Emotional Intelligence for Managers

A Hot List of Information & Resources On Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a hot topic amongst managers because the research linking emotional intelligence to effective leadership is overwhelming. Yet what do we mean by emotional intelligence and how can managers go about putting it to good use?

From a managerial perspective, emotional intelligence is the ability to make intelligent use of emotions in ways that enhance both your personal and interpersonal effectiveness. We are all emotionally driven creatures. Savvy executives understand how emotions move people to act and they put this understanding to intelligent use. Yet, there is also a great deal of unsubstantiated pop-psychology around about emotional intelligence and managers need to be careful that the information they access is trustworthy and grounded in evidence.

This 'lens' on emotional intelligence is designed to help you cut through the sea of drivel and access quality information that will help you to lead in more emotionally intelligent ways.

New Free Resource - Successfully Managing Emotions

This series of articles offers 4, practical yet evidence-based ways to manage unhelpful emotions.

Understanding Emotions

The first step to in becoming a more emotionally intelligent manager is to build your understanding of emotions and how they impact on people’s actions in the workplace. Trying to bypass this step and jump straight into using emotionally intelligent techniques is like trying to diagnose a patient’s illness without ever having attended medical school.

Here are 10 quick facts to get you started:

  1. Emotions describe how we feel in response to something that has happened. These reactions are both logical and predictable.
  2. Primary emotions, upon which all other emotions are based, include feeling happy, accepted, interested, surprised, worried, angry, disgusted and sad.
  3. Each primary emotion has a universal cause, which means that we can predict that of X happens a person will feel Y.
  4. Emotions drive us to act in certain ways, with different emotions prompting different behaviours.
  5. Emotions contain valuable information about the situation at hand, if we know that someone we feels Y, we also know a great deal about what has happened to them even before we know the details.
  6. Knowing how someone else feels gives us valuable insight into how to best interact with them.
  7. Expressing emotions in respectful and contextually appropriate ways greatly increases the impact of your communication with others.
  8. We show our emotional reaction to events around us through fleeting, involuntary expressions that cross our face when something good or bad happens to us.
  9. Hiding and suppressing feelings hinders communication and has a host of negative consequences.
  10. Emotions, harnessed well, enhance rather than impede rational thinking and decision-making.

4 Steps To More Accurate Emotional Awareness

You can do these steps right now. It only takes a few minutes. Yet, their real power is harnessed when you practise using them regularly. The more you practise the quicker the process becomes.

  1. Ask yourself which of the primary emotions you are feeling right now. Try to choose just 1 or 2. Remember the primary emotions are happiness, sadness, worry, surpise, anger, belonging, interest and disgust.
  2. Change each of your 1-2 labels from step 1 to reflect the intensity of the emotion you are feeling. For example, someone who is very interested would be excited while someone who was just a little angry would be annoyed.
  3. If you chose just one emotion in step 1, stop now - you do not need to do step 3. However, if you chose two emotions in step 1, think about how they blend together. For example, anger + disgust = contempt and happiness + interest = hope. Try to come up with a single label that blends your two primary emotions together.
  4. Think about how your feelings are impacting on you others. What are the emotions prompting you to do? (eg to stand-up for yourself, to act now in order to stop something bad from happening, to seek help etc). Should you act on these feelings, and if so how could you do so in an intelligent way?

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Is emotional intelligence real?

Emotional intelligence is still a relatively new concept. Psychologists continue to debatet whether it is real, or whether it just a combination of traits (eg IQ, extraversion, sensitivity). .Serious scholars argue over the nature of emotional intelligence. Is it a true intelligence or is it a set of learnable skills? And, many managers continue to wonder whether it just another buzzword and passing fad.

Is emotional intelligence real?

Yes its real and clearly linked to effective leadership

anonymous 3 years ago


anonymous 5 years ago

I aply to Software Organizations

cgolis 6 years ago

However a major problem with most models of EQ is that they focus on the transient emotions. I disagree. I believe that what is essential in lifting your Emotional Intelligence is an understanding of temperament, which is that part of the personality that is genetically based and is what determines your habitual emotional response.

Caruso and Salovey in their book on EQ "The Emotionally Intelligent Manager" devote two pages to some people having typical ways of looking at the world and calling these dispositional traits. I would argue the opposite and say all of us have core dispositional traits and that it the mixture of these traits with some being dominant and others weak that make us all unique. The model that I have found best at explaining temperament is the Humm-Wadsworth Temperament Scale. This model says we are all slightly insane and as I get older I am more and more relaxed about this hypothesis. The model also says we have seven core emotional drives six based on the most common forms of insanity and a seventh that tries to bring logic and order into our personality.

The Humm was the first statistically valid personality test developed and the following article from the 27 July, 1942 issue of Time, âPegs that Fitâ, provides a practical introduction to the model.

I have amplified these views in my blog and in my book.

anonymous 6 years ago

I believe it's real, although we are still learning how to define it and measure it - The more we learn about how our brain and mind function the more outdated concepts like IQ and EQ become. However, at the same time, without some mechanism to measure our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions, we give up being a scientist. As primitive and artificial as they may be, attempts to create and measure concepts such as IQ and EQ are critical to further evolution of the field and to the development of more robust ways to make sense of who we are and how we can be more effective at doing those things which are important to us. Emotional intelligence is a good example of how a concept can be formed based on known neuroscience at the time, and then evolve into the concept of Social Intelligence as the science upon which it is based also evolves.

TamaraKelly 6 years ago

I think emotional intelligence is best described as a metaphor. Whether it meets the strict psychological guidelines for being an 'intelligence' it provides a useful way of undertsanding many of the soft skills of leadership.



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    I think it is a dubious fad because ...

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Is emotional intelligence real? May I change the question just a bit? I would prefer to frame the question like this: Is the concept of emotional intelligence a useful one? For me, it is of limited usefulness. On constructive use of the concept is to highlight the importance of the "emotional" in addition to the "intellectual". It says: What we call intellectual acumen is not the only important thing -- socio-emotional skills are very important!

    But there are downsides of this concept. First, as indicated by Steve and Wayne, emotion and cognition are not separable, either in action or at the level of neurophysiology. Emotion is essential for all actions -- intentional or otherwise. The idea that logic should rule emotions is a flawed one because it presupposes that the capacity for logic or thinking independent of emotions. To be sure, Mr. Spock, of Star Trek fame, would surely die without the participation of his emotions. Emotions select, organize and amplify thought and action!

    And second, as suggested by Wayne, human capacities are not monolithic entities. There is no single "intelligence". And there certainly is no single "emotional intelligence". Our emotional lives are complex and variegated. Concepts like IQ and EQ take a necessarily heterogeneous set of processes and capacities and lump them all together into a single entity. This entity does not exist. At best, measures such as IQ provide general descriptions of broad configurations of human capacities. While IQ may be useful as but one general predictor of human some classes of human achievement, our behavior is neither fixed nor static. We are dynamic beings whose concrete actions are complex, emergent and multi-faceted.

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      Useful Funny Awesome Beautiful Interesting 

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. 5*'s.

      Welcome to the group Business Management.

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have email from Richard Boyatzis y Daniel Goleman, but I want information from you about Primar Leader Leadership to aply in organizations of diferent class including Sofwtare Organization (like Ibm, and more small) e including Health Organizations.

      Jack_Bergstrand 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens! You share a lot of helpful information here. Please feel free to stop by my lens and say hi when you get the chance.

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      religions7 5 years ago

      Great lens, but you knew that :) Just wanted to remind you that this is featured on the Consciousness, Awareness, Psychology & Neurology Headquarters


      It's now transformed into a lensography and I would love it if you could show your appreciation by featuring it here, or lensrolling it or something.

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      sherridan 5 years ago

      Great lens Shaun. I have lensrolled you on two of my lenses and also highlighted the lens on my Career and Work Oracle group - please do add yourself to that as a member (together with any other relevent lenses for submission):




      williamtribe 4 years ago

      Interesting lens Shaun, take a look at my website about emotional intelligence:


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