Emotional Intelligence popularly referred to as EI or Emotional Quotient (EQ), has become an important topic within corporate leadership development. Emotional Intelligence as a factor in developing leaders, shaping organizational culture, and ultimately affecting an organization’s financial performance. The corporate world has long recognized that the greatest and most effective leaders offer more than traditional intelligence. Indeed, countless “smart” leaders have fallen from grace in recent years, When it comes to building strong leaders, organizations are now turning to the concept of Emotional Intelligence to help give leaders a new type of intelligence edge above and beyond technical aptitudes.
Emotional Intelligence is more than an amorphous concept related to “playing well with others.” It is made of a specific set of observable and measurable emotional and social skills that impacts the way people perceive and express themselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way. In fact, the process/ mechanism by which it affects an organization and its bottom line is through its role in creating a high-performance culture.
Roger Pearman, Founder and CEO of Leadership Performance Systems, said, “What builds great and sustainable organizations are leaders with a high degree of business specific skills, planning and control and Emotional Intelligence methods to keep people motivated and engaged. Leaders who have a sensitivity to relationships and do a good job of building relationships have something beyond business skills that help organizations succeed. They have highly developed emotionally-intelligent behaviors.”
What is emotional intelligence?
One of the definitions for emotional intelligence is that the emotional intelligence the ability to, for instance, understand your effect on others and manage yourself accordingly accounts for nearly 90 percent of what moves people up the ladder when IQ and technical skills are roughly similar .Also According to Goleman (2000), ‘a leader’s singular job is to get results’. However, even with all the leadership training programs and ‘expert’ advice available, effective leadership still eludes many people and organizations. One reason, says Goleman, is that such experts offer advice based on inference, experience and instinct, not on quantitative data. The discussion of EQ often begins with an emotional challenge from Aristotle: ‘Anyone can become angry–that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time’.
From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It does not necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.Leaders now need to manage and lead an empowered workforce and go beyond the consultative, co-operative and democratic styles of today. The core of high EI is self-awareness: if you do not understand your own motivations and behaviors, it is nearly impossible to develop an understanding of others. A lack of self-awareness can also thwart your ability to think rationally and apply technical capabilities.
These new demands include :
- Consultation and involvement but leaders are been criticized for not having and communicating a compelling vision and purpose.
- Autonomy and freedom but leaders are expected to take full responsibility when things go wrong.
- Opportunities for growth, challenge and glory but leaders must be on hand to coach and mentor us so that we develop our potential.
- Inclusion and team Spirit but we still want our leaders to give us individual recognition and acknowledgement.
Components of emotional intelligence
Goleman (1998) states that the five components of Emotional Intelligence at Work are: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation or Management, Motivation, Empathy (Social Awareness), and Social Skills (Relationship Management). There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitute what is known as emotional intelligence plays a key role in determining success, both in one’s personal life and in the workplace. In addition to, the core of high EI is self-awareness: if you do not understand your own motivations and behaviors, it is nearly impossible to develop an understanding of others. A lack of self-awareness can also thwart your ability to think rationally and apply technical capabilities.
Emotional intelligence effect on organization performance
Emotional intelligence increases corporate performance for a number of reasons. The most important is the ability of managers and leaders to inspire discretionary effort the extent to which employees and team members go beyond the call of duty. In addition, Individuals are much more inclined to go the extra mile when asked by an empathetic person they respect and admire. Although discretionary effort is not endless, managers with low emotional intelligence will have much less to draw on. If an organization has a cadre of emotionally intelligent leaders, such discretionary efforts multiply.
Surveys has proved that among different leadership methods the Emotional intelligence is the most effective one. It proved that 60% of managers whose organizations use Emotional Intelligence assessments rate them as effective on par with methods such as executive coaching, global assignments .where Bob Anderson Said, “What does it cost you when your employees are in survival mode rather than thrive mode? What does it cost if they have no access or support to be courageous and creative? Emotional Intelligence assessments address these questions and help identify key areas where you can improve. That information can be painful, but so well worth it in the end. “The argument that Emotional Intelligence is a critical component of effective leadership is an intuitive and persuasive one. Executives who possess higher levels of specific EI attributes like(empathy, self-regard, reality testing and problem solving)were more likely to yield higher profit earnings .As Bill George succinctly put it, “I have never seen leaders fail for lack of raw intelligence, but have observed more than a hundred who have failed for lack of Emotional Intelligence”.
Researches showed that organizations that use assessments to track or measure Emotional Intelligence are more likely to report positive revenue growth rates than other organizations. Some of the effective methods of integrating Emotional Intelligence include – Using assessments that evaluate an individual’s Emotional Intelligence level, Incorporating Emotional intelligence as a topic in Training & Development courses and including improvements in Emotional Intelligence as an objective for leadership/executive coaching.
Program elements to consider :
- Incorporating Emotional intelligence as a topic in Training & Development courses.
- Holding leaders accountable for improvements in Emotional Intelligence as an objective for leadership/executive coaching.
- Particular consideration should be given to Emotional Intelligence assessments, as a cost-effective and impactful tool to develop leaders, as well as improve the bottom line.
For organizational success, not only technical and financial skills are important, but also the Emotional intelligence skills. The importance of additional set of skills that impacts leaders’ effectiveness, an organization’s culture, and ultimately business performance: Emotional Intelligence competencies, help determine the way people perceive and express themselves, how they develop and maintain social relationships, cope with changes and challenges, and how they use emotional input inside and outside of the workplace. Emotional Intelligence is not static, but can be cultivated with organizational commitment and investment. Incorporating Emotional Intelligence assessments in an organization is a cost-conscious and efficient way to improve overall leadership development effectiveness. We find that other implementations of EI also have a measurable impact on effective leadership development. Organizations that incorporate Emotional Intelligence in leadership development in two or more ways realize greater effectiveness than do organizations with less EI implementation. This finding is likely a manifestation of Emotional Intelligence influencing the work culture as a whole, helping to produce and maintain a high-performance environment that sows the seeds of ongoing success