Developing Emotional Intelligence
As a business leader, you are constantly looking for ways to improve yourself. You take courses and read the top business publications to increase your knowledge. You stay abreast of technological advancements in your industry and look for ways to improve your communication and presentation skills.
However, what if someone told you that you could improve your professional life by learning how to recognize and manage your own emotions? What if someone proved that you could improve your workplace morale and performance by asking your leadership team to do the same?
You may feel that such “touchy feely” topics have no place in your industry. However, academic research has shown that developing your Emotional Intelligence can improve your effectiveness as a leader.
Keep reading as we define “Emotional Intelligence,” discuss the components of Emotional Intelligence at work and give you ideas on recognizing and managing your own emotions. Finally, we will provide you with two specific training opportunities to help you learn about this critical workplace topic.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is defined in Psychology Today as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” It is generally said to include three skills:
- Emotional awareness, including the ability to identify your own emotions and those of others.
- The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving.
- The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own feelings and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.
Although the term “Emotional Intelligence” first appeared in the 1960s, it gained popularity when science journalist Daniel Goleman wrote his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. In his book, Goleman states that Emotional Intelligence is a skill that can be taught and cultivated. In addition, his book outlines methods for incorporating emotional skills training in schools. This influential study was on The New York Times Best Seller list for a year and a half and is in print worldwide in 40 languages.
Before and after the publication of this book, many other social scientists contributed to the study of Emotional Intelligence. In the process, various measurement models were developed.
For example, Konstantinos V. Petrides developed the trait model, which focuses on the self-reporting of behavioral dispositions and perceived abilities. Peter Salovey and John Mayer developed the ability model, which focuses on the individual’s ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate a social environment. 
More recent research has focused on emotion recognition, which refers to the attribution of emotional states based on observations of visual and auditory nonverbal cues.  In addition, neurological studies have sought to characterize the neural mechanisms of emotional intelligence. 
Some researchers argue that Emotional Intelligence cannot be captured via psychometric tests (as can, for example, general intelligence). However, regardless of the testing component, social scientists agree that the subject is worth consideration – especially in how it relates to the workplace.
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Five Components of Emotional Intelligence at Work
Regardless of the measurement method used, Goleman defines Emotional Intelligence (EI) as the array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance.  (Please note that Emotional Intelligence is sometimes referred to as “Emotional Quotient” (EQ) when referencing employee performance and leadership effectiveness.)
So, does EI or EQ play a role in one’s ability to be a successful leader? It does! Here are the five components of emotional intelligence at work.
- Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize and understand moods, emotions and drives and their impact on others.
- Self-Regulation: The ability to manage disruptive impulses and moods.
- Motivation: A passion to work for reasons beyond money or status.
- Empathy: The ability to understand and respond according to the emotional status of others.
- Social Skill: The ability to build rapport, relationships and social networks.
Goleman asserts that Emotional Intelligence is an equal – or even more critical factor in leadership success than the traditional traits of IQ, determination, toughness and vision. And even though you think your daily Wordle or Sudoku is making you smarter, there’s actually little you can do to improve your IQ score. However, you can improve your EQ.
How Developing Your Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Workplace
You may be less interested in the theories and studies of Emotional Intelligence and more interested in how developing your EI can improve your workplace and team dynamics. Studies can back this up as well.
For example, a paper published by John D. Mayer, Peter Salovey and David R. Caruso identifies that Emotional Intelligence has been linked to these following traits:
- Managers with higher EI are more liked by their team, and their employees demonstrate a higher commitment to their organization.
- Customer-facing employees with a more developed EI earn higher performance scores from their supervisors.
- People with higher EI scores are less likely to engage in problem behaviors such as bullying, violence and tobacco and drug use.
- People with higher EI scores manage stress better.
In today’s highly competitive employment landscape, business owners and leaders face a world where employee engagement and job satisfaction are closely monitored, evaluated, discussed and publicized. Today’s leaders are called to inspire as much as they are required to plan. They manage many tasks that require an understanding of social interaction and complex social problems.
In short, a leader’s Emotional Intelligence can also affect the bottom line. For example, a 2015 study produced by KRW International shows that companies run by CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for “character” have nearly five times the return on assets than their counterparts whose CEOs earned low character ratings. Of course, “character” is another term equivalent to a high EI score.
Is It Possible To Develop Your Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that Emotional Intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.
However, according to Margaret Andrews, the former associate dean at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education and executive director at the MIT Sloan School of Management, “developing emotional intelligence is an ongoing process.”
According to Andrews, there are three simple ways you can improve your Emotional Quotient:
- Recognize and name your emotions.
- Ask for feedback from managers, colleagues, friends or family.
- Read literature with complex characters to improve your empathy.
However, suppose you want more specific instructions. In that case, courses are available that incorporate all the current academic data with practical guidance on how to use this knowledge.
Become a Better Leader With a Fred Pryor Emotional Intelligence Course
Since its popularization in recent decades, methods of developing Emotional Intelligence have become widely sought by individuals seeking to become more effective leaders.
For those of you interested in becoming a better business leader by developing Emotional Intelligence, Fred Pryor offers several courses
Emotional Intelligence: The Keys to Working More Effectively with Others
Emotional Intelligence: The Keys to Working More Effectively with Others is a one-hour webinar that covers the following topics:
- The definition of Emotional Intelligence and the behaviors associated with a high EQ score
- The elements of Emotional Intelligence including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management
- Assessing your own Emotional Intelligence
- Specific actions you can take to develop your emotional awareness — to lower stress, find greater happiness and improve relationships at home and work
- Developing an action plan for analyzing your own EQ
- Getting feedback from others and taking the actions needed to enhance your sense of confidence and well-being, improve your communication at work and build richer and more satisfying relationships.
This Pryor Learning webinar is for anyone interested in developing self-awareness to promote increased productivity, higher job satisfaction and improved interpersonal relationships. You can enroll in the one-hour webinar individually or purchase the downloadable video at Pryor.com.
Developing Emotional Intelligence
For a more in-depth discussion on Emotional Intelligence, consider this course that will help you improve your relationships across your organization, understand how and why others behave the way they do and achieve greater success in all your job-related endeavors.
While this live online seminar, Developing Emotional Intelligence, is a great course to take on your own, it can also improve your team dynamics should everyone in your organization enroll. You’ll learn how to:
- Communicate more openly
- Deal constructively with resistance and disruptive team behavior
- Understand the triggers that spark positive and negative reactions
If your team needs a “reset,” consider scheduling an onsite training at your workplace.
Learn More About Fred Pryor Emotional Intelligence Courses
Pryor Learning has been bringing award-winning training seminars to over 13 million learners since 1970. You can receive instant access to more than 5,000 online courses within our mobile-friendly learning platform or schedule in-person or live online learning sessions in your workplace.
Are you excited about becoming a better leader by developing your Emotional Intelligence? Learn more by visiting Pryor Learning’s website today.