Emotional Intelligence and Business Success

The Real Skinny on EQ: Emotional Intelligence and Business Success…

Daniel Goleman’s books on emotional intelligence have taken the business world by storm and thrown the scientific world into despair.  In 1995, Goleman published “Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ.” Time Magazine  gave his work a big opening splash with a cover issue that ran: “What’s Your EQ? It’s not your IQ. It’s not even a number. But emotional intelligence may be the best predictor of success in life, redefining what it means to be smart.” Goleman’s book made bestseller lists and spawned another wave of pseudo-science. From webinars and in-house coaching designed to “raise your EQ,” emotional intelligence is being implemented in school policies and corporate plans.

But what really is emotional intelligence? Can you improve your emotional intelligence quotient? Is it such a big predictor of success?

John Mayer, Peter Salovey and David Caruso did some groundbreaking research on emotional intelligence (EI), research they fear has been misconstrued. They define emotional intelligence as “the capacity to reason about emotions, and of emotions to enhance thinking. It includes the ability to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.” 1 They describe EI as a combination of intelligence and emotion that can help people to identify emotions within themselves and others, regulate their emotions and use them to problem solve and help them to relate to and help others. 2,3

EI competencies are considered more important to leadership success than skills like planning ability and financial knowledge. 4  They’re considered crucial for building good relationships within companies and developing employees to their highest potentials. 4 Many leaders within the business world score low on emotional intelligence ratings even though EI is essential for successful leadership and mentoring within companies. Such relationships are thought to “produce more than a 500 percent return on investment” as well as other “intangible benefits.” 4

Emotional Intelligence versus Emotional Knowledge, Emotional Literacy and Social Skills

People can enrich their emotional knowledge and social skills. Someone with a high emotional intelligence will learn about emotions faster than someone with low EI and master more skills more easily.5
Emotional understanding and skills can help people to better regulate their emotions and relate to others. Emotional intelligence is partially innate, partially shaped by the early environment and partially learned. 2 Our genetic heritage endows each of us with series of emotional set-points that defines our temperament. However the brain circuitry involved is extraordinarily malleable; temperament is not destiny.  The emotional lessons we learn as children at home and at school shape the emotional circuits, making us more adept-or inept-at the bases of emotional intelligence. 2

Our courses are designed to increase your emotional intelligence. We focus on EI shaped by the early environment & learned part of human EI. 

Negative childhood events like neglect, instability, upset or lack of attunement between caretaker and a child creates negative imprints on emotional circuits of our brain which in turn curtails emotional development & attunement. These imprints are often responsible for emotional outbursts or those times when we exhibit inability to cope with our emotions and don’t seem to rationally understand why we behave or feel the way we do. However as earlier stated brain circuitry involved are malleable and with experiential leaning, visualization and various other techniques employed in the training the imprints are positively influenced and reshaped, which in turn increases EI and our ability to cope with life.

Emotional knowledge is a part or learned EI, its important for everyone and is   also included in the curriculum of the training.  So our Emotional Intelligence course as well as Emotional reasoning coaching among other things will increase social function and improve relationships.

What Emotional Intelligence Does Predict

So far, available research has found that people with high emotional intelligence: 1,7

•    Are better at social interaction
•    Have more friends
•    Are well-liked, respected and trusted
•    Are able to manage stress in themselves and others

People with low emotional intelligence: 1,7
•    Are prone to physical or verbal aggression
•    More likely to bully or be violent
•    Are more apt to use alcohols, drugs or tobacco

The complexity involved in senior leadership positions promotes a reliance on logical part of the brain. This is further exacerbated by the fact that people are often promoted based on their Technical Expertise. For this reason often EI tends to decrease as people move up the corporate ladder which creates double edge sword as relational skills are increasingly crucial for creating vision and motivating others. They’re important “when positive personal commitments are important to success.” 7

Nurse managers, for example, with high EI are able to recognize when they’re overemotional, when they need to change tactics or take a break. 7  They realize that every single person deserves respect; they empathize with others; and they reduce stress for others. 7

Employees with high EI are more satisfied with their social networks and get more social support. 7 They are better able to avoid arguments and other obstacles to good relations. 7

Emotional Intelligence Extrapolations

A simpler definition of emotional intelligence: 5

•    Accurately identifying emotions
•    Using emotions to help you think
•    Understanding what causes emotions
•    Staying open to emotions to gain wisdom

There are four branches of emotional intelligence: identification, thought facilitation, understanding and management. 5

Emotional identification involves the ability to perceive and recognize emotions through facial expressions, tone of voice and body language within yourself and in others. It also includes the ability to label emotions and communicate clearly about them. 5

The ability to harness emotions for thinking includes using feelings in analysis, decision-making, problem-solving and reasoning. Emotions can help you realize what is important to address. 5
Emotional understanding involves seeing cause and effect relations between emotions, thoughts and behaviors. It gives you the ability to recognize how vital emotions are in the human experience and helps you to solve emotional problems. 5

Emotional management is a crucial component of EI. It involves the ability to regulate your emotions and divorce them from defeatist thoughts or actions. It includes the ability to use negative emotions in positive ways and the ability to help others identify, understand and benefit from their feelings. 5

Whatever someone’s EQ may be, all of us can learn to be aware of emotions and better manage them. Such learning can help us to think before we act, be OK with ambiguity and suspend judgments. 4 Emotional knowledge can help us combat negativity, manage stress and increase self-confidence. 4 Social interaction skills can help us to gain the trust of others and decrease friction within organizations. 4 Social skills are essential for communication, negotiation, collaboration and motivation in business. 4

While emotional coaching can help improve productivity and satisfaction for every employee, the lack of such skills among leaders is especially troubling. How a leader interacts with workers directly influences employee satisfaction and business outcomes. 4

Coaching can increase productivity awareness by as much as 68 percent and communication skills by 40 percent. Such coaching can increase adaptability to change and innovation by 53 percent; more than halve stress levels; improve work quality by 43 percent and increase employee satisfaction by 52 percent. 4

1)  University of New Hampshire: Psychological Inquiry: Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Findings and Implications http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/EI%20Assets/Reprints…EI%20Proper/EI2004MayerSaloveyCarusotarget.pdf

2)  Psychology Today: The Socially Savvy http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200501/the-socially-savvy

3)  Psychology Today: What Emotional Intelligence Is and Is Not  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-personality-analyst/200909/what-emotional-intelligence-is-and-is-not

4)  Leadership Performance: Emotional Intelligence – A Leadership Mentoring and Coaching Performance Framework http://leadershipperformance.blogspot.com/2009/12/emotional-intelligence-leadership.html

5)  EQI Org: Definition of Emotional Intelligence http://eqi.org/eidefs.htm

6)  University of New Hampshire: Improving Emotional Knowledge and Social Effectiveness http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/ei%20Improve/ei%20Rasing%20EI.htm

7)  University of New Hampshire: What Does Emotional Intelligence Predict? http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/ei%20Implications/ei%20EI%20predict.htm