M. Jackson Group Update – June 2017 – Boosting Emotional Intelligence

This month’s post is again from Ken Pope’s listserv, where he kindly provides daily summaries of current articles in the field. The article is as follows (excerpting and editing is by Ken Pope):
*Harvard Business Review* includes an article: “How to Boost Your (and Others’) Emotional Intelligence.”

The authors are Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Michael Sanger.

Here’s the author note: “Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems, a Professor of Business Psychology at University College London, and a faculty member at Columbia University. Find him on Twitter: @drtcp or at www.drtomascp.com. His next book, The Talent Delusion, will be published in February 2017.  Michael Sanger is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and Senior Strategist in the Global Alliance division of Hogan Assessment Systems.”

Here are some excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

Among the various core ingredients of talent and career success, few personal qualities have received more attention in the past decade than emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to identify and manage your own and others’ emotions. Importantly, unlike most of the competencies that make it into the HR zeitgeist of buzzwords, EQ is no fad.

In fact, thousands of academic studies have demonstrated the predictive power of scientific EQ assessments vis-a-vis job performance, leadership potential, entrepreneurship, and employability. Moreover, the importance of EQ has been highlighted beyond work-related settings, as higher scores have been associated with relationship success, mental and physical health, and happiness.


While Goleman and other popular writers argue that (unlike IQ) EQ is malleable and trainable, EQ is really just a combination of personality traits. Accordingly, it is not set in stone; it is largely heritable, shaped by childhood experiences, and fairly stable over time.


Here are five critical steps for developing EQ:

Turn self-deception into self-awareness.

Personality, and thereby EQ, is composed of two parts: identity (how we see ourselves) and reputation (how others see us). For most people there is a disparity between identity and reputation that can cause them to ignore feedback and derail. Real self-awareness is about achieving a realistic view of one’s strengths and weaknesses and of how those strengths and weaknesses compare to others’. For instance, most people rate their own EQ highly, yet only a minority of those individuals will be rated as emotionally intelligent by others. Turning self-deception into self-awareness will not happen without accurate feedback, the kind that comes from data-based assessments such as a valid personality tests or 360-degree feedback surveys. Such tools are fundamental to help us uncover EQ-related blind spots, not least because other people are generally too polite to give us negative feedback.

Turn self-focus into other-focus.

Paying due attention to others is tantamount to career success. But for those with lower levels of EQ, it’s difficult to see things from others’ perspectives, especially when there is no clear right or wrong way forward.


Be more rewarding to deal with.

People who are more employable and successful in their career tend to be seen as more rewarding to deal with. Rewarding people tend to be cooperative, friendly, trusting, and unselfish. Unrewarding individuals tend to be more guarded and critical; they are willing to speak their minds and disagree openly but can develop a reputation for being argumentative, pessimistic, and confrontational. Although this reputation helps enforce high standards, it’s only a matter of time before it erodes relationships and the support for initiatives that accompany them.


Control your temper tantrums.

Passion and intense enthusiasm can easily cross the line to become moodiness and outright excitability when the pressure’s on. Nobody likes a crybaby. And in the business world, those who become particularly disappointed or discouraged when unanticipated issues arise are viewed as undeserving of a seat at the grown-ups’ table.


Display humility, even if it’s fake.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re working on an island managed by six-year-olds. But if you’re the type of person who often thinks, “I’m surrounded by idiots,” then it’s likely that your self-assured behaviors are seen as being arrogant, forceful, and incapable of admitting mistakes. Climbing the organizational ladder requires an extraordinary degree of self-belief, which, up to a certain point, is seen as inspirational. However, the most-effective leaders are the ones who don’t seem to believe their own hype, for they come across as humble. Striking a healthy balance between assertiveness and modesty, demonstrating receptiveness to feedback and the ability to admit one’s mistakes, is one of the most difficult tasks to master….  To develop this component of EQ, it is sometimes necessary to fake confidence, and it’s even more important to fake humility. We live in a world that rewards people for hiding their insecurities, but the truth is that it is much more important to hide one’s arrogance. That means swallowing one’s pride, picking and choosing battles, and looking for opportunities to recognize others, even if you feel you are right and others are wrong.


Much as with other coaching interventions, the goal here is not to change your personality but to replace counterproductive behaviors with more-adaptive actions — to build new habits that replace toxic tendencies and improve how others perceive you. This is why, when coaching works, it invalidates the results of a personality test: Your default predispositions are no longer evidenced in your behaviors.

[end excerpts]

The article is online at:

Ken Pope


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