How do you foster a corporate culture of Emotional Intelligence?

By joannahousdoncooke, 10 January, 2014

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:



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