Friday, February 02, 2007

Emotional Intelligence Part 2

Emotional Intelligence Part 2

Date: February 15, 2007 Volume 2, Number 2

In this Issue:
Emotional Intelligence part 2
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"We do not feel our knowledge.... Knowledge without feeling is not knowledge and can lead only to public irresponsibility and indifference, and conceivably to ruin." Archibald MacLeish

Emotional Intelligence: the Human and the Computer

The above quote seems an ideal entry to this second newsletter on emotional intelligence. Essentially, it illustrates an inherent value of feelings, in our public world. So, the question is begged, "Where is the role and what is the value of emotional intelligence in the world of work?" To answer this, I invite you to think about the ways that humans and computers are alike and dislike? The computer has been created by humans, to smartly perform (think) in logical ways. We have programmed them to function (think) in mathematical, sequential, problem-solving, and other similar ways. They can even learn (experience) from patterns in what we the user does. So, what doesn't the computer do?

It stands out in such a huge way... the computer does not feel! What the computer cannot do is to respond to the illogical, human subtleties that we continually encounter when we interact with people. To illustrate the role and value of emotional intelligence, I propose the view of our success in work as being likened to a triangle where one point represents our cognitive ability, a second point represents our experience and training, and a third point represents our emotional intelligence. Each point, independently and synergistically contribute our effectiveness and performance.

Take, for instance, the example of someone whom you've worked with that was promoted to a position in which they weren't well suited. Maybe they were extremely successful in their previous technical or professional position, which is why they were promoted. Yet, in this new role they are not performing so well. This person is missing some point or combination of points on the triangle. Maybe they don't have the reasoning or problem-solving abilities to sufficiently perform in this role. Maybe they don't have the experience or necessary skill set. Maybe they don't have competencies in team building, managing conflict, or an accurate perception of the politics of their company. Can you picture the disarray and problems that might result, when a person lacks the strength in these points necessary for a given job? Now, swing the pendulum to the other side of this hypothesis. What would be the result of a person with strong attributes on all three points? This person has the necessary knowledge and intellect to do their job, they have real-life experience and skills training for competency, they also have the awareness and management skills needed to not only handle but proficiently maneuver their individual world and the world of their organization and the people that work there. Competence and dexterity in the domains of emotional intelligence are a requisite for success in one's job, just as having the innate cognitive ability and expertise in a given field are necessary ingredients.

Issue Tip

Taking what you learned from the exercise in the first newsletter on emotional intelligence, you have an idea of some of your specific strengths and growth opportunities.

If emotional self-awareness needs improving, keep a log of the really strong emotions you experience in a day. Write the feeling down, what was going on that precipitated this, how you are feeling physically (the physical effects of this emotion), and how this might effect what you then go do or say. Keep track of this for a week.

If motivation needs improving, find your passion in what it is your doing. The things you like and feel good about will carry you forward. Remember, that your feelings are connected to your thoughts about things which, influence your actions.

If impulse control needs improving, slowing down before you respond and giving yourself time to think will be helpful. Try planning activities, contemplating the pros and cons, and calming yourself before responding.

If empathy needs improving, listen to others and pay attention to nonverbal cues displayed in their facial expressions and body posture. This will help you to adjust your behavior accordingly. Look for a way to understand their perspective. The magic in empathy is that you don't have to agree with the other person, you simply need to understand and convey that they have their perspective.

If social skills need improving, try strengthening your ability to influence others. In doing so, first focus on building rapport with people. Then, seek to build a connection with them through some commonality or other bond. Finally, work to establish a consensus.

Nancy Schill is the Founder and Executive Coach for Executive Intelligent Coaching. She has attended the College of Executive Coaching, a post graduate training institute which, is accredited by the International Coach Federation. She has a master's degree in School Psychology and a bachelor's degree in Psychology.
For improving your emotional intelligence skills or your other professional needs, contact us at or 512.947.5447 to schedule your Professional Agenda coaching session, Development coaching program, or Team coaching program.
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