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Emotional Intelligence (EI)

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  • Emotional Intelligence (EI)

    intelligentexecutive

  • Emotional Intelligence (EI)

    What is it? 03

    Why is it important? 04

    What does it mean to me? 04-05

    Further insight 06-07

    How can I develop it? 08

    Self-assessment framework 09

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  • What is it?

    Emotional intelligence is a broad description of the ability to understand and control ones own emotions, together with the ability to manage relationships through the recognition and understanding of other peoples emotions.

    There is an increasing awareness and recognition of the relationship between the emotional intelligence of an executive, how they apply their emotional intelligence and the relationship between it and business performance.

    There are four basic areas in which professionals apply emotional intelligence, wisely or poorly, when making decisions in management and in leadership. These are:

    Self-awareness. The ability to understand your emotions as well as recognise their impact on relationships and performance. This relates to accurate self-assessment and self-confidence.

    Self-management. Controlling your emotions and using your awareness of them to stay flexible and act positively. A critical aspect in business is the ability to keep any disruptive emotions under control in changing situations and overcoming difficulties. This relates to transparency (trustworthiness), adaptability, achievement orientation, initiative and optimism.

    Social awareness. Your ability to identify emotions in other people and to understand their perspective and take an interest in their concerns. This relates to empathy, organizational awareness and service orientation.

    Social skills/relationship management. Your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions together with your understanding of the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully. A critical aspect in business is the ability to take charge and inspire others while sending out clear, convincing and well-tuned messages. This relates to inspirational leadership, influence, developing others, change catalyst, conflict management, building bonds, team work and collaboration.

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  • Why is it important?

    EI is so critical to success that it accounts for 58 per cent of performance in all types of jobs.

    Only 36 per cent of the people tested were able to accurately identify their emotions as they are experienced.

    In a professional capacity at work, people with the highest levels of IQ outperformed those with average IQs just 20 per cent of the time, while people with average IQs outperformed those with high IQs 70 per cent of the time. This difference is attributable to the effect of emotional intelligence on performance.

    Emotional Intelligence may be considered as our ability to perceive, evaluate and exercise emotions. What is clear is that the greater your awareness of your Emotional Intelligence, the greater control you can exercise in terms of managing your emotional responses in any given situation.

    Within the business world, EI is of increasing focus in selection processes and particularly in its profiling of the make-up of a business leader. Therefore it has to be high on your agenda if sitting at the top table is your aim. Even within your own specialist technical field, EI can have a huge impact on your work performance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that certain emotional traits have strong links to performance in specific roles. For example, research has shown that optimism is strongly associated with high performing sales people.

    What does it mean to me?

    In order to be effective at the top you need to be emotionally intelligent, and the more senior you are, the more emotional intelligence will come into play.

    There is widespread research / evidence showing a connection between emotional intelligence and

    Your performance (and therefore your status, seniority, earnings / bonuses etc)

    Your relationships with other people (your satisfaction, wellbeing, self worth)

    Your career progression (both within and outside of your organisation)

    You should not underestimate the extent to which your Emotional Intelligence lies at the heart of your career growth potential.

    You should understand the impact of EI on job performance means that its evaluation is increasingly prevalent in selection for leadership roles and also specific job roles. EI is the ability to understand and manage your own feelings and emotions in relation to your thinking and actions.

    With many CEOs of successful global organizations speaking out on the criticality of Emotional Intelligence to leading in business, means you know that you need to work on your EI if you really want a seat at the top table.

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  • Some of your career highs and lows to date will have had their outcomes driven by your Emotional Intelligence. Only when you understand it, can you work on it to get yourself into the game for those senior roles.

    Whilst logically our cognitive abilities will play a significant role in our career development, argument is being increasingly made that to climb the corporate ladder requires strengths in emotional intelligence. In other words, like technical skills, you need a certain level of intelligence to reach any given threshold in the organization, but the higher you look to climb, the more the extent of your emotional intelligence will set you apart from your peers.

    Your emotional intelligence will determine how you deal with frustrations, how you react under pressure, how you handle others in difficult or heated situations; your ability to empathise will play a significant part in how and to what extent others engage with you. Whilst there is certainly research evidence that IQ is not in itself a good predictor of job performance, Salovey and Mayer, and others have pointed out that EI is also not in itself a strong predictor of job performance. However, the critical significance of Emotional Intelligence is that it provides the foundation for competencies that are a strong predictor of future job performance.

    1 Research by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves, Talentsmart

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  • Further insight

    Work in this area goes back as far as Darwin but academic focus on the subject has grown since the 1920s. The work of Salovey and Mayer1 over the past twenty years has been of particular influence. They defined Emotional Intelligence as the ability to monitor ones own and others feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide ones thinking and actions, and identified their model of emotional intelligence:

    The perception of emotion to accurately recognise signals, both verbal and non-verbal (facial expression, body language).

    The ability to reason using our emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity; applying our attention to fact and circumstances, then reacting to them.

    The ability to understand emotions interpreting what we perceive in the wordsand/or actions of others and applying our reasoning.

    The ability to manage emotions regulating our emotions, responding to othersin an appropriate manner within context.

    Daniel Goleman2 in his highly regarded work on the subject distinguishes between Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Competence, the latter being the personal and social skills that provide for high performance.

    Golemans research involving nearly 200 large, global businesses concluded that in identifying an individuals set of cognitive abilities, technical skills and emotional intelligence, EI competencies were twice as prevalent amongst the distinguishing competencies as the other two domains combined; and the higher the position in an organization, the more EI counted for individuals in leadership roles 85% of the competencies lay within the EI domain. Qualities traditionally associated with leadership, such as intelligence, toughness, determination and vision are rEIuired for

    success, but they are alone are insufficient. Successful leaders also possessed strong self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.

    Emotional Intelligence as a theme runs through the acknowledged work of many others from Maslows3 work on the hierarchy of needs through to Stephen Coveys4 work on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

    A top global consulting company had the Emotional Intelligence of its senior partners assessed5 and the

    findings were that those senior partners with a high EI rating achieved a turnover in their area averaging $1.2m more than the senior partners who rated low; a 139% difference in measurable

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    results. When Golemans article was published in Harvard Business Review in 1998, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson saw it as so relevant that he sent it to his top 400 Execs worldwide. More recently, global business leaders such as Indra Nooy, CEO of PepsiCo, and Jeffrey Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of TimeWarner, have publicly voiced their belief in the importance of Emotional Intelligence as a key attribute of successful business leadership in todays world.

    We should consider that EI provides us with an opportunity for our own development of emotional competencies. Hence for example, the greater our ability to empathise, the more capable we will be of truly engaging with others and therefore the extent of our ability to influence those people is increased. Arguments can be won on the basis of relevant information to people providing that others have the ability to appreciate the factual nature of the information they receive. However, leadership in many situations will not rely on a clear factual position, rather it EIuires the influence of leadership to persuade others to follow; such that those that follow are positive, resilient in the face of challenges and maintain belief in the vision of the leader. Such influence defines real leadership.

    It is obvious to see that todays employees are a different proposition from employees of 60, 40, even 20 years ago. We have seen the move from production workers to knowledge worker. Todays employee is very different from the foot-soldier of 40 years ago; he is encouraged to challenge, to express opinion, to innovate, to think and bring about improvement, take personal ownership and accountability. Organizations look for transformational change rather than steady evolution. Such transformation rEIuires vision but the future is not always clear. Economic uncertainty amplifies the need for leadership. People need to be lead rather than managed. Emotional Intelligence is the deal-breaker.

    1 Salovey, P., Mayer, J. Emotional Intelligence, Imagination, Cognition and Personality (1990)

    2 Goleman, D., Working With Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Book, New York (1998)

    3 Maslow, A., A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96, 1943

    4 Covey, S.R., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, 1989

    5 Boyzatis, R. E. Boyatzis, R. E., Presentation to the Linkage Conference on Emotional

    Intelligence, Chicago, IL, September 27, 1999.

  • How can I develop it?

    The beauty of EI is that, unlike IQ, it can be learned and improved over time, and that anyone can do it. Emotional intelligence is applied sub-consciously, you dont know you are applying it, it happens naturally. However once aware of it, you can apply it more consciously.

    We suggest you develop your emotional intelligence either yourself or engage with a specialist such as a suitably qualified career coach.

    There are a number of different acknowledged tests available such as the MSCEIT developed by Salovey, Mayer and Ceruso to measure EI as an ability. Other tests such as the Swinburne University EIT assess EI on the basis of traits. Measurement tools that are based on the Goleman model include the Emotional Competence Inventory. If you wish to firstly undertake a self-assessment, our self-assessment framework outlined on the following page may help prompt you.

    Jot down your answers to the questions below in the table on the following page together with any notes.

    Review any documentation that is relevant appraisal documents, 360 feedback, the big emails and letters. Reflect on the big conversations.

    Get feedback from those around you who you trust to be informed and honest with you.

    Appraise your work performance over the past 24 months:

    Your objectives | Your development | Your challenges | Your big decisions | Your critical actions, interactions and execution | Your successes and failures

    Consider the above four factor model and ask yourself

    What worked well? | What could have gone better? | What do you wish you had done differently? | What did you learn?

    Discuss this with a friend, trusted advisor, mentor or career coach.

    Having become better acquainted with your emotional intelligence, you should now consider whether there are any areas you need to develop and if so, what these areas are.

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  • Self awarenessThe ability to understand your emotions as well as recognise their impact on relationships and performance.

    Emotional Self-AwarenessAccurate Self-AssessmentSelf-Confidence.

    Self managementControlling your emotions and using your awareness of them to stay flexible and act positively.

    Emotional Self-Control Transparency (trustworthiness) AdaptabilityAchievement Orientation InitiativeOptimism

    Social awarenessYour ability to identify emotions in other people and to understand their perspective and take an interest in their concerns.

    EmpathyOrganizational AwarenessService Orientation

    Social skills / Relationship managementYour ability to use your awareness of your own emotions together with your understanding of the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully.

    Inspirational Leadership InfluenceDeveloping OthersChange CatalystConflict ManagementBuilding Bonds

    Emotional intelligence self-assessment framework

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