The term “emotional intelligence” first surfaced in the early nineties, and has become one of the most useful (and used) words in the management lexicon. Managers should work to identify and develop emotional intelligence in their employees, or “the ability to recognize [their] own emotions and the emotions of others.”
However, it is emotional competence which produces superior performance, and this is “the application of emotional intelligence (emotional understanding) in a way that produces a positive outcome.” Those who possess emotional competence are aware of their emotions as well as those of their coworkers, and can manage their emotions in a way that is beneficial to everyone involved and to the bottom line of the company. Emotionally competent individuals understand relationships, and are thus able to employ strategies that positively impact both their own emotional state, and those of the people who surround them.
Managers should work to identify and develop emotional competence in their employees. The work of identification can be done by using a number of tools. Blakesely focuses on the Multiple Health System’s EQi developed by Ruevon Bar-On, which measures numerous emotional competencies, such as:
- Intrapersonal Skills – A set of competencies defining self-understanding.
- Self-regard – The ability to respect and accept one’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Assertiveness – The ability to express feelings, beliefs, and thoughts in a non-destructive way.
- Independence – The ability to be self-directed and free of emotional dependency on others.
- Stress Management – A set of competencies that describe an ability to manage stress
- Adaptability – A set of competencies that allow one to adapt to the needs of the environment.
- Reality Testing – The ability to accurately assess the correspondence between what is experienced and what objectively exists.
- Flexibility – The ability to adapt and adjust one’s feelings, thinking, and behavior to change.
- Problem Solving – The ability to solve problems of a personal and interpersonal nature.
- Optimism – The ability to be positive and look at the brighter side of life.
- Happiness – The ability to feel satisfied with oneself, others, and life in general.
Individuals who possess these competencies should be identified, developed, and put in positions where their abilities can be put to use in the service of the company, and their own personal development. The smart manager will do everything in his power to facilitate this process.