Practical EQ - Emotional Intelligence for the rest of us
Emotional Intelligence: what this lens covers
Emotional Intelligence - just a fashionable buzzword or something you need to know about? If you are involved in management, sales, education, or running a business, I'd say the latter.
Although some overhyped claims have been made for EI in the past - especially by management consultants and publishers of EI assessments - it's now well established that emotional intelligence 'competencies' do contribute significantly to performance. In fact, the importance of 'EQ' compared to IQ increases the higher up the management ladder you get.
If you need an overview of emotional intelligence and some pointers to good sources for more information, this is the lens for you!
What is Emotional Intelligence?
- and why it is so important
Emotional Intelligence (EI or "EQ") is the ability to be aware of your own emotions, to recognise and understand emotions in others, to regulate your emotions and handle and inspire emotions in others.
Originating in the work of academic psychologists John Mayer & Peter Salovey, and Reuven Bar-On, in the 80's, EI quickly became a business buzzword when Daniel Goleman's bestselling "Emotional Intelligence" was published in 1995.
Packed as it is with brain science and case studies from business, psychology and education, it wasn't that easy a read compared to many popular business books - yet it became a bestseller.
Why? Because it hit a chord with the times. As the pace of change speeded up and old certainties started to fade, people began to realise that the old-fashioned command-and-control style of leadership wasn't cutting it.
Being good with logic, language and number-crunching - the abilities that schools and the college system select for - are not enough on their own. The heart is more important than the head when it comes to motivating people and connecting with customers.
The business relevance of EI comes from this simple question: how much of themselves do people bring to work? In many workplaces, people check their passion, creativity and humour at the door every day when they show up. I've worked in places like that and I bet you have too.
The businesses which succeed in the 21st Century will be the ones which harness 'discretionary effort' (the stuff that people do beyond what they have to) by making it possible for people to bring the whole of their intelligence - emotional as well as intellectual - to work with them.
The Five Best EI Links for Managers In A Hurry
- How Do You Feel?
An excellent article by Tony Schwartz which gives an overview of the whole field, including short interviews with many of the leading players - Bar-On, Salovey, and Goleman - and case histories of how EQ has helped American Express and the US Air For
- The Business Case For Emotional Intelligence
Case studies showing how emotional intelligence contributes to the bottom line in any work organization. Based on data from a variety of sources, it can be a valuable tool for HR practitioners and managers who need to make the case in their own organ
- Top five tips to improve your emotional intelligence
An article from my web site with some ideas you can start using straight away.
- Guidelines for Promoting Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
(PDF document) 22 guidelines from the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence which represent the best current knowledge about how to promote emotional intelligence in the workplace.
- Emotional Intelligence: what it is and why it matters
A short article by Dr Cary Cherniss which gives an overview which is academic but still readable.
The Five Best Books On Emotional Intelligence for Managers
These are the books that will give you the quickest return on your investment of time in reading them.
As the name suggests, a quick overview of EI and the one to go for if you have to get a handle on the concept quickly.
Goleman's best book - concise, readable and even a bit of practical advice! Also contains some useful stuff about leadership styles (and which ones are appropriate for what occasions) and what research shows about effective goal-setting. (NB published as 'The New Leaders' in the UK!)
The biggest book in this list - I've included it because it's full of inspiring stories and useful exercises for honing your EQ.
It doesn't identify itself as a book about emotional intelligence, but it's all about how to say what needs to be said in an emotionally intelligent way, so it qualifies. Readable and practical.
My Emotional Intelligence Downloads and Resources
Emotional intelligence stuff that I've developed
55 Ways To Increase Your Emotional Intelligence - a no-fluff tips booklet practical tips booklet you can download, priced at $0.99 to make your decision to buy it a no-brainer! Get it in PDF or Amazon Kindle e-book format.
The Practical EQ Emotional Intelligence self-assessment - an entirely unvalidated but thought-provoking download that is currently free.
Sign up for the Coaching Leaders newsletter here and get an 11-page briefing paper on how to be a more emotionally intelligent leader.
Other books about emotional intelligence
My own tips booklet, only 99c or equivalent!
Recommended Squidoo lenses about Emotional Intelligence
- Customer Service Reader
A structured guide to the Customer Service Reader weblog, a collection of notes & commentary on essential works of experts in customer service and related fields.
- A Project Manager's Guide to Emotional Intelligence
This lens is written to help Project Managers explore the topic of Emotional Intelligence and how it can be applied to project management. There is a lot of printed information about project management. Likewise, there are boatloads...
- Emotional Intelligence for Managers
A Hot List of Information & Resources On Emotional Intelligence