Dictionary.com defines emotional intelligence as:
the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. “…emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.”
It was in 1995 that Daniel Goleman published the book “Emotional Intelligence”, but two college professors, John Mayer and Peter Salovey were actually the first to coin the term. Taken from Howard Gardner’s seven intelligences theory dated in 1983, Mayer and Salovey’s emotional intelligence combines two of the seven intelligences: interpersonal and intrapersonal. Interpersonal is defined as: socially adept, good at communicating and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives. Intrapersonal is defined as: very aware of their strengths and weaknesses, in-touch with their own feelings and are self-motivated.
Reuven Bar-On is an Israeli psychologist and one of the leading pioneers, theorists and researchers in emotional intelligence. Bar-On is thought to be the first to introduce the concept of an “EQ” (“Emotional Quotient”) to measure “emotional and social competence.” In the first copy of his doctoral dissertation, which was submitted in 1985, Bar-On proposed a quantitative approach to creating “an EQ analogous to an IQ score.”
In his dissertation, he posed the question “Why are some people more successful than others?” Success he based on the ability to progress higher in occupational status, academic status, and healthy long-term relationships. Ultimately, his research led him to develop an assessment instrument based on fifteen (15) dimensions that measure emotional intelligence.
Now known as the Bar-on Emotional Quotient Inventory, or EQ-I for short, the assessment takes approximately twenty minutes or less to complete. Comprised of one (1) overall score, five (5) composite scores and fifteen (15) sub-composite dimension scores as follows:
- Emotional self-awareness
- Emotional expression
- Social Responsibility
- Reality Testing
- Impulse Control
- Stress Tolerance
In addition, there is a Well-Being Indicator score derived from four of the sub-composite dimensions: self-regard, optimism, interpersonal relationships, and self-actualization.
Practical Application of the EQ-i
In his HBR blog, “Ignore Emotional Intelligence at Your Own Risk,” Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior advisor and Egon Zehnder, stresses the importance of EI-based competencies for success in leadership roles. Drawing on decades of experience with Egon Zehnder, he notes that top leaders tend to possess emotional intelligence (EI), coupled with a high IQ and a proven track record. Leaders who possess the latter two attributes, but lack EI, tend to burn out fast. Fernández-Aráoz advises companies recruiting executives without EI to carefully weigh up the risks that they are running. In addition, prior to acquiring a new company, Egon Zehnder will assess the emotional intelligence of the company they are interested in buying!
So if you want to get started on an emotionally intelligent organization, I would suggest partnering with us to hire emotionally intelligent people and to support your training professionals with the tools to develop the emotional intelligence of all of your employees – from the top down.