How do you foster a corporate culture of Emotional Intelligence? 2

So much has been said recently about “Emotional Intelligence” and its relevance in life and work. Is it really worth all the hype? *What is Emotional Intelligence, really, and is it all that necessary?

It’s been proven time and time again that Emotional Intelligence is a far better predictor of success than Intelligence, or IQ. When IQ tests are correlated with how well people perform in their careers, generally IQ accounts for only 4% to 10% of a person’s success. A study of Harvard graduates in the fields of law, medicine, teaching and business, found that scores on entrance exams had zero or even negative correlation with their eventual career success. People who become leaders in their professions have high level of EQ. Technical expertise is considered by progressive companies to be BASELINE COMPETENCE only.

The great thing about emotional intelligence is that, unlike IQ, it can be learned. Some might say emotional intelligence is having good interpersonal skills, but they don’t necessarily go together. You can have good interpersonal skills, without being very emotionally intelligent. Although generally people with high levels of emotional intelligence have fairly good interpersonal skills. And there’s also a difference between emotional intelligence and emotional competence; it’s not good enough to possess high levels of emotional intelligence, you have to be able to use it constructively in managing your work relationships.

In my extensive work with call centre staff, I’ve found that people whose job it is to work with the public in a helpdesk environment have to develop emotional intelligence rapidly – otherwise they won’t last in that stressful environment. The ability to manipulate a conflict situation with an angry customer, or not to take abuse personally if it doesn’t work, is a difficult skill for most people to learn. But those who learn these skills become far better leaders and more influential in any job they take on. I often tell call centre staff that it’s really worthwhile to invest time and effort developing these personal skills, as they get a person further than any qualifications or technical skills will.

Can you build greater Emotional Intelligence into a work team?

When sufficient numbers of people in a group are emotionally intelligent, you have an organizational culture that is more positive, fun and productive. If your organization, team or department has these things in place, you are more likely to foster an emotionally intelligent culture in the group:

  • Emotionally intelligent managers who lead in a believable, trustworthy manner
  • More coaching, and mentoring practices and less direct supervision
  • Recruitment practices that incorporate EQ competencies in selection
  • Performance assessment practices that are sensitive to divergent ways of thinking
  • Company policies and informal practices that encourage open communication and tolerance
  • Managers with high levels of personal self confidence to enable them to handle conflict, criticism or frustrated employees without having to defend or shut people down
  • Company practices that allow for information-sharing without fear of retribution

Much of the success in fostering an emotional intelligent culture lies in being able to identify where your interpersonal gaps are, either as a group or in individuals. Copperline has developed an EQ assessment tool, which can help pinpoint where specific development is needed, and which adds more value to performance assessment tools that companies might already have in place.Read the full article at:

Share on Social Media

Leave a comment

2 thoughts on “How do you foster a corporate culture of Emotional Intelligence?

  • Cas Olivier

    Joanna, I fully agree that EO can be learned.

    The problem however is the teaching or training approach. It is not possible to learn EO skills in classes where teachers, trainers and lecturers are doing all the talking in a ‘talk-and-chalk’ fashion and learners are expected to ‘absorb’ the explained information.

    To nurture EO, teachers should enable learners to discover and create answers themselves (this I call Great Teaching) instead of providing them with other people’s answers, mostly from textbooks.

    In summary: Students hate to master other people’s answers.  Leaners enjoy discovering and constructing their own answers.

    It is only in the latter learning environment where EO can grow and develop.

  • Des Squire

    Many businesses utilize EQ tests to help their employees determine and measure their emotional responses to various situations. While most corporate EQ tests are administered on the basis that a person’s EQ can be modified or increased, there is dispute about whether emotional intelligence is standard or can be changed.

    Currently there are studies being conducted on possible ways that an EQ may affect a person’s abilities to perform under pressure, resolve conflict, and generally cope with challenges. Other studies have linked EQ measurements to communication and other social skills that people lack or possess.

    When we speak of a person’s intelligence, we usually think of his or her knowledge or capacity to acquire knowledge. However, there are many different facets of intelligence, including problem solving, artistic intelligence, reasoning ability and creative intelligence. Emotional intelligence is one form of intelligence that extends to and affects all human beings.

    Emotions are a powerful tool in motivating actions. Emotion often overrides reason and causes outsiders to think that one is acting in irrational ways. A person with adequate emotional intelligence takes into account the existence and power of emotions and sees the necessity in situations that others may find unreasonable.

    So since Emotional intelligence refers to the intelligence of the individual I do not believe it has anything to do with a corporate culture or that it can be developed into a corporate culture.

    Managers and supervisors need to be aware of and be capable of dealing with the various levels of EQ (high and Low) that exist and the variety of responses (high or low responses) to situations that exist as a result.