ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

December1999

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Back To The Future In 2000

Purpose, Planning And Preparing

Getting In Touch With Your Emotions

No Gimmicks. No Frills. Just The Facts

Ritz-Carlton Again



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Large Ideas Expressed In Small Amounts
by Peter Block


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Get In Touch With Your Emotions
Why Your Emotional Intelligence Might Be as Important as Your IQ

Emotional skills and emotional development, long shunned by corporate America, have been receiving increased attention and training dollars in recent years.While many might say that these are all things we should have learned in kindergarten or at least at our mother’s knee, the fact is, developing insight into how our emotions develop and how to manage them can be an asset in the workplace.

Two recent best-selling novels, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ” and “Working with Emotional Intelligence,” by noted psychologist Daniel Goleman have shed insight and understanding into the concept of emotional intelligence—a person’s ability to govern their emotions and to interact with others.

“Working with Emotional Intelligence” was based upon studies of more than 500 organizations and it provided hard data that the soft skills associated with emotional intelligence were crucial to individual and corporate success. From CEOs to entry-level employees, workers who demonstrate emotional intelligence are more likely to perform well at work. Examples of emotional intelligence traits include self-control, initiative, optimism, service orientation, developing others, conflict management and building relationships.
One example in “Working with Emotional Intelligence” looks at computer programmers. In this field, employees in the top 10 percent of the emotional intelligence test produced 320 percent more effective programs than co-workers with lower emotional intelligence scores. Astonishingly, programmers in the top 1 percent for emotional intelligence produce 1,272 percent more than the average.


Building EI
So what can a company do to develop workers with high emotional intelligence? Fortunately, unlike a person’s IQ, emotional intelligence can be developed and improved. Legions of training programs that address the development of emotional intelligence have been surfacing. Typical courses for building emotional intelligence include active listening, problem solving and team building. However, it takes more than a training course to transform the emotional lackey into the emotional star. Developing superior emotional intelligence requires a conscious effort to improve an understanding of the desired traits and the ability to recognize these traits. Communication and attention to interpersonal relations is also crucial for improving emotional intelligence.


Testing EI
The most popular method for testing emotional intelligence is the BarOn EQ-i, the first scientifically developed and validated measure of emotional intelligence. The BarOn EQ-i was created by Dr. Reuven Bar-On and is based on 18 years of research and has been tested on over 20,000 individuals worldwide. The test results reflect a person’s ability to deal with daily environmental challenges and help predict one’s success in life, including professional and personal pursuits.

The EQ-i (Emotional Quotient Inventory) consists of 133 short questions that measure emotional self-awareness, assertiveness, self-regard, empathy, interpersonal relationship, social responsibility, optimism and other emotional traits.

EI vs. IQ
Some psychologists maintain that emotional intelligence will eventually replace IQ as the leading indicator of intelligence and success potential. While that remains to be seen, one thing is certain—emotional intelligence is now viewed as a viable and valuable quality within the business world.

December '99 News for a Change | Email Editor
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