Tag Archives: emotional intelligence

How to Strengthen Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.)

Completing our series on Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.), research indicates that emotional intelligence and the related leadership skills can be taught.

Here are five steps to the type of personal change required in order to increase emotional intelligence:

  1. Identify the ideal self. In a way, this is analogous to imagining the future state of an organization — what it would look like without defects, rework, misalignment of work and requirements, etc. — but the ideal self is much more personal. One person’s ideal self, building on his or her core identity and aspirations, will be different from another’s ideal self. Personal change starts with envisioning the ideal self — the way one would like to be, to work, and to be perceived. This requires an awareness of one’s strengths, an image of the desired future, and a sense of hope that the desired future is attainable.  Insight into the ideal self is not always straightforward. One might simply extrapolate a trend of the present instead of envisioning a truly desired future self.
  2. Identify the real self. Where is one, relative to one’s goals today. This step is not as easy as it sounds, as many leaders do not really know if they have resonance with their organizations. The greatest challenge is to see oneself as others do. Using multiple sources of feedback can be very useful. Many organizations use 360 reviews for all individuals in management positions.
  3. Develop a learning agenda. In contrast to the stream of to-dos and complying with agendas of others, the learning agenda is development focused; it can make it easier to let go of old habits and to develop new ones.
  4. Experimentation and Practice. The fourth step is to practice, look for feedback, and practice again. A consultant, coach or mentor should help the individual who has embarked on intentional change to find safe settings to practice the characteristics of the effective leader he or she envisions.
  5. Helping relationships. Coaches, mentors, guides are very helpful to someone aiming to transition to the ideal self through practicing greater EQ and inspirational leadership.

No matter where we are in our journey toward Continuous Improvement, Emotional Intelligence is an essential tool in our tool kit.

However, to be sustainable the desire to change must be intentional. The requirement is a desire for change; without that, no sustainable improvement is possible. People with no interest in developing E.Q. will not do so, but if they are motivated to change, the above-listed steps will help them.

Read the full article…

Emotional Intelligence – A Driver of Capability?

eqandci2Spring-boarding from our previous post, which focused on team capability and its impact on Continuous Improvement, today’s question references the role of Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.), and its impact on employee capability.

Emotional intelligence is the phrase used to describe the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways.

Examples include:

  • To relieve stress
  • Communicate effectively
  • Empathize with others
  • Overcome challenges
  • Defuse conflict

There are several competencies associated with E.Q., which are often grouped into four major components:

  1. Self-awareness — You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior; know your strengths & weaknesses; have self-confidence.
  2. Self-management — You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors; manage your emotions in healthy ways; take initiative; follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  3. Social awareness — You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  4. Relationship management — You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Research shows that organizations led by people with high emotional intelligence tend to have climates in which information sharing, trust, healthy risk-taking, and learning flourish. These teams tend to exhibit a greater level of overall capability as well.

Low levels of emotional intelligence create climates rife with fear and anxiety. Fearful employees may produce a lot in the short term, but over the long run, quality and productivity suffer.

Leaders must be attuned to their own moods and their effect on the emotions of others because emotions are predispositions to actions.

Now that we’ve established the ways in which E.Q. can enhance productivity, our next few posts will focus on how to recognize organizational E.Q., and how to drive it to higher levels.


5 Steps to Increase Emotional Intelligence

learnCompleting our series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and it’s connection to Continuous Improvement (CI), it is likely we can all identify people we know who seem to have a naturally-high EQ. These are people who resonate with us, create a positive vision, motivate us to work together to achieve great things. They communicate effectively; we like to be with them; they inspire trust, and are ideal champions of CI.

Similarly, we could most likely identify others who seem to have no EQ — who constantly create dissonance and conflict, who inspire people to go to great lengths to avoid working with them.

Fortunately, the research says that EQ often grows throughout one’s life, and can also be effectively taught. Drawing on Intentional Change Theory (ICT), which states that change must be intentional if it is to be sustainable, EQ Pioneer and PhD Richard Boyatzis says the following steps will help people learn to develop a higher EQ:

  1. Identify the ideal self
  2. Identify the real self
  3. Develop a learning agenda
  4. Experimentation and Practice
  5. Seek helping relationships

Read the full article…

Renew EQ to Drive a Culture of Continuous Improvement

EQandCI2Continuing our theme of how Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Continuous Improvement are a powerful combination, we share some results from work done by Richard E. Boyatzis, pioneering researcher into leadership and emotional intelligence.

Among his findings is the fact that EQ is applied extensively by leaders who want to effect positive change and to institute a culture of Continuous Improvement.

In other words, implementing an improvement or two can be accomplished with an engineer; but creating a culture of continuous improvement requires a resonant leader who can:

  • Communicate a vision
  • Inspire action
  • Drive out fear
  • Motivate truth-telling
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Create a safe place for people to exercise a passion for high quality, highly efficient work

Because of their ability to align and motivate people around a common vision and plan, emotionally intelligent leaders are very valuable in organizations desiring to create continuous steady improvement.

In his class at Case Western Reserve University Boyatzis teaches that it is not sufficient to simply have Emotional Intelligence. Even leaders who are naturally gifted with a great deal of EQ can deplete their reserves through the stress of their roles and responsibilities.

Boyatzis maintains that leaders must renew themselves, and that research indicates four methods that can restore a leader’s emotional strength and ability to resonate with an organization:

  • Compassion – often by becoming involved in empathetic and supportive activities that are unconnected with work responsibilities
  • Mindfulness – some form of conscious mediation on a daily basis
  • Playfulness – regular doses of fun, laughter and enjoyable activities
  • Hope – finding time each day for optimistic thought, encouragement, and positive communication that promotes a belief on the part of the leader as well as the team that positive change can, in fact, be achieved



EQandCI400As you may well be aware, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the phrase used to describe a person’s ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways. It has been identified as a means to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.

There are several competencies that are sometimes grouped into four major components:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship management

Research shows that organizations led by people with high emotional intelligence tend to have climates in which information sharing, trust, healthy risk-taking, and learning flourish.

Conversely, organizations led by people with low levels of EQ create climates rife with fear and anxiety. While fearful employees may produce well in the short term, over the long run quality and productivity suffer.

The same principles hold true for Continuous Improvement (CI) teams. The level of EQ on a process improvement team affects how much information sharing, how much inquiry, and even how creatively the team will exercise.

A low level of EQ on an improvement team causes operational problems. Silo mentality and lack of inquiry and listening create sub-optimal processes and impaired results.

On the other hand, a team that is emotionally in step has more drive, more commitment, and tends to achieve greater things. High EQ leads to better listening, and thus to better learning, to new insights and better solutions as well.

We will look more closely at the concept of emotional intelligence over the next few posts, and will share ways to increase one’s EQ level and also how to leverage higher levels of EQ in our continuous improvement efforts.