The capability of people to perform the work or job
that they do falls into three areas:
- Technical skills - which includes technical expertise
e.g. accountancy skills.
- Intellectual capability - which is commonly known as IQ,
or cognitive abilities.
- Emotional capability - often referred to as emotional
intelligence or EI.
Whilst a significant amount of information, research and
education exists in the fields of technical skills and intellectual
capability, the area of Emotional Intelligence remains largely
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise,
understand and manage emotions in ourselves and others.
Emotional Intelligence is divided into the four clusters
of Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship
Management (often been referred to very broadly as “people
skills” in years gone by).
Daniel Goleman, a leader in this field, has identified that
successful managers and leaders possess a high percentage
of emotional intelligence. By successful we mean those who
- Achieved better financial results,
- Developed more effective and supportive organisational
climates or culture and
- Achieved higher productivity gains with their workforce.
Goleman’s (1998) findings also indicated that Emotional Intelligence
contributes 80 to 90% of the competencies that distinguish
outstanding leaders from average leaders.
The behaviours identified
- the ability to recognise and understand their own
moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others;
the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses, moods
and to think before acting;
- the passion to work for reasons
beyond money or status and the propensity to pursue goals
with energy and persistence;
- the ability to understand the
emotional makeup of other people and the skill in treating
people according to their emotional reactions; the proficiency
in managing relationships, building networks and the ability
to find common ground and build rapport.
IQ versus EI
In professional and technical fields the typical entry-level
threshold IQ is 110 to 120. It is generally considered that
your IQ, which is largely genetic, will change little from
childhood. Since everyone is in the top 10% or so of intelligence,
IQ itself offers relatively little competitive advantage.
EI on the other hand can be learned at any age. Growing your
competency in EI is not easy or quick, as it takes perseverance
in the process of critical self-evaluation, commitment to
improvement and of course behavioural practice.
It is also
important to note, that competence in Emotional Intelligence
does not necessarily increase with age as you might expect.
Some people may learn from life’s experiences, but many do
Figure 1. Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence Model (2002)
The core of Emotional Intelligence is self-awareness. Self-awareness
is comprised of three competencies;
- emotional self-awareness,
where you are able to read and understand your emotions as
well as recognise their impact on work performance and relationships;
accurate self-assessment, where you are able to give a realistic
evaluation of your strengths and limitations;
where you have a positive and strong sense of one’s self-worth.
The starting point and key in these areas is the ability to
be critically self-reflective.
Self-management is comprised of five competencies;
which is keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control;
- transparency, which is maintaining standards of honesty and
integrity, managing yourself and responsibilities;
which is the flexibility in adapting to changing situations
and overcoming obstacles;
- achievement orientation, which is
the guiding drive to meet an internal standard of excellence;
- initiative, which is the readiness to seize opportunities
Social Awareness is comprised of three competencies;
which is understanding others and taking an active interest
in their concerns;
- organisational awareness, which is the
ability to read the currents of organisational life, build
decision networks and navigate politics;
- service orientation,
which is recognising and meeting customers needs.
The Social cluster of Relationship Management is comprised
of seven competencies;
- visionary leadership, which is inspiring
and guiding groups and individuals;
- developing others, which
is the propensity to strengthen and support the abilities
of others through feedback and guidance;
- influence, which
is the ability to exercise a wide range of persuasive strategies
with integrity, and also includes listening and sending clear,
convincing and well-tuned messages;
- change catalyst, which
is the proficiency in initiating new ideas and leading people
in a new direction;
- conflict management, which is resolving
disagreements and collaboratively developing resolutions;
building bonds, which is building and maintaining relationships
- teamwork and collaboration, which is the
promotion of cooperation and building of teams.
The Emotionally Intelligent Organisation:
The Emotionally Intelligent Organisation i.e. an organisation
with a high number of emotionally intelligent leaders, managers
and critical professionals stands to be at the forefront of
organisational practice and performance, and is more likely
to be an employer of choice.
Research also supports the view that competence in Emotional
Intelligence accounts for over 90% of the difference between
ineffective leaders and effective leadership performance.
Effective leadership improves business performance and provides
organisations with a competitive advantage.
Becoming an EI organisation
The decision to become an emotionally intelligent organisation
needs to be based on an organisational strategy to improve
To implement this strategy you first need to define what the
core capabilities your business requires to achieve its vision,
values and business strategies which includes Emotional Intelligence
clusters and competencies. You will also need to identify
the more specific competency profiles for positions within
This capability framework and competency profiles, then forms
the basis for your performance management system in conjunction
with your Key Performance Indicators. The performance management
system then becomes a mechanism for driving and achieving
changes in the workplace.
The framework can also be used to
support recruitment and selection and other cultural development
strategies, thus ensuring a more appropriate match of people
and organization goals. mætrîx®
also has an EI Capability Assessment™ tool that identifies
individual training needs as well as providing a picture of
the organisations capability.
The next stage is to grow the emotional intelligence
competencies through specific development programs reflecting
the organisation’s capability framework.
The Emotional Intelligence Development Programs provided
by mætrîx® ® provide a structured pathway
to improve the individuals self-awareness, their self-management
and the way they interact with people and develop relationships.
In other words it will grow their Emotional Intelligence.
If you do not have a “core” capability framework for your
staff, there are still benefits in introducing Emotional Intelligence
development programs. These are seen primarily through improved
leadership and interpersonal relationships and as a result
improved business performance.
See Leadership Styles
Growing Emotional Intelligence:
Growing your EI competencies is not easy or quick, as
it takes perseverance in the process of critical self-reflection,
commitment to improvement and of course behavioural practice.
When you grow your Emotional Intelligence, it is called transformational
learning, as this growth comes from using critical self-reflection.
So, what is critical self-reflection? Most people would be
familiar with reflection, which is the analysis of one’s beliefs.
We also have critical reflection, which is the analysis of
the assumptions on which our beliefs are built. But the area
we are most interested in is Critical Self-Reflection, which
is the analysis of the way we pose problems to ourselves and
of our own structure of assumptions that we use as a reference
for interpreting our experiences.
Effective critical self-reflection requires you to question
yourself and the assumptions you make on an ongoing basis.
This can be demonstrated through the three (3) why? Test,
that is where you ask “Why” down three levels from the item
you are analysing.
For example, I have been asked to present a workshop
to one hundred people on a subject I know very well, and I
have said no.
(1) Why did I say no? Because I would
not feel comfortable doing it.
(2) Why do you feel
uncomfortable about doing it? Because I might look incompetent.
(3) Why do you feel you would look incompetent? Because
people in the audience may know more than I do.
to this question is based on assumptions, and we need to challenge
these assumptions to check their validity. If the assumptions
are invalid and we change that assumption and therefore our
perspective then transformational learning has occurred.
Developing transformational learning in others is called emancipatory
learning. At mætrîx® we have structured
our emancipatory learning programs to cover the foundations
of the Emotional Intelligence Self and Social clusters.
See Products & Services