Emotional Intelligence (EI) is important since it drives the performance of managers, whether their people are direct reports or part of a matrix. We may try to influence motivation and performance in others by metaphoric kicking, but this is not an acceptable or sustainable way to achieve organisational success. EI is a tangible and measurable set of qualities that impact significantly on team performance. In this article, Angus McLeod addresses the following questions: If EI is so important; can we influence its development? How can we do that, and how long will it take? Should we try to develop it in others or ourselves?
by Dr Angus McLeod
Dr Angus McLeod is author of many papers and books on coaching, NLP and leadership. His books include Performance Coaching and Me, Myself, My Team (both Crown House), Self-coaching Leadership (John Wiley) and Performance Coaching Toolkit (McGraw-Hill/OU, 2010). He designed both (distance-learning) performance coaching diploma courses at Newcastle College, with over 15 000 students to date. He researches and supervises academic research in the UK as Visiting Professor of Coaching at Birmingham City University. Angus McLeod facilitates master-classes in coaching, trains managers, and coaches 1-2-1 internationally. He is also the Principal of AMA Coaching School.
Angus McLeod Associates Angus McLeod Associates offers coaching and trains coaches. The company trains managers in the use of coaching skills to use in their day-to-day managing styles. The website provides a significant resource for free information for managers, leaders and coaches as well as free newsletters and access to a library of videos.
The core of EI is easy to digest, and this may explain why the model has become increasingly popular within organisations during the last decade. The phrase was first used by Leuner in 1966, but the roots of EI go back even further, to Leeper, who first drew attention to Emotional Thought.
We see four dimensions: Self, Self & others, Awareness, and Management. Each box, 1, 2, 3 and 4, then represents the overlap of these dimension as shown. The main premises are that all progress in up-skilling personal EI is initiated from increasing self-awareness. Self-awareness can lead to self-managing (2, more learning) and to progress in the awareness of others (3, advances, including learning from mistakes). Both these journeys can be undertaken concurrently.
The potential for mistakes in social awareness typically comes from false beliefs: that other people are motivated similarly to us, misreading communication and/or insensitivity. As our social awareness improves, so our ability to influence and manage others improves, creating rapport, trust, team spirit and performance. »