of
EI and

Mark x in the 1 2 3 4 5
appropriate column: Low Medium High

Self-awareness

You are aware of Never Sometimes Always
how you are
perceived by others

You are aware that Never Sometimes Always
your moods can
affect others for
better or worse

You are confident of Rarely Sometimes Always
your abilities and
feel that most
people respect you

Emotional Resilience

You are determined Not often Usually Always
to see things
through to
completion

You are comfortable Never Usually Always
when you have to
overrule others'
firmly held views

You are easily Always Sometimes Never
depressed if things
go wrong

Motivation

You always look for Never Sometimes Always
new challenges and
to exceed existing
targets

You always encourage Never Sometimes Always
your staff to do
the same

You find it Always Sometimes Never
difficult to
exercise self-
discipline

Empathy

You find it hard to Always Sometimes Never
be a good listener

You take into Never Sometimes Always
account other
people's concerns

You sense what other Never Sometimes Always
people are feeling
without being told

Social Skills

You feel uneasy Always Sometimes Never
talking to large
groups

You are comfortable Never Sometimes Always
when meeting and
dealing with new
people

You always try to Never Sometimes Always
get people to work
together, not
against each other
how they can be
assessed and
provide indicators
for development.
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Title Annotation:Checklist 178
Publication:Chartered Management Institute: Checklists: People Management
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2005
Words:1350
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