Emotional Intelligence and the Quality Manager - Beauty and the Beast?

Journal for Quality and Participation vol. 31 issue 4 - January 2009

Abstract: The world of quality has undergone a number of transformations in the past few decades, from a focus on quality control to the concept of total quality management, and then to quality assurance and defect prevention. The popular concept today is Lean Six Sigma, a combination of the best practices of Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing requiring quality managers to be multi-faceted individuals with good interpersonal skills and a wide breadth of knowledge. To succeed, the quality manager must have both conventional intelligence and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, which can be further divided into a personal competence domain and a social competence domain, is characterized by self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy, management of relationships, and management of one’s emotions. In contrast to cognitive intelligence that stresses technical analysis and reasoning, emotional intelligence focuses on relationship management and an ability to make decisions in an atmosphere of stress, emotions, and pressure. Emotional intelligence is an important factor in the degree of success enjoyed by leaders. Sources of additional articles on emotional intelligence are available online.

Keywords: Competitive intelligence - Human factors - Leadership - Management skills - Quality philosophy

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