Tag Archives: EI

Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 4

Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the fourth of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

Organizations continually face the challenge of finding their next generation of leaders. According to an article published in the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA), “Identifying leaders is not about simply reviewing a performance appraisal and making a selection based upon what the individual knows or does not know about getting the job done. Just because someone excels in a functionally specialized role – say, as an accountant or a computer programmer – does not guarantee that he or she has the qualities to effectively lead an organization from an enterprise-wide perspective” (2004).

The ability of organizations to improve performance through emotional intelligence (EI) adds to their bottom line and shareholder value by hiring and retaining a higher caliber of employees, reduced turnover, employee satisfaction and financial results.  Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee (2001) examined the question of what drives an organization’s bottom line performance and determined that EI was a major factor in successful leadership.

Over the past 10-12 years there has been the development of several multi-rater or 360-degree surveys that have been designed to measure emotional intelligence in the workplace. Many of these are based on a model of emotional intelligence called the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI).  These surveys and raters have been useful in providing feedback on (a) someone’s individual strengths and weaknesses compared to others in the same organization or in a similar role, and (b) they also provide feedback on the gaps or discrepancies between a person’s self-perceptions and how they are rated or perceived by others.  These feedback systems are great for enhancing self-knowledge, leading to improved leadership behaviors, effectiveness and performance.



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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 3

Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the third of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

It is important to understand that emotional intelligence (EI) is not a contradiction of cognitive (IQ intelligence), or even a conflict of head over heart, but a distinctive intersection of both – head working with heart. When you look at EI without cognitive intelligence, or cognitive intelligence without EI, you only get part of the solution, creating a gap in human abilities that lies between head and heart – more technically stated, between cognition and emotion. EI competencies involve a certain amount of skill sets in the emotional domain, coupled with skill sets in the necessary cognitive domain of that ability. By incorporating emotions with intelligence, you add the human flair that would otherwise be missing.

While technical skills and acquired knowledge are important, especially in an individual’s early career development path, scaling to the higher rungs of the career ladder calls for the exceptional ability to manage and lead people. Based on research, individuals that possess high EI competencies not only know how to understand themselves and keep their emotions in check, they demonstrate an ability to understand and recognize the value of other’s perspectives.

Research indicates that a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) and training account for 20 percent or less of the differentiation between a star performer and an ordinary employee.  The remaining 80 percent more or less is attributed to EI. Due to the enormous impact EI can have on leadership success, findings may necessitate a change in the methods organizations use to train and develop leaders; and in turn, the way leaders train and develop their followers.

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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 2

Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the second of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.”
Lao Tse

Leaders need to know what makes everyone tick, starting with themselves. Many leaders do not often recognize, or take into consideration, the impact their behavior has on the very people they rely on for their success. Leaders must not only hold their employees fully accountable for “what” they do, they must hold those employees accountable for “how” they perform their work.  To do this, leaders must first be ready to take a straightforward look at themselves to make sure their behaviors are in line with their organization’s stated values, and that their leadership practices are supported by strong emotional intelligence competencies (self-awareness, social awareness, self-management & relationship management). This is essential if the leader is willing to build strong, long-lasting relationships and effective leadership.

Dealing with emotionally precarious situations in the workplace can become complicated, and leaders sometimes side step issues they should confront. When these difficult situations are compounded with inadequate communication skills, the end result can become extremely volatile.  The lack of ability to control emotions and display effective communication skills can lead to unsettled conflicts, low morale and diminished productivity. Effective management of employee frustration, anger and upset is critical to employee commitment, motivation and productivity, as well as to an organization’s overall health and profitability. The need exists to help leaders learn to use their emotions in a productive manner and, if necessary, to develop the needed skills for relating well with others.

The benefits of understanding how emotional intelligence competencies contribute to fostering strong leadership qualities for individuals and organizations has far reaching implications. “According to research conducted by Wilson Learning Corporation in Eden Prairie, MN, not only is there a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and job performance, but the biggest contributor to employee satisfaction — and thus productivity — is leadership” (Caudron, 1996, ¶ 3). Organizations can be instrumental in supporting this effort by identifying cultural and leadership principles that promote leadership supported by emotional intelligence.


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Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the first of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part One

Ever observe someone you considered an ineffective leader and wonder why they were in a leadership position?  They are intelligent and have the cognitive abilities to do the job, but do they have people skills—the interpersonal intelligence?  They may have a genius level IQ, but are clueless when it comes to dealing with people.  Here is where emotional intelligence (EI) can play a key role in determining the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective leader.  Defined by Daniel Goleman, EI is the noncognitive abilities that help people adapt to all aspects of life.  His research argued that these human competencies (interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies) play a larger role than cognitive intelligence in determining success in life and in the workplace, separating average from the first-rate performers.  While the findings are not sufficient to state “conclusively” that leaders with high levels of EI are better leaders, 25+ years of empirical studies done in the fields of IQ and EI show that there are clear connections between the higher ranges of EI and the possession of skills and abilities associated with leadership excellence. Gaining an understanding of those connections provide individuals in leadership positions ammunition in their efforts to enhance leadership performance.

While leadership performance has always been considered important, events in the last several years like 9/11 and the Enron and WorldCom scandals have brought to the forefront the amount of power and influence a leader can have over his or her followers.  When organizations stop and consider significant questions such as what motivates a leader to choose a certain course of action, what causes people to follow someone they perceive as a leader and when does leadership become detrimental or ineffective, they may need to reexamine the methods and approaches in which they recruit, hire, develop and promote leaders in the workplace.

Organizations promoting individuals based solely on their business expertise and ignoring their emotional intelligence competencies could lead to poor individual performance as a leader, employee attrition and potential organization failure in the areas of internal recruiting and hiring practices and organizational succession planning.  Studies reveal that “when selection, training, and succession planning are based on the emotional intelligence models, organizational as well as individual effectiveness improves” (Bar-on, Handley & Fund). Weisinger, in his book Emotional Intelligence at Work, asserts that “the lack of emotional intelligence undermines both an individual’s and a company’s growth and success.”

One approach to studying and analyzing leadership behavior is to delve into the implications that emotional intelligence contributes to effective performance.  My MBA thesis was an “Exploratory Study of the Significant Contribution That Emotional Intelligence Competencies Can Have on the Successful Transition of an Employee from Individual Contributor to That of a People Leader”.  In conducting my research, I was surprised at how many organizations did not include EI in their hiring, training and promotion programs.

Please share your thoughts and experience on this subject. 


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