Notes on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence –EI, some notes.

Emotional Intelligence is a ‘hot’ subject within Human Resources, and with pioneering books made popular by people like Daniel Goleman it’s a subject that has started to get into general dissuasions.

Why?  I believe there is a change in our world view.

  • The world view on leadership is rapidly changing. We don’t believe that dictatorial leadership is acceptable and many will not respond to the ‘carrot’ of money or power as the main driver for their lives without question. Gordon Gecko is seen as humorous ‘history’.

  • To be connected and understood is a high value. It’s often more important that money or status. So just to be ‘told’ and to exist under a ‘command and control’ type of environment is unattractive for many who are seeking a sense of meaning for their lives and are willing to be transparent in their search. (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs depicts this drive, in a society which has the privilege of choice, with a person moving naturally upwards to ‘self esteem’ and ‘self actualizing’ as the motivation for their lives. These values are seen as irrelevant, even selfish, in a driven and controlled environment)

  • We believe that leadership should be clear and envision us, but it also is required to be authentic and in touch with us as people.

  • We have come to see ‘choice’ as our right. This means we should be allowed to choose our responses, asking for more information, asking for reasoned explanations and seeing that there is consistency in our ‘human’ leadership. Even in wanting consistency we will cope with leaders being flawed as we accept that’s more genuine that those that portray total control and competence. (provided they are willing to own their flaws as well!)

This puts a high value on leadership that can connect with their own, and others lives. It’s a different leadership that will survive a series of changes as its values are stronger than a single cooperate, and inevitably, limited vision.

It also depicts an organisation that is vibrate with individuals who are self motivated and contributing to their society, creating value as they themselves have value.

For an organisation to survive in a changing and economically tougher world it’s a ‘must’ to be embraced into all levels of management, perhaps particularly those of the baby boomer generation.

Focus on EI has also lead to huge saving in companies as people are not just selected on IQ or technical competence but also on EI. Lower staff turnover and better and quicker management encouraging ‘thinking employees’ area result. It’s a powerful reason to make it a valued tool in financial planning.

Adele Lynn in 1990 set out the 5 areas of focus for those seeking Emotional Intelligence.

  1. Self - Awareness and Self – Control: The ability to fully understand oneself and to use that information to manage emotions productively.

  1. Empathy:  The ability to understand the perspective of others.

  1. Social Expertness: The ability to build genuine relationships and bonds and to express caring, concern and conflict in healthy ways.

  1. Personal influence: The ability to positively lead and inspire others as well as oneself.

  1. Mastery of Purpose and Vision: The ability to bring authenticity to ones life by living a life based on deeply felt intentions and values.

As we look at this list we can all agree that we could be more competent in EI.- it’s a subjective thing, and we all want to be better as the results surpass most other learning and bring clarity and a deep satisfaction.