Emotional Intelligence (EI): A Job Requirement?

Emotional Intelligence

For decades the term IQ has been bandied about as a prerequisite for career and life success. You either have a high IQ which makes you an achiever, or you don’t and get by perfectly well in life as an average employee. However the newest buzz word, Emotional Intelligence (EI), is something we can all get on board with because as humans we each possess multiple emotions and these emotions can be controlled, moulded and channelled to help us evolve into more productive professionals at the workplace.

So what by definition is Emotional Intelligence? It’s the ability to identify and control your own emotions and the emotions of others through skilled manipulation of emotional awareness. This ability to harness and consequently manage emotions is what can make a powerful leader (think politician). Obviously not every profession demands a high level of people skills or a deep understanding of human behaviour. But where it is required, and where it becomes catalyst for career advancement, a mastery of emotional intelligence can contribute to a rapid climb up the corporate ladder, culminating in a successful and lucrative career.

The theory of EI was proposed in 1990 by Peter Salovey (now Provost of Yale University) and John D Mayer, Professor of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire. According to Mayer, “People with high EI, we believed, could solve a variety of emotion-related problems accurately and quickly. High EI people, for example, can accurately perceive emotions in faces. Such individuals also know how to use emotional episodes in their lives to promote specific types of thinking. They know, for example, that sadness promotes analytical thought and so they may prefer to analyze things when they are in a sad mood (given the choice). High EI people also understand the meanings that emotions convey: They know that angry people can be dangerous, that happiness means that someone wants to join with others, and that some sad people may prefer to be alone.”

Emotional intelligence skills are typically divided into four categories: Self-awareness, Self-management, Social awareness and Relationship management. These skills when mastered and used in conjunction with conflict resolution tools can prove a potent armoury for the modern day corporate warrior.

“Naturally, people with a high degree of emotional intelligence make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world. We haven’t yet been able to find a job in which performance and pay aren’t tied closely to emotional intelligence.”

FedEx Express, the world largest cargo airline with over 290,000 employees and one of Fortune’s top 20 “Most Admired” companies for a decade, has implemented EI assessment and development into a six-month on-boarding process for new managers with remarkable results. “The program is yielding an 8-11% increase in core leadership competencies, with over half the participants experiencing very large (10-50%) improvements in certain key emotional intelligence skills and leadership outcomes: 72% of the program participants experience very large increases in decision making; 60% in Quality of Life, and 58% show major improvements in Influence.”

Most companies still tend to focus their hiring process and consequent training on hard skills. Typically little attention has been placed on soft skill competencies such as stress/conflict management, assertiveness, empathy, and social aptitude. In the real world these are vital skills that build strong competency in employees and management and are reflected in a company’s success.

Conflict and stress are ever present in our lives and we learn to deal with the unpleasant and negative side effects the best way we can. Now with the availability of EI training courses the good news is that you can learn how to deal with difficult people, how not to fly off the handle at the slightest provocation, when to take a step back, how to listen and communicate with empathy and a ton of other traits you never thought you could acquire. With some guidance and practice we can reprogram ourselves to don many facial masks, with accompanying body language and tone of voice, as the situation requires.

On Sunday 26th June ISM will be conducting a Summer Short Course titled “Self-Smart, People Smart – An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence”. This is an opportunity to explore and gain insight into your own level of emotional intelligence amidst a selected group of 18 participants. Contact ISM for more details.


sensory branding

What’s good for Heston’s diners is worth a second glance….

We’re all used to the concept of visual branding; getting the logo, company colours and font to connect with the customer, creating a cohesive style for stores and offices. But for some time now, this is being enhanced, and in some ways superseded by sensory branding.

Consider walking into any branch of Hollister. The stores have a very strong identity whether you’re shopping in Dubai or Glasgow – the same beach hut exterior, dim lighting, evocative scent, music and, of course, the same Californian inspired clothing.

Enveloping the senses in this way evokes a feeling, a sense of belonging, which Hollister customers enjoy and return time and again for. Of course, the experience is not to everyone’s taste – and that’s equally important. Hollister customers are teenagers and young adults who are economically able to enjoy the brand’s image.

Anyone outside that niche probably finds the store’s signature scent overpowering, the dim lighting irritating, and might question the price and individuality of the clothes themselves. But they aren’t the target market. Similarly, the hushed tones, subtle music and delicate scents used by upmarket hotel chains are probably an anathema to the majority of young people, but they aren’t the hotel’s target market. Their target group are business people and prosperous holidaymakers.

This maturation of sensory marketing has sped up over the last decade. A car manufacturer has worked on creating a certain sound when a door shuts. This sound has been developed to become synonymous with quality in the ears of its customers.

Retail units of global brands are carefully planned to place both auditory and aroma points to encourage purchases of certain items, usually items with a higher price tag. And at the very edge of technology there are very personalised sensory marketing techniques being trailed in the world’s bigger cities. Cameras can capture images of people walking towards a store and that data can be fed back to a computer. Images and sounds are selected to appeal to the customer profiled, and as they walk past the store their senses are engaged in the hope they’ll walk in and make a purchase.

Online things are getting just as interesting. Recently a marketing company encouraged visitors to a web site to take a sip of any brand of whisky while visiting different coloured ‘rooms’ on their site (where the promoted whisky brand was being prominently displayed at all times), and giving feedback on their experience. This helped the branding company see how colours and textures impacted on the visitor’s enjoyment of whisky generally, while the repeating of the name of the branded whiskey probably led to many visitors going out and trying it in real life.

All this is expensive, but it doesn’t mean the smaller business can’t harness some of the big company’s sensory marketing tricks. Again, it’s down to research. Find out how it’s being done by the bigger companies, and replicate it to your own budget. Sensory marketing is proven to work around the world; it taps into deep parts of the human brain, working on an almost subliminal level. Done well, a little Dubai company can use sensory marketing as effectively as the global brands.



As any great salesman worth their salt knows, a good story can sell a product. Less well known is the power of a good story, or one-liner to motivate a sales team to achieve their potential. So whether you want to up your car sales or increase sales of delicious food at the Dubai Mall, here are some sales quotes to inspire your team.

1. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you have planted. – Robert Louis Stevenson

2. You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise. – Patricia Fripp

3. Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your minds looks at what happens. – Khalil Gibran

4. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – Tony Robbins

5. Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

6. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

7. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes of the goal. – Henry Ford

8. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. – Bill Crosby

9. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. – Muhammad Ali

10. Face your fears and doubts, and new worlds will open to you. – Robert Kiyosaki

11. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein

12. Dream big and dare to fail – Norman Vaughan

13. The best sales questions have your expertise wrapped into them. Jill Konrath

14. Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. – Jim Rohn

15. The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has a profound impact on where you end up. – Ron Karr

16. There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. – Peter Drucker

17. Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way. – Les Brown

18. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers

19. The more you love what you are doing, the more successful it will be for you. – Jerry Gillies

20. People don’t buy for logical reasons – they buy for emotional reasons. – Zig Ziglar

21. Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principal that holds all relationships. – Stephen Covey

Each quote can address different needs for inspiring your Dubai sales team, so take the time to consider which one applies to the changes happening in your sales area each week.