WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?.
Explore our ultimate guide to leadership’s most powerful toolkit - Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is taking the business world by storm. Attracted by tales of its impact, more and more leaders are starting to understand its potential in advancing their own team’s performance.
In this article, we’ll explain what Emotional Intelligence is, why it matters to executives looking to get the best out of themselves and those around them, what results it delivers, and how you can begin and progress your own journey with EQ training.
- What is Emotional Intelligence?
- What is the Emotional Capital framework?
- Why is Emotional Intelligence important?
- How can you use Emotional Intelligence in day-to-day business operations?
- Who can benefit from Emotional Intelligence?
- How can you assess Emotional Intelligence
- How can you get started with Emotional Intelligence training?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a vital part of what makes people effective in life. It is also a skill that maximises our leadership potential. The world’s leading academics and researchers have spent decades analysing what makes a good leader and which traits consistently deliver exceptional performance. Through their research, they have come to understand that Emotional Intelligence is the answer to those enquiries.
Widespread interest in Emotional Intelligence can be traced back to Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Why it Matters More than IQ, where he showed that Emotional Intelligence matters more than twice as much as IQ or technical expertise in determining success at work.
Whether in the workplace, at school, or in our personal lives, research shows that those who understand and manage emotions well tend to be more successful. Thankfully, Emotional Intelligence is not like IQ or personality, which are fixed from an early age. Anybody can improve their Emotional Intelligence. And building your emotional intelligence is the key to being an effective leader.
Emotional Capital is a leadership philosophy for the 21st century. Today, you and your business are competing on the basis of emotion and imagination.
How you attract, retain and motivate your people, how you treat your customers, and how well your company is led are the vital differentiators in business today."
Dr Martyn Newman, Emotional Intelligence Expert & Chairman, RocheMartin
The Emotional Capital framework focuses on the development of 10 core EQ competencies, broadly split into three separate groups:
1) Inner Focus
2) Other Focus
3) Outer Focus
Self-knowing, which is about recognising and understanding how your feelings impact your opinions and attitudes.
Self-control, which is controlling your emotions and having the ability to take the time and space you need to make rational decisions.
Self-confidence, which is about accepting and respecting yourself.
Self-reliance, which is about being able to steer your own ship: you can plan, make decisions and take responsibility without the need for external validation.
Empathy, which is your ability to recognise and understand the thoughts and feelings of others.
Relationship skills, which is about being able to build positive, collaborative relationships.
Straightforwardness, which is how well you can communicate feelings and beliefs in a clear manner.
Optimism, which is being able to see opportunities where others see only setbacks and difficulties.
Self-actualisation, which is about managing your emotional energy to maintain long-term enthusiasm and commitment.
Adaptability, which is your capacity to change, be open to new ideas, and adjust your thoughts and emotions.
Six key traits make the Emotional Capital framework so effective for businesses looking to improve their performance.
- It provides measurable results, so you can quickly assess the return on investment and more easily secure support from internal stakeholders.
- It offers the potential for continuous growth, with ongoing training helping everyone from executives to new recruits develop their EQ skills.
- It is tailored to an individual’s specific needs, highlighting key areas to work on for everyone who embraces it.
- It is a proven success, both within the academic world where scientific research has consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of strong EQ skills, and in the real world where businesses such as Oracle, Boeing and Singtel have all benefited from embracing the Emotional Capital framework.
- It is globally accessible, having been translated into different languages around the world so that commercial environments everywhere can benefit from its principles.
- It has a practical application, so leaders can put what they learn to use immediately.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important?
Emotional Intelligence is so widely valued by the business community because of the proven impact it can have on both collective and individual performance.
Academic studies and real-world implementations have consistently shown that strong EQ skills correlate directly with outstanding results in a range of different fields.
These can include:
Improved profits and shareholder returns
In 2003, Professor Raj Sisodia published a truly groundbreaking piece of work. He identified 72 companies with high EQ capabilities. Then he tracked and analysed their financial performance over a 15-year period. The results were remarkable. Collectively, those 72 companies had outperformed the returns generated by the S&P 500 by a factor of 10.5x.
Lower recruitment costs
A large construction firm suffering high employee turnover rates was spending a huge amount on ongoing recruitment, constantly having to re-advertise and appoint for posts that had only recently been filled. Its focus on EQ training reduced the employee turnover rate to such an extent that it saved almost $50m per year in associated recruitment costs.
Insurance firm Metropolitan Life was one of the earliest to discover and appreciate the impact of strong EQ skills on effective performance. By monitoring the performance of its sales reps, and tallying their performance with their EQ capabilities, it found that reps with high levels of optimism outsold their peers by 37%. The most optimistic sales reps sold 88% more policies than the company’s most pessimistic reps.
Better customer service
When Australian telecommunications company Optus engaged with RocheMartin’s Emotional Capital framework, it quickly saw results. Leadership scores jumped by 16%. Engagement and customer focus both increased by 6%. All of these increases could be attributed to the leadership development programme it completed with EQ at its heart.
Better decision making
Over a period of five years, Sky used RocheMartin’s EQ training to develop its executives. More than 800 executives completed a programme designed to improve innovation, productivity, and leadership. Within nine months, the results were already starting to show. Levels of optimism increased by 13%, while adaptability (+17%), empathy (+25%) and relationship skills (+21%) also jumped significantly. This left the company perfectly placed to maintain its dominance as one of the world’s biggest media powers.
Improved team morale
Daniel Van den Broeck, Senior Vice President, Applications Northern Europe at Oracle, is unequivocal when asked about the impact of EQ training on his organisation. Ninety-two percent of Oracle sales staff said they had more positivity towards their job. Almost nine in ten felt more confident.
The RocheMartin Emotional Intelligence platform has completely transformed our business development culture. Our sales team is more confident in its approach and this has led to exceptional results."
Daniel Van den Broeck, Senior Vice President, Applications Northern Europe, Oracle
How can you use Emotional Intelligence in day-to-day business operations?
Many executives and HR leaders often have a misconception about Emotional Intelligence. Before they begin their own EQ training, they can believe that Emotional Intelligence is another theory-based exercise.
They can even see it as a tick-box exercise so they can say, “yes, we’ve done Emotional Intelligence” when it comes to annual performance reviews.
But those beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth. The power of Emotional Intelligence is that it is grounded in real-world results. Emotionally intelligent organisations have been shown over and over again to achieve consistent results in fast-paced commercial environments.
The impact of strong EQ skills has been observed in six key areas of most organisations’ day-to-day operations.
- Leadership development accelerates at pace when leaders and future leaders commit to a programme of EQ training. Decades of research have shown that the most effective leaders are able to build strong, professional relationships; understand their team’s desires and motivations; and speak clearly and calmly in difficult situations. All of these capabilities are a direct result of performing strongly in the 10 core competencies embedded in the Emotional Capital framework.
- Cultural transformation can be embedded into a company’s DNA if leaders know how to define the organisation’s purpose and then demonstrate those values in practical behaviours. Over time, if those day-to-day habits are repeatedly reinforced and employees are shown how to set an example to others through their lived behaviours, then the company culture can be a real, tangible asset – and not simply an empty promise.
- Diversity and inclusion becomes much more likely, and the positive results from it much more real, if leaders have the EQ skills to create the psychologically safe environment that enables all team members to thrive. High levels of trust, empathy and self-awareness must be present in both a leader and the wider team, and these are all essential EQ skills.
- Wellness and wellbeing can be improved significantly through strong awareness of EQ and its competencies. Maintaining good levels of mental health is now a major challenge facing most businesses. Those who have leaders equipped to regulate their emotions, and help their colleagues do the same, are more likely to avoid the difficulties that can arise from poor mental health. It also enables teams to better handle their attention spans, relationships, and ongoing performance.
- Recruitment and selection is made easier and more accurate when leaders have the Emotional Intelligence to be able to identify successful candidates that will complement and add to the existing team dynamic. Having the knowledge to be able to recruit based on EQ performance, rather than technical knowledge or existing skills, is a key differentiator among organisations who consistently identify and attract high-performing individuals.
- Sales negotiations are significantly enhanced when your representatives are able to identify, understand and react to your counterpart’s emotional needs. This leads to higher conversion rates at all levels of your sales funnel, helping to drive increased revenues and profits for the whole business. The example of Metropolitan Life, explained earlier in this article, is a powerful demonstration of the impact of strong EQ skills on closing potential deals.
Who can benefit from Emotional Intelligence?
Almost everyone involved in the professional workplace can benefit from EQ training. It is not designed for a select few; it is an all-encompassing toolkit that helps individuals at all levels excel and push themselves to new levels of development and performance.
Business Leaders and Managers
Business leaders and managers face a dual challenge in their professional lives. They must get the best out of themselves and their team. This requires significant levels of Emotional Intelligence.
Getting a team to buy into your vision, feel psychologically safe enough to perform at their best, maintain their focus and attention to achieve their objectives and enjoy their work are all key tasks for any leader. EQ training helps to achieve all of those goals – and more.
HR professionals are among the most under-pressure individuals in any modern workplace, trying to navigate through a series of fundamental challenges that have not been seen before.
In today’s environment, they are tasked with managing the anxiety and uncertainty arising from technological and workplace disruption. They are seeking to meet new expectations around social consciousness. And they are under pressure to help their organisations innovate and adapt at breakneck speed. Strong EQ skills help HR leaders oversee successful leadership development; wellness, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion policies; multi-generational talent management; and lived company values.
Employees are facing significant changes in working practices. The Covid-19 pandemic and the advance of technology has impacted workers at all levels.
Employees undertaking EQ training are likely to develop stronger levels of resilience, adaptability, self-reliance, empathy, optimism, and more. Combined, these can help employees make better workplace decisions, experience reduced levels of stress, demonstrate better leadership qualities, and enjoy enhanced career prospects.
Coaches, whether they work with business leaders or athletes, can offer far more productive development programmes if they are versed in Emotional Intelligence.
Professional coach Kathleen Halligan says: “Not having Emotional Intelligence in my toolkit is like not having a Phillips screwdriver in my toolbox.”
Coaches often appreciate Emotional Intelligence training because they can see clear areas for improvement and accurately monitor the progress they make. This is particularly appealing to professionals used to analysing the ROI of every activity they undertake.
People Involved in Education
People involved in education can significantly advance their career prospects by gaining the soft skills that are critical to success in the workplace.
Post-graduates and executives can get the skills needed to lead effectively. Undergraduates can ensure they are equipped to handle a new world of work. And schools, colleges and associations can use EQ training to secure better academic performance, improved motivation towards learning, more engaged classroom behaviour, and better mental health.
Individuals can re-energise their motivation, enjoy increased self-confidence and develop greater and longer-lasting levels of optimism – all three of which are key ingredients to a healthier, happier life that delivers both professional and personal success.
Whatever stage of their career they sit, a committed individual can use EQ training to experience noticeable progress in a range of areas.
How can you assess Emotional Intelligence?
RocheMartin has spent decades understanding the scientific research underpinning Emotional Intelligence.
Over that time, it has developed its unique Emotional Capital Report, the world’s most advanced EQ assessment that provides a comprehensive view of a participant’s strengths and development opportunities
Compared to other EQ assessments, the ECR and the ECR 360 offer several distinct advantages.
- It is built with a large normative database of 3,240 professional people from Europe, Australia, and the USA.
- It features a validity indicator designed to identify response bias and increase the accuracy of interpretation.
- Very good statistical and validity and provides increased confidence in the dependability and quality of the profile.
- It is quick to complete, provides measurable benchmarks and results, and gives participants specific areas and tasks on which to focus their efforts.
The ECR is more than just a tool and RocheMartin has a very clear process of how you provide that feedback. People in our organisation have said that it’s the best 90 minutes of coaching in their career to date."
Diane Hogbin-Mills, Executive Programmes Manager, Network Rail
The ECR and ECR 360 are designed to aid professional development. Other tools are available from RocheMartin for specific audiences, including:
- The Emotional Intelligence Sports Inventory (ESi), which provides a valid assessment of an athlete’s potential based on their EQ skills and capabilities. Stuart Lancaster, the former Head Coach of the England Men’s Rugby Union team, says: “The feedback on the ESi has been very positive… We see the value of EQ in helping support the development of our great players and leaders.”
- The ECR Youth, which is designed to equip young people with the EQ skills they need to navigate an increasingly challenging world while maintaining good levels of mental health.
How can you get started with Emotional Intelligence training?
For many leaders and executives, a simple self-assessment process is the most effective way to start their journey with Emotional Intelligence.
The ECR is designed with this in mind. It can be completed in just 15 minutes and provides a quick assessment of how the participant scores in each of the 10 core competencies used in our Emotional Capital framework. All of those competencies have been linked with enhanced professional performance.
Others, however, may prefer the more formal setting of leadership training and workshops. We offer five different pre-set workshops, including our Mindfulness Workshop and our Building Relationship Capital Workshop. We also offer bespoke workshops for those who want training tailored to their particular needs.
Each workshop involves an introduction to Emotional Intelligence, a discussion about how Emotional Capital enhances professional performance, exercises, real-world case studies, and reflections on any key learnings.
Significant progress can be made in one workshop, but we recommend booking at least three workshops to achieve the best possible results.
For coaches and HR leaders, we also offer Emotional Intelligence certification, which enables participants to continue the work of building an Emotionally Intelligent organisation without the direct input of RocheMartin’s team. As a certified RocheMartin practitioner, all participants who complete our certification have access to the ECR and a global alumni network, along with ongoing advice and thought leadership from our senior team.
Emotional Intelligence is critical for your future
Emotional Intelligence is the most powerful tool available to anyone looking to either progress their own career or develop the performance of the team around them. Scientific studies have proven it. Real-world examples have proven it. And the thousands of people who have completed the ECR and their subsequent coaching have also proven it.
Thankfully, EQ is not an innate skill that you either possess or do not possess. You can improve all areas of EQ with commitment and practice – and the ECR shows you how.