Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace
Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been recently validated with
about 25 major skill areas that can influence your
career and create abilities that improve your worth at work. These EI skills are not readily measured on standard
intelligence or expertise tests. In fact, EI is quite different from IQ. People with emotional intelligence have
tremendous advantages that far outweigh highly intelligent people who may be moody, premadonnas or have
temper tantrum ms.
These "emotional intelligence" skills can count for far more
when it comes to being a "star performer" or excelling
at just about any job. To be outstanding, these EI skills are nearly everything for reaching success and the top of
any career ladder. In the USA Today article, "Working Smart," author Dr. Daniel Goleman stresses that emotional
intelligence is not just being "nice" or giving free rein to feelings so that it "all hangs out." Instead, successful
people use their EI to manage feelings both appropriately and effectively so that the common good and goals of
the work group can be readily achieved.
Each person has a profile of emotional strong and weak point
areas. For example, a generality and on the average
statement can be made that women are more aware of their emotions, are empathetic and are adept interpersonally.
On the average, men appear more self-confident, optimistic, adapt easily, and handle stress better. Goleman reports
that there are far more similarities than differences between women and men and there are five major categories
with five components each that complete the EI profile.
To know your emotional intelligence you need to understand these
25 abilities that matter the most. The five major
categories include: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills. There are only about
two dozen emotional intelligence skills that affect all aspects of work. Some of them are: accurate self-assessment,
self-confidence, self-control, conscientiousness, adaptability, innovation, commitment, initiative, political
awareness, optimism, understanding others, conflict management skills, team capabilities, communication, and the
ability to initiate or manage change.
The article cites examples of how important EI is to industry
leaders, flight attendants, physicians, managers, and
computer programmers. It appears to be especially important for computer programmers who can make a
competitive difference with emotional intelligence abilities that help a person to collaborate, (not compete against
the team), stay late to help the team members, and share shortcuts to achieving answers. The output of the
surveyed top programmers in the USA showed a 1,272 percent more than the average production return. EI affects
The good news for everyone is that unlike IQ which does not change
much after our teen years, the level of our
emotional intelligence can continue to grow, develop and change as it is largely a learned area of expertise.
Goleman calls this growth by its old-fashioned word: "maturity."
TALKING IT OVER AND THINKING IT THROUGH!
1.Goleman offers twelve questions to ask yourself
to see if you work with emotional intelligence. If you
answer "yes" to half or more, (and if other people who know you agree with your self-rating) then you are
doing okay with your EI. See where you score on these items taken from his emotional intelligence chart.
Do you - can you - are you:
understand both your strengths
be depended on to take care of every detail? Do you hate to let things slide?
comfortable with change and open to novel ideas?
motivated by the satisfaction of meeting your own standards of excellence?
stay optimistic when things go wrong?
see things from another person's point of view and sense what matters most to that person?
let customers' needs determine how you serve them?
enjoy helping co-workers develop their skills?
read office politics accurately?
able to find "win-win" solutions in negotiations and conflicts?
the kind of person other people want on a team? Do you enjoy collaborating with others?
Add up the number of questions
to which you could answer yes. How did you score? Answering yes to
six or more of the EI skill items indicates that you are working well and with maturity in the workplace. Do
you have more than five questions to which you answered no? Do people who know you well agree with
your high number of negative scores? If so, what can you do to change and improve your emotional
2.In businesses and workplaces of every kind,
a great deal of time has to be spent in meetings. To be
effective and productive, these meetings must be carefully planned, skillfully led, and the emotional
intelligence of the participants can affect the outcome. What are some things that you need to do as the
moderator of the meeting to get all participants to share information and contribute to good
decision-making? Remember that the key can be understanding others, political awareness of the emotional
currents and power relationships, leveraging diversity, developing others and bolstering their abilities as
suggested by Goleman.
3.Another area in which empathy has a play
is being a good listener. If you know your emotional intelligence
"quotient" needs improvement in your listening ability and that you need to improve your listening habits,
what are some of the things you can do to become a "mature" EI listener? What distinguishes good
listeners from the bad ones that you may know or have to deal with each day at work?
THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE!
In the future, employers are going to require emotional intelligence
from their workers, especially as these skills
become more critical in a global, diverse workplace. Employees will have to participate in team building and use
collaborative, emotional intelligence skills that enhance working on shared goals.
To get you started in a new emotional intelligence direction,
the key is to change what may be just a bad habit.
There are proven techniques that really work to modify behavior, which ultimately can change the outcome of
your future at both work and home.
In "Change Your Bad Habits to Good," the author studied more
than 2000 years of self-change concepts and came
up with three especially good methods to successfully effect change. "People who have successfully changed
their eating habits or career paths often relied on these methods," states Dr. Robert Epstein, United States
International University at San Diego professor.
Epstein calls them the "Three M's. Briefly, they are: Modify
your environment, Monitor your behavior, and Make
commitments. People, who change their self, change their world, or "stimulus environment." If you become more
aware of what you are doing wrong -let's say an annoying bad habit - and start self-monitoring yourself, you can
start to perform positively. Just writing down on a piece of paper each time you misbehave or mis-speak can make
you focus on changing behavior. Another powerful aid to developing those EI skill areas that you may want to
reinforce is to make a commitment to another person, who in turn, will put pressure on you when you don't comply
with the area in need of improvement. The really happy news with emotional intelligence maturity building is that
we can meet and master improvements in EI with skill techniques not just will power.
If you are intrigued by the idea that we can change and enhance
our emotional intelligence and increase our
capacity for job output, earnings, security, and sales, you might want to read Daniel Goleman's book entitled,
Working With Emotional Intelligence. Workplace expertise is more than the ability to technically operate
equipment, especially as we move toward a service industry economy.
A new EI quotient inventory test has recently been validated
and become available in the past few months.
Researcher Reuven BarOn has discovered 15 factors that allow psychologists to measure EI. What is significant
about his work is that it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what is going wrong when a person is
unable to respond effectively to a problem.
If you are interested in your ability to guide your emotional
responses to those events that happen in your life so
that you can act upon your emotions in an effective manner, you may want to take the BarOn Emotional Quotient
Inventory Test. Dr. Tom Muha, director of psychology and co-director of The Counseling and Relationship
Enhancement Center in Annapolis, MD, discussed in detail on October 1, 1998, the BarOn Inventory in his
psychology column for The Capitol Online, a supplemental version of the paper published on the Internet.
Goleman, Daniel. "Working Smart." USA Weekend, October 2-4, 1998, pp. 4-5.
Epstein, Robert. "Change Your Bad Habits to Good." Reader's Digest,
October 1998, pp. 25-30.