Emotional Intelligence - Fad or Substance?

Dr. Kenneth Nowack (USA)*, author of ConsultingTools’ Emotional IntelligenceView360, answers the question - Emotional Intelligence: Fad or Substance? 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Sometimes we ask ourselves, “Why did I do this? Why did I behave in this manner?” The answer is often complicated and a reflection of our emotional being. We find ourselves reacting without utilising awareness. In other words, our unconscious or subconscious reacted for us. 

Others, therefore, frequently see us differently than we see ourselves. We are too busy reacting with our unconscious to even be aware of our own behaviour.  Getting feedback on our behaviour can greatly assist increasing awareness, which is an important step in changing our behaviour.  In business, the feedback can come from one’s boss, peers, sub-ordinates, customers or a professional mentor or coach.  

The most widely accepted model of emotional intelligence (EI) has been influenced by several scientists and researchers. All the models, however, share a common core of basic concepts including Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. 

Research on EI and Performance 

Growing research suggests that EI may play a far more important role in career success and job performance than general intelligence. Other studies suggest that:

Highly conscientious employees who lack social and emotional intelligence perform more poorly than those high in conscientiousness and emotional intelligence.

On average, strengths in purely cognitive capacities are approximately 27 percent more frequent in high performers than in the average performers, whereas strengths in social and emotional competencies are 53 percent more frequent.

The highest performing managers and leaders have significantly more "emotional competence" than other managers.

Poor social and emotional intelligence are strong predictors of executive and management "derailment" and failure in one's career.

A review of research has identified 17 emotional intelligence competencies required for career success and effective performance. They are divided in three groups as follows:

  • Self-management: Self-Development, Adaptability/Stress Tolerance, Self-Control, Trustworthiness, Strategic Problem Solving, and Achievement Orientation.
  • Relationship management: Building Strategic Relationships, Conflict Management, Leadership/Influence, Interpersonal Sensitivity/Empathy, Team/Interpersonal Support, and Collaboration.
  • Communication: Written Communication, Two-Way Feedback, Oral Communication, Oral Presentation, and Listening.

Emotional IntelligenceView 360

The Emotional IntelligenceView 360 tool is designed to provide focus to specific emotional intelligence competency strengths and potential development areas.  The report provides feedback on 17 critical emotional intelligence competencies required for career success and effective job performance.  It compares self-perceptions with those of others who have provided feedback on these important emotional intelligence competencies and behaviours. 

In addition, the report provides feedback on level of self and social awareness by comparing one’s ratings with those of others across the 17 emotional intelligence competencies. Each competency is summarised by graphs comparing average scores of self-ratings to those of others who have provided feedback) in the areas of 1) Self-Management; 2) Relationship Management and 3) Communication.

For further information on Emotional IntelligenceView 360, click here.

*Dr. Kenneth Nowack is a licensed psychologist with over twenty years expereince in the development and validation of assessment instruments, organisational climate surveys, questionnaires, simulations, and tests. He has developed extensive 360-degree feedback, personnel selection, succession/talent planning, performance appraisal, and human resources training programs for clients in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Dr. Nowack is author of numerous assessment instruments and interactive software programs including the Stress Profile Inventory (published by Western Psychological Services), Career Profile Online, Managerial In-Basket Simulation and 360° Feedback Tools and member of Daniel Golemen’s EI Consortium. 


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