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.


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

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a proven technique to increase sales and reduce high staff turnover, it’s even been proved to reduce aggression in schools and stress in the workplace. Which is why businesses from Dubai to Sydney are beginning to implement emotional intelligence courses for their employees. It makes great business sense, and is a beneficial investment in individual development.

If you’ve not implemented an emotional intelligence course in your business, these tips will help you and your team maximise the results of the process.

Desire to participate

Wanting to take part in a course increases the likelihood of success. Help your team understand why you are keen for them to take part in the course. Without knowing the benefit to them personally, many people will not truly engage.

Understand the major goal


Emotional Intelligence…it’s worth it !

Different companies will want a variety of outcomes from an emotional intelligence course. When L’Oreal decided to hire high scoring EI salespeople, they saw a dramatic increase in individual sales. However, when AT&T studied the impact of emotional intelligence in their organisation, they discovered it accounted for a 20% increase in productivity. Whatever your overall goal, keep it in mind during training.

Personal and company goal

Aligning training to help people on a personal level, as well as on a company level, increases their engagement. Changing how we approach different situations can be daunting, but placed in a personal context this can assist in a greater understanding of the benefits.

Ensure the course is pertinent

Scenarios that are built on unfamiliar ground can be too abstract for many people. By grounding the course in your everyday personal and business life, your team will get far more out of the course. You’ll also find that you can address specific situations that are causing problems in your business.

Clearly defined outcome

Everyone works better when they know what the desired outcome is. Before starting the course, ensure every participant is aware of the overall goal for the company and for them personally. Be very clear and don’t leave room for doubt. This way your team will get the most out of the course.

Is it working?

Keep an eye on your stats in the following months. This assessment will help you understand where emotional intelligence is making its mark on your team’s performance.

Follow up

Emotional intelligence does not have a fixed end point. Some people will take it on board faster than others, and others may forget aspects as time goes by. Have regular reviews of your team to talk about how they are implementing what they’ve learnt, and even book refresher sessions to maintain the development process.