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Create emotionally intelligent organisation

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Business Eye

It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head…it is the unique intersection of both—David Caruso


What is Emotional Intelligence (EI), and why is it important for an organisation to become emotionally intelligent? To answer these questions, I will highlight the research conducted by the person who coined the term “emotional intelligence,” psychologist and author Daniel Goleman. Consequently, reference is also made to the Institute of Social and Emotional Intelligence (ISEI) and the knowledge I gained in my journey towards becoming a certified social and emotional intelligence coach with ISEI.


Goleman describes EI as “managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.” Goleman further states that EI consists of four major elements. They are:
• Self-awareness
• Self-management
• Social awareness
• Relationship management



Now that we have defined what is EI, and the skills that are necessary to become emotionally intelligent, let us now look at the question of why is it important. Goleman in his book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” stated, “The rules for work are changing. We are being measured by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.”


Goleman seems to suggest that intelligent quotient (IQ) is not the only measurement for employees, although it can get you into the organisation, but how well you play the game and survive is determined by another skills set. If what Goleman said is true, then executives, managers, supervisors and employees have to find “the meeting point of heart and head.”


Our attention now turns to why an organisation is measuring employees’ performance by a “new yardstick,” according to Goleman. To examine this point, I want to discuss the S+EI Four Quadrant Model, which was adopted from ISEI. In this model, the ISEI expanded on the four major skills that Goleman spoke about, and have attributed 26 competencies to them. However, we will examine the major ones.



In the first quadrant of self-awareness, we examine the first three competencies:
• Emotional awareness—recognising your feelings in the moment and the effect it is having on you.
• Accurate self-assessment—knowing what your strengths and limitations are.
• Personal power—having a sense of your own self-worth, capabilities and self-confidence.



The second quadrant is about self-management, looking at your internal state and impulses:
• Behavioural self-control—having your disruptive feelings and impulses under control.
• Integrity—living your life by the standards of honesty and ethical values.
• Innovation and creativity—actively pursuing new approaches and ideas.
• Initiative and bias for action—being ready to take action when opportunity knocks.
• Achievement drive—having a desire to achieve excellence in everything that you do.
• Realistic optimism—keeping a positive mind-set, setting and achieving your goals despite the obstacles in your path.
• Resilience—be diligent and determined to achieve what you set out to do.



In the third quadrant of social-awareness, we look at three factors:
• Empathy—sensing others feelings and showing interest in what they are experiencing.
• Situational awareness—being able to “size up” a situation that a group might be feeling and plan an appropriate response.
• Service orientation—anticipating, recognising and meeting customers’ needs.



The fourth and final quadrant examines social skills, relationship management:
• Communication—listening attentively and having open dialogue.
• Interpersonal effectiveness—having the right skills that will allow you to relate to people and build rapport.
• Powerful influencing skills—applying effective strategies for persuasion.
• Conflict management—being able to negotiate and resolve disputes.
• Catalysing change—initiating, managing and leading change.
• Building bonds—connecting with people in a way that builds trust.
• Teamwork and collaboration—working with a group of people towards achieving a common objective.
• Coaching and mentoring others—identifying the needs of individuals and groups, listening to their concerns and getting them to move from awareness to action.
• Building trust—being honest and ethical in your relationships with people that foster a bond of trust.



Having outlined the ISEI’s four quadrant model and the several competencies that form part of the major skills of emotional intelligence, it is important to note that this will go a long way in growing leaders, help build rapport and trust, improve communication among colleagues, manage disagreements, respond to changes, and learn to remain calm under pressure. 


Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman sums it up nicely when she said, and I quote, “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”



Nashroon Mohammed is a life and workplace coach.


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