09 Apr 2014

Emotional Intelligence for Today's Managers

Article on - Emotional Intelligence for Today's Managers

You might have heard the term “Emotional Intelligence” being mentioned or even seen some books on the subject in the self-help section of the local bookstore. So what, exactly, is Emotional Intelligence and how do we use this to help us manage ourselves and others more effectively?
There seem to be many definitions of "Emotional Intelligence" (EQ), so let's look at the skills specific to managers, and how they might be improved in management training.
Here's the definition of the seven EQ leadership competencies as proposed by Dulewicz and Higgs (2003):
    * Self-awareness
    * Emotional resilience
    * Motivation
    * Sensitivity
    * Influence
    * Intuitiveness
    * Conscientiousness
All very desirable traits, but very difficult to improve through a standard training course or presentation involving lectures, or an e-learning course where you sit alone in front of a computer screen for hours. Let's have a detailed look at each of the points above.
The ability to read one’s own emotions and recognize their impact. This implies an accurate self–assessment, and self-confidence.
Emotional resilience
Your ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. Resilient people can adapt to adversity without lasting difficulty.
Awareness of the needs and emotions of others.
Your ability or power to persuade or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, of others.
Having or possessing intuition, which is the direct perception of truth, fact independent of any reasoning process; or a keen insight.
This means you are controlled by your conscience; which is the inner sense of what is right or wrong in conduct or motives, leading you to take the right action or to follow the dictates of conscience. The ethical and moral principles that control or inhibit your actions or thoughts.
Training or Experience?
It is our opinion that many of the above traits will be acquired by direct experience. For example, if you have gone through a particularly emotional event such as divorce or bereavement then you will have direct experience of resilience. You will be able to emerge from the event stronger and more resilient if you learn from the experience rather than succumbing to stress.
In terms of management training; any soft-skills course can help to develop an increased awareness of your own abilities, particularly if the training involves an assessment instrument and some 360 degree feedback from other people (this is feedback that comes from all around a person, referring to the 360 degrees in a circle, with an individual imagined to be in the centre of the circle. Feedback is provided by subordinates, peers, and supervisors).
Again, it's important to learn from this kind of experience and not get upset about other people’s comments. Seek out a training course with a suitable assessment instrument and use the training experience to become more self-aware.
Author: Peter James Gilliland

Peter is a Director and Founding Partner of ePM Training Services Pte Ltd. He is an experienced professional consultant, trainer and facilitator with over 25 years of experience leading complex engineering projects in the mobile radio and telecoms infrastructure industry. Peter and his partners provide consultancy and training services to help companies and individuals complete their projects on schedule, within budget, to achieve their goals and maximize customer satisfaction.