Leading with Emotions (part III)

What are the Pros and Cons?

When EI found its way into the corporate world various studies and reports have analyzed the impact and significance of EI. In the early days most research illustrated highly positive outcome for organizations if they focus on EI in their Talent Acquisition and Development programs. Recent examples such as the Global Empathy Index (2015) from the Lady Geek advocacy agency shows that businesses are more profitable and productive when they act ethically, treat their staff well, and communicate better with their customers. (For more details go to https://hbr.org/2015/11/2015-empathy-index).

But as it is with all tools and methods: “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy” (quote Paracelsus).


That said, new studies show the potential downside of EI. Reviews of this finds that, in many studies, poor research methodology has exaggerated the significance of EI. A group of Austrian psychologists for example, reported a correlation between EI and narcissism, raising the possibility that narcissists with high EI might use their “charming, interesting, and even seductive” qualities for “malicious purposes,” such as deceiving others. Another study with college students shows, that people with high EI might be more over-credulous due to overconfidence in their ability to read others.

What to take away?

  • Creating Awareness around Emotional intelligence has never been easier. There is no lack of information and no shortage of partners who can help you to develop, implement and audit a business model that will support you in getting it right. There are various tools and services (training programs, mentoring & coaching) available that help individuals and organization to measure EI and to develop and increase required skills such as Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness, Self-Management and Relationship-Management.
  • To be effective, individuals and especially leaders will need more than ever to be able to influence others through gaining their respect and enlisting their passions. And the more EI skills a leader has at his disposal, the more flexible and seamless he can switch styles depending on the situation and in turn the better the outcome will be. A leadership coaching style is the least utilized but it also may be the most effective style to add to your soft skills portfolio.
  • Higher emotional intelligence translates into better performance, especially in jobs that require extensive attention to emotions (this counts for all jobs with social interaction such as sales, marketing, project management and all leadership or management roles).
  • There’s a fine line between motivation and manipulation in relation to EI. People could use emotional intelligence for nefarious ends, but more often, emotional skills will be simply instrumental tools for goal accomplishment.

So, don’t wait – start today identifying your EI and creating your strategy to develop. I have started last week and it turns out to be a very interesting and challenging journey…

Leading with Emotions (part II)

What is EI?

A theoretical model created by Daniel Goleman includes 4 main aspects of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness, Self-Management and Relationship-Management. He defines EI as “the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. In practical terms, this means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), this enables us to learn how to better manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.”

Is there a link between leadership styles and EI?

The consulting firm Hay/McBer analyzed if there is a relationship between EI and leadership styles. They found 6 distinct leadership styles, each springing from different components of emotional intelligence. Their research summarized the styles, their origin, when they work best and their impact on your organizations climate (positive or negative).


The main findings were summarized as following:

  • The 6 styles, taken individually, appear to have a direct and unique impact on the working atmosphere of a company (climate), division or team, and in turn, on its financial performance.
  • The research indicates that leaders with the best results do not rely on one leadership style, they use most of them – seamlessly and in different measure – depending on the business situation.
  • According to the report, the visionary leadership style has the most positive effect on working atmosphere of a company, but 3 others Affiliate, Democratic and Coaching, follow close behind (last were the Commanding and Pacesetting style). That said, the research indicates that no style should be relied on exclusively and all have at least short term uses.


How to measure and develope your EI?

There are various tools and platforms available that support individuals and organizations to measure and understand Emotional Intelligence, i.e. the EQ-I (Bar-On) tool and the Emotional Competence Inventory (Goleman) tool.

In addition there are various training and certification programs available which enable leaders or people in HR related functions to broaden and professionalize their EI skills and expertise.

Finally for all employees coaching and mentoring programs can add an incredible value to understand and develop their Emotional Intelligence.

In part 3 next week, we will have a look at the pros and cons currently discussed around EI and finally you will get my personal take-away related to Emotional Intelligence – I hope you enjoy!

Leading with Emotions (part I)

Why we need EI

Just some examples of this month’s news: “February 2016 – warmest month ever”, “Blasts in Brussels – 34 killed”, “Obama visits Cuba – after 50 years of estrangement”, “Amazon starts air freight service – leases 20 planes”…

Looking at the examples above, it can be safely assumed that the 21st century is an era of rapid modernization and change and this pertains to politics, the economy and increasingly towards social systems. Stability and predictability are factors we can no longer rely on in today’s world.

In addition the technological progress confronts us with these changes and developments nearly real-time and irrespective of where we are. This has consequences for us as an individual person as well as an employee in the corporate world.

Why? Because emotions and personal values have increasingly made their way into our professional and business lives.
Just looking at the news above…how do I feel? Climate change – I am worried. Terrorism – I am sad. Political rapprochement – I feel hope. Innovations – I feel excited.

The same emotions (and many more) come up related to changes and developments we are facing in our work environment. Especially looking at projects involving “restructuring”, “cost reduction” or any other initiative that will change our daily work routine or impact our living conditions. The more changes and the faster appearing, the more emotions involved.

From a human resource perspective these developments create the need for urgent and fundamental change in the way we attract, manage and develop people.

Today people and especially leaders need to evolve many additional qualities which will enable them to effectively deal with stress, ever changing work processes and a lack of job security. In this new viral world, personal impressions and strength make a difference.

That’s why I think individuals and organizations should have a closer look at Emotional Intelligence (EI). Certainly this is not a new concept as the impact and processes behind EI have been widely examined over the last 20 years but in practice I see that handling the day to day operations often moves soft skills such as EI and leadership management into the background. There is definitely the room and the need for improvement.

In part 2 of my blog next week I will share some more insight what EI is about, if there is a relation between EI and leadership styles and if it’s possible to measure Emotional Intelligence.

What is the Value of your time? (part I)


Time flies…I was surprised and a little bit disappointed to see that my last blog post was 4 months ago. Where did my time go? What have I done during the last few months? Clearly there must have been some very important things going on that kept me from writing here… or perhaps I could have just managed my time better?

I found a nice quote that fits this situation: “You can’t make up for lost time. You can only do better in the future.” Ashley Ormon

That inspired me to a new series that I would like to share with you– and it will be all about how to make the best of our time!

First step for me was to understand how well or bad my time management really is/was. I have found quite a few self-tests that can help to identify the need to improve your time management. Most of them give only a very superficial overview (and can be finished within 5-10 minutes) but it is a good start to check where you stand. Important: you have to give honest answers otherwise you won’t get any results to move forward. Here are 4 examples of free available online assessments:

I have done all 4 just to see if I get different results but the overall scores were comparable (efficient time management with room for improvement), only the areas of focus where slightly deviating between the different tests. In total I have identified 3 areas to improve my personal time management ability:

  • To manage interruptions and distractions
  • To manage procrastination
  • To learn to say no

Now that I know where to develop myself, the next step was to understand why I am having difficulties managing these areas (there are various ways to approach this, in my case I have done some individual coaching sessions to work out my “why”). Because when you understand the “why” – you can start planning to get out of these behavioral patterns. But that is easier said than done and I was quite surprised to read that it takes approximately 30 days to establish a new physical or emotional habit.

To improve your time management it all starts with your commitment to change and your commitment to dedicate some of your time to do so.

You need to understand yourself and your attitude to identify what you will have to change about your private and business habits and routines.

The time management website dovico.com states that 70 % of professional people use a to-do-list on a regular basis to administer their “have to dos” but only 5 % administer in addition their “want to dos”.

I would like to be part of that 5% and a good example of my “want to dos” is regularly writing my blog posts. In my following posts I will share with you how I am going to make this happen.

Where do you find yourself? I am curious to hear about your assessment results and “want to dos” and appreciate any feedback you might have!

Next time I will share my favorite time management tools & techniques…