Emotional Intelligence – “The Essential Ingredient To Success”

Emotional-Intelligence-BigThe Summer 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review On Point was devoted to emotional intelligence, which the publication lauded as ‘The Essential Ingredient to Success.”  EI is a core attribute that, when developed, perfects our leadership and communication abilities.  It’s actually more important to professional success than technical and cognitive skills.  The Editors sum it up this way:

The qualities that make up emotional intelligence – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill – enable the best leaders to raise their own and their followers’ performance to a higher level.  Fortunately, these attributes can be strengthened over time.  The key is to recognize that they are crucial and identify which need work.

What is emotional intelligence? When Drs. Mayer, Ph.D., and Salovey, Ph.D., introduced the term “emotional intelligence”, they used it to describe a person’s ability to understand personal emotions and the emotions of others and to act appropriately based on this understanding. Daniel Goleman is responsible for EI’s current level of interest and popularity, through his books Emotional Intelligence (1995) and Primal Leadership (2002).  Goleman writes that, based on his research:

Emotional Intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership.  Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.

Fortunately it’s now very easy to determine an individual’s EI.  In order to assess EI in an individual we measure these seven core attributes, which target both internal and external EI factors:

  1. Communication Skills – “Can John communicate effectively with a variety of other people?” This measures John’s ability to relate to others and to understand them accurately. This category is composed of the following capacities: Freedom From Prejudices, Handling Rejection, Evaluating What Is Said, Sense of Timing, and Understanding Attitude.
  2. Interpersonal Skills – “How does John approach getting along with others?” This measures John’s ability to interact with clients, customers, and coworkers on a daily basis.
  3. Personal Motivators – “What drives John?” Different cognitive values cause John to have a different motivation. There are no “good” or “bad” scores in this category. Instead, these score are an indication of the degree of influence that each of the six personal motivators exert.
  4. Self Awareness – How aware is John of his own unique abilities, his limitations, and how confident is he in these? This category examines how John feels about himself, the ability he has to be objective and accurate in this assessment and how strongly he believes in what he sees inside himself.
  5. Self Management – “Is John an effective manager of John?” This category takes a look at how John manages himself, and the capacities he possesses to allow him to develop himself.
  6. Social Awareness – “How does John approach getting along with others?” This measures John’s ability to interact with clients, customers, and coworkers on a daily basis.
  7. Social Skills – How well does John relate with others in a social setting? This category takes a look at John’s ability to interact with others productively, understand them, collaborate on business with them, and lead or manage them.
About The Author

Sandy Cormack

Sandy Cormack is the managing director of Strategic Diagnostics LLC. He specializes in diagnosing organizational problems to dramatically increase effectiveness of hiring, individual and organizational performance.

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