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The Emotional Intelligence Tool Kit

Want to strengthen your emotional intelligence skills?

There are many models of emotional intelligence (or ‘EI)’. Mine uses data on what EI abilities make someone a star performer – in other words the competencies that matter most. I map the dozen key EI competencies this way:

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Based on this model, I’m offering an in-depth online course in emotional intelligence, one that will give you expertise in each of these crucial competencies. 

The payoff will be two-fold: in your work life, and in your private life.

The course has you study, reflect on, and try out expressions of each of the EI competencies. You not only learn about the specifics of each EI strength, but also get daily exercises to see more clearly how they shape your own life and work, and to try out better ways to express the competence.

So, for example, with the Emotional Balance competence you keep track of the people and situations that trigger your hijacks. This trigger log helps you reflect on how you habitually react and what would be a better response.

So when a trigger occurs you can try pausing before impulsively reacting, and trying out a more effective response.

You’ll have live sessions with an EI coach who can help you learn such mastery with each of the EI competencies.

The next course starts April 10. Interested? You can sign up here.

next up...

It Takes Time

Almost three decades ago, with Cary Cherniss, psychology professor at Rutgers University, I founded the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations to encourage studies evaluating how EI matters in life and in the workplace. Now, Cary and I have just completed a book (to be published next year) pulling together hundreds of such studies.  

The evidence mounts that emotional intelligence offers a key to greater personal success at work and to the performance of leaders, teams and entire business units.

One strand of this research harvests data from the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory, a 360-degree assessment I co-designed. Now administered by the consultancy Korn Ferry, the ESCI-360 data reveals is revealing.

Take emotional self-awareness, the foundational skill in EI.

Leaders with strengths in self-awareness are more likely to have strengths in as many as 10 of the other 12 EI talents.

These leaders have the best impact on their team’s working climate, which translates directly to a boost in their team’s performance. 

Other competencies outstanding leaders display include conflict managementempathy, and being able to inspire their direct reports – all of which improve indicators like the retention of talented people and working climate.

In contrast, leaders with three or fewer strengths in these EI competencies are quite likely to have employees who plan to leave.

Leaders with no strengths in any of the EI competencies have employees who want to leave soon. No one wants to work for a clueless, rude boss.

We all know this intuitively (or, sadly, from experience). If you think of the best boss you ever knew about or worked for, and contrast that person with the worst one, you’ll see that the ones you prefer were able to manage their own emotions well (that’s a sign of self-awareness) and were empathic and trustworthy.

and now...

Is Emotional Intelligence on the Decline?

Seems so.

That’s what I just heard from Consortium member Joshua Freedman, whose group takes the pulse of EI worldwide every two years. They found many drops in EI, particularly in self-management abilities.

This “State of the Heart” survey includes a random sample of around 10,000 people in 140 countries.

The “less bad news”: empathy declined less than other EI abilities, perhaps suggesting that “despite the pressures of the last 3 years, people remain relatively committed to connecting,” as Freedman put it. 

But globally the survey found emotional intelligence abilities declined by 3.4%.

The full report will be published later this year.

These findings fit with an earlier analysis from the Korn Ferry Institute of data from 155,000 leaders. About 40% had severe gaps in their EI.

Just over one in five had strong showings in EI (strengths in 9 of 12 competencies) as rated by people who knew them well.

Consider the impact of leaders who lack self-awareness (the basis for self-management) on those who work for them.  If a leader lacks self-awareness, the data showed, around 40% of those they lead need to strengthen their empathy, their ability to inspire others, and their effectiveness at handling conflicts.

The good news here: all of these EI competencies are learnable, and if we’re motivated we can improve our EI at any point in life.



Published by

Daniel Goleman
Host of First Person Plural: Emotional Intelligence and Beyond and Senior Consultant at Goleman Consulting Group
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