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Emotional Intelligence: Why it’s become so relevant

In recognizing the significance of emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman’s pioneering work, Working with Emotional Intelligence, has spawned an industry of consultants and coaches. This is appropriate! Research has shown that productivity and performance increase dramatically in control groups where managers or front line supervisors are trained in emotional intelligence skills.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect is that the skills and behaviors required to demonstrate EI are not rocket science. They are pragmatic, common-sense concepts that are easily understood and easy to implement. In fact, Goleman emphasizes that these behaviors require practice and continue to improve as they become an integral part of the way people manage relationships both in the workplace and in their personal lives.

The essential EI skills are as follows: self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation, social skills and social awareness. Recognizing the impact of one’s emotions, moods and actions on others, thinking first to avoid one’s natural (and often justifiable) response, and the ability to empathize by putting oneself in another’s shoes are the essence of emotional intelligence.

The applications for these skills are numerous. Managers coaching their direct reports or confronting poor performance have ample opportunity for constructive use of EI. Team members work more effectively together when utilizing EI skills. Call center representatives or receivables collection clerks are significantly more effective when demonstrating higher levels of EI. And, as Goleman, points out, great leaders exhibit high levels of emotional intelligence.

If your leaders are unaware of the need for EI, you will make a valuable contribution by bringing it to their attention.

PSG recently conducted a training program at a Supervisors Conference in Cromwell, CT, held by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA). After attending the program, Dilza Hawkins of Laticrete International commented: “Thank you for a wonderful seminar. The examples and topics clearly illustrate real and everyday situations that so often have negative outcomes simply through lack of EI.”

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