Emotional Intelligence – does it make a difference? by John Hill

When the topic of emotional intelligence comes up in conversations with people in  Dubai business, it quickly becomes clear that many people are still unclear as to what it actually is! There is a fair amount of confusion around it, how can it be quantified and how to actually develop it.

It might be easier to highlight what a lack of emotional intelligence looks like. I am sure we have all, at one time or another, come across those bosses and managers who seem distracted, make decisions without taking into account how they affect other people and without clear communication, lose the plot if things aren’t done the right way, and create an atmosphere of trepidation and anxiety around them.

It is not difficult to see that a workplace characterised by this type of environment is going to struggle with morale, motivation and job satisfaction. The result of this directly affects financial performance – manifested as absenteeism, lack of co-operation with fellow workers and a lack of discretionary effort on behalf of employees, meaning that company goals are not met. That is what an absence of emotional intelligence looks like and how it affects work environments.

In a piece of research done by the Conference Board of New York in 2009, the findings indicated that how people perform at work is directly affected by how they feel about their work – and primarily how they feel about their relationship with their boss and their co-workers. This report is quoted in a book by Mark C Crowley, entitled ‘Lead from the Heart’. Mark Crowley decided to map the results of Fortunes Magazine’s’ ‘Best Places to Work’ onto the financial performance of those companies and, guess what, he discovered that the companies where people are happy outperform peer firms financially by 4%, which in real terms is a staggering amount, considering that high performing hedge funds that beat the street by just 2% are considered superstars. (P33 Lead from the Heart, M. Crowley 2011 Balboa Press).

In another study conducted by PepsiCo, they found that leaders who scored high in emotionally intelligent behaviours outperformed their peers, delivering a 10% increase in productivity, an 87% decrease in executive turnover, $3.75m added economic value and over 1000% return on investment.

EQi-2.0-Model

Are you emotionally intelligent?

Daniel Goleman, the leading author and though leader on emotional intelligence, identified five main behaviours of the emotionally intelligent person. My descriptions below are deliberately simplified.

  1. Self-awareness – the ability to know what you are doing and why you are doing it.
  2. Self -regulation – the ability to think before acting and measure your responses appropriately.
  3. Motivation – the ability to sustain effort and attitude in spite of external circumstances.
  4. Empathy – the ability to leave your own perspective and see things from the perspective of another and,
  5. Social Skills -the ability to engage, build and sustain interpersonal relationships.

With such great outcomes evidenced, it’s clear that it’s an area worth understanding and growing it within your business.

If you are interested in becoming more emotionally intelligent, ISM Training run regular high quality training for this in Dubai. To check when the next course is visit www.ismdubai.com

alan Sugar

Are you in the firing line?

Whether you work in Dubai’s buzzing start-up community or a large established international company, bringing out the best in employees is the leader’s mantra. But what do you do with an employee who is difficult to work with, yet does their job brilliantly?

Some people are like vampires, sucking all the joy and life out of an organisation. Whether it’s the constant flow of critical emails, the snide backchat at lunch, or insults thrown around like confetti – the effect is to bring down the morale of people around them.

But some organisations keep difficult employees around because it’s been decided they are too good at what they do. It could be the creative who always delivers winning ideas, the accountant keeping the business afloat, or the engineer effortlessly fixing technology glitches.

Yet, as a leader it’s your job to ensure the whole company is working well. Pandering to the negative whims of one employee could lead to you losing other employees. You’re feeling that one individual is too valuable can rub off on others, making them feel unappreciated, or worthless.

This low morale in other employees can lead to staff handing in their notice. And if they’d rather move to another company, is this one individual worth the time and the money to train up new people?

On the flip side, people may not leave your business, but the negative impact of working with a difficult employee can lead to lower performance. Looking at that lowered performance across the board, and your business is going to suffer.

So how do you deal with a difficult person?

Firstly, examine the issues being brought to you by the individual’s co-workers. Are they valid? Can they be backed up with facts? With technology being used so frequently for communication, any offensive behaviour committed via email or social media can be readily examined.

Once you’ve established the extent of a person’s unpleasant behaviour, it’s time to have a one-to-one with them. Outline the complaints and work out a way to help modify their behaviour to be less offensive towards others.

One way is to offer them training. Sometimes a course in emotional intelligence, or stress/anger management can have a positive effect. And it’s a more productive way for you to keep an exceptional talent.

You should also remind them of their obligation to abide by company policy – offensive or bullying behaviour cannot be tolerated in any organisation. Some businesses have a three strikes rule. Once a person has transgressed beyond three warnings they are given an official warning, then if the behaviour persists, they are fired.

After the initial meeting, you then have to allow time for your discussion to sink in. Monitor their behaviour at work more closely and see if there is an improvement.

If there is no improvement (and in some cases addressing a problem can make difficult people behaviour worsen) and they are proving toxic to the workplace, as the leader you have to make a tough decision. Keep them and get others to work around their idiosyncrasies, or jettison them from the company. If you’re going to get rid of someone, ensure you’ve lined up a replacement first!