Emotional Intelligence: New Approach To Productivity And Profitability

by Jim Ryan

The new year is filled with great opportunities and you may be thinking about how to make your organization better than it is today. Well, there is an exciting new field of study that has begun to make significant contributions to the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations: Emotional Intelligence. Our daily behaviors are rooted in emotions. One thinks, behaves and interacts with others differently when one is happy, content, stressed, worried, angry, excited, calm, cautious, encouraged…well, you get the idea.

Without getting too deep into the weeds, Emotional Intelligence (EI) involves a set of skills that help us perceive, understand, express, reason and manage emotions, both within ourselves and others. We can apply these skills to help us become more aware of our own and others’ feelings and more conscious of the influence emotions are having on our discussions, behaviors and performance. This helps to minimize the unproductive influence emotions can have and maximize their productive qualities.

I have recently attained certification as a Genos Emotional Intelligence Practitioner. Genos is an Australia-based firm with a global presence in Emotional Intelligence. Working through their U.S. partner, Red Diamond Solutions, I went through several days of training, testing, role-playing and reading to become certified. This is a treasure trove of organizational improvement opportunity. The Genos model breaks down EI into six primary competencies. They are:

Self-Awareness is about being aware of the way you feel and the impact your feelings can have on decisions, behavior and performance. People who are emotionally self-aware are conscious of the role their feelings can play in these areas and better equipped to manage this influence effectively.

Awareness of Others
This is about perceiving, understanding and acknowledging the way others feel. This skill helps us identify the things that make people feel valued, listened to, cared for, consulted and understood. When we demonstrate this skill, we come across as being empathetic. This helps improve relationships.

Authenticity is about openly and effectively expressing oneself, honoring commitments and encouraging this behavior in others. People high in authenticity are often described as “genuine” whereas people low in authenticity are often described as “untrustworthy.”

Emotional Reasoning
Emotional Reasoning is about using the information from oneself and others when decision-making. It involves considering your own and others’ feelings when making decisions, combining the information with facts and technical information and communicating this decision-making process to others.

This skill is about managing one’s own mood and emotions, time and behavior and continuously improving oneself. This skill helps people be resilient and manage high work demands and stress rather than being temperamental at work. People high in this skill are more optimistic and look to find opportunities and possibilities that exist even in the face of adversity.

Positive Influence
Positive Influence is about positively influencing the way others feel through problem-solving, feedback, recognizing and supporting others’ work. It involves creating a positive working environment for others, helping others find effective ways of responding to upsetting events and effectively helping people resolve issues that are affecting their performance.

How do we measure one’s Emotional Intelligence? We administer a comprehensive EI survey and generate reports. We then conduct feedback with the participants to help them understand their current state of EI and offer suggestions on how to reaise their EI to help improve relationships and improve the workplace. This can be done on an individual Self-Report basis, a 180 Degree Report (Manager-Direct Report, for example) or a 360 Degree Report (Self, Manager, Direct Reports, Peers).

The report is very robust and the feedback sets the stage for a rapidly improving organization. The only thing that truly sets and organization apart from its peers is the talent within that organization. Everybody knows that, but relatively few organizations truly practice their trade with that knowledge. Be different. Look at Emotional Intelligence as a new and powerful tool to drive your performance. Please contact me if you have an interest in learning more. Have a great 2017!