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The Manager's Pocket Guide to Emotional Intelligence

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One of the keys to becoming a true leader is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence quotient (or EQ) encompasses qualities that go beyond general intellectual intelligence and technical competency. EQ includes self-awareness, self-control, self-confidence, motivation, empathy, and competencies in the social environment. These hallmarks of a true leader can be learned. The activities in this guide will help strengthen the reader’s EQ skills, resulting in a more successful career and a more satisfying life.

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Chapter 1: Defining Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

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CHAPTER 1

Defining Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Jack walked into the office where three of his sales managers were reviewing the latest sales figures. So engrossed were they in discussing the disappointing results and what might be causing the sudden downturn in business, they did not hear him approach. Jack cleared his throat rather loudly, interrupting an obviously important and spirited discussion about work. “Kelly,” he said firmly, “I need to see you about that Allied account. We need to get some information to corporate.” He turned on his heels, leaving Kelly to wrinkle up her nose and explain to her colleagues that she would have to get back to them about continuing this analysis. She quickly followed Jack to his office.

Assuming that the information corporate needed did not represent a crisis, how would you assess Jack’s handling of this situation? What effect did his approach have on Kelly and her colleagues?

Jack, like too many managers, used the “boss” technique to get what he wanted done. He demonstrated poor social skills and possibly did long-term damage to goodwill by first assuming that the obviously work-related discussion was not particularly important, and then by barging in on it. Kelly and her colleagues would have been much more interested in complying with Jack’s request had he:

 

Chapter 2 : The Science Behind Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 2

The Science behind Emotional

Intelligence

The Case for an Emotional Brain

Emotions are not just a matter of the heart. Recent advances in research have shown that they are also a result of brain biochemistry. These conclusions come from neuroscience, evolution, medicine, psychology, and management. Emotional signals in the brain are felt throughout the body — in the gut, in the heart, in the head, in the neck, and so on. These sensations are important signals: If we learn to read them, they will help us make decisions and initiate action.

Most scientists believe that the control center of emotions in the brain is the limbic system, consisting of the amygdala, the hippocampus, and other structures in the mid-brain. The limbic system stores every experience we have from the first moments of life: impressions are stored in these areas long before we acquire the verbal or higher thinking abilities to put them into words. It is this vast warehouse of feelings and impressions that provides a context or meaning for those memories.

 

Chapter 3 : Assessing Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 3

Assessing Emotional

Intelligence

The purpose of this Pocket Guide is to help you improve your leadership skills by focusing on emotional competencies that affect success in the workplace and in the world at large. Before you can identify what you need to improve, however, you must know where you are now. This chapter will help you assess your Emotional Intelligence and then target areas where it can be strengthened. It concludes with several practical suggestions.

The checklists that follow have been used quite successfully with leaders who are engaged in the developmental processes of coaching and training in order to improve leadership. They are valuable personal tools for managers seeking to gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in the area of

Emotional Intelligence, in order to chart a course for personal improvement and business success.

1.

Rating EQ: Self-Assessment

The Self-Assessment Checklist is based on the six-facet model of Emotional Intelligence introduced in Chapter 1. It will point out to you those facets of Emotional Intelligence in which you have opportunity for improvement. Chapters 5–10 include

 

Chapter 4: The Fundamentals of Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 4

The Fundamentals of Emotional

Intelligence

There are several highly effective ways of improving your

Emotional Intelligence. These are called “Fundamentals” because they are helpful in developing multiple facets of EQ.

When used consistently, they can also help you improve in both the Self and Social dimensions. Remember these and refer back to them often throughout the remainder of the book.

Self Fundamentals: Understanding and Accepting

Ourselves

Keep a Journal.

For 10 minutes each morning or each evening, write whatever you want. Do not get out your laptop, and don’t sit at your desktop computer! The pen and the paper are essential, and though it is a slower process, you’ll get more benefit from doing it this way because you will be more intimately connected with your words. Journal writing can be totally open-ended with no specific plan, or built around a theme. The meaning in your writing will not be evident until you have entered your thoughts faithfully for two or more weeks and you can look back over all you have written. The content does not have to be profound, but the physical act of writing is linked to memory — particularly emotional memory, and your heart. Do not try to organize your writing; let the words flow.

 

Chapter 5 : The Role of Self-Awareness in Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 5

The Role of Self-Awareness in

Emotional Intelligence

You are sitting at your desk reviewing the latest sales figures, and they look pretty good. Although you are probably not aware of any strong feelings, you know you are feeling satisfied and calm. Your phone rings. You pick it up and hear the angry voice of a client, one of your biggest accounts, who is threatening to go with another supplier because a shipment you said you were sending did not arrive.

Immediately, you become aware that you are no longer calm — your heart is pounding, you feel yourself starting to sweat, and your breathing is quicker — you know you are feeling anxious.

Self-awareness is a simple phrase for a complicated set of information. It refers to an awareness of ourselves on many different levels: our body and our physical reactions; our emotions, preferences, and intentions; our goals and values; and our knowledge about how we come across to others. The more self-awareness we have, the more easily we can adjust our responses to others, and the more mutually satisfying our interactions and transactions. Tuning in to ourselves and becoming more aware of what we are experiencing as we are experiencing it improves Emotional Intelligence.

 

Chapter 6: The Role of Self-Confidence in Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 6

The Role of Self-Confidence in

Emotional Intelligence

Karen performed well as assistant operations manager at a manufacturing facility. She was skilled at her job and did what she was told, but her manager noticed that she seldom took initiative. She seemed hesitant to move ahead with new things and often needed extra encouragement. Karen was capable, but did not seem to have confidence in her abilities. Her manager believed that this lack of confidence was holding her back from taking on additional responsibility and moving ahead in her career.

Self-confidence is one of the six important facets of Emotional

Intelligence. It is almost always present in people we admire and respect who “have their act together.” We admire individuals who display a positive attitude toward themselves without being arrogant.

Self-confidence is a positive and balanced attitude having to do with the Self dimension. It consists of a basic belief that we can do what is needed to produce the desired outcome. When obstacles occur, a person with a confident attitude continues to work to overcome the barriers, whereas someone lacking in self-confidence is not likely to persevere and might not even begin something. Overcoming barriers and giving ourselves credit for what we have achieved — no matter how insignificant to others — are important ways to build selfconfidence. Experiencing small successes will build larger ones.

 

Chapter 7: The Role of Self-Control in Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 7

The Role of Self-Control in

Emotional Intelligence

Fred was a division manager for a plastics corporation. He prided himself on his work ethic and his fairness to his employees. And it was true: Fred’s employees nearly always used the word “fair” to describe him. And they used another word too: “distant” or “cold.”

When Fred’s father was dying of cancer, he didn’t share this news with anyone at work. He put on a stoic face and tried to concentrate on his job. People speculated about what might be wrong, because

Fred seemed extra edgy and out of the office a lot. No one learned about the situation until after his father’s death. Said one employee,

“He would be a lot more human if he’d just let down a little bit.”

Self-control is based on our having a positive self-attitude and enough self-knowledge to make the right decision about what to do with an emotion. The thinking brain can make decisions about emotions. Not all of them need to be expressed, but they also don’t need to be hidden or denied. Emotionally intelligent people display feelings if they are relevant, and deal positively with emotions they can’t show. They show self-control at an appropriate or balanced level and consistently are judged by others to be less impatient, more willing to share ideas and listen to the ideas of others, less likely to be involved in conflict and generally more likable. When we have the right amount of self-control, we can also manage our own moods well.

 

Chapter 8: The Role of Empathy in Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 8

The Role of Empathy in

Emotional Intelligence

When Ed arrived at the office after his breakfast meeting, he noticed that his assistant Pat was sitting slouched at her desk. Always pleasant and cheerful and a diligent worker, she did not even look up when he came in, as if she wasn’t aware of his arrival. Ed took one look and sensed that something was wrong. He proceeded to his office to put his things away, and then decided to go see what might be wrong. He went up to her desk and said kindly, “Hi, Pat. Is anything wrong?” She looked at him sadly and just shrugged her shoulders. He said, “I’ll help you if I can. Would you like to come into my office and talk about it?” Pat hesitated a minute and then got up from her desk and followed Ed to his office.

Ed not only showed sensitivity to Pat, but also organizational wisdom: He understood that very little productive work would be accomplished unless he attended to her needs. Rather than ignoring her signals of distress, he decided to meet them headon and use his own EQ to help Pat. Whatever the trouble, hearing an employee out for a few minutes and possibly being able to offer helpful suggestions is time well-invested because it builds trust and increases productivity over the long-term.

 

Chapter 9 : Motivation and Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 9

Motivation and Emotional

Intelligence

Molly, the Vice President of HR, was handed a daunting assignment

— to take a long, hard look at the company’s problems with employee turnover. Her CEO wanted a full report, with recommendations, in

60 days. Three weeks had already gone by, and Molly was clearly avoiding the project. She was overwhelmed and had no idea where to begin. The issue of employee turnover hit home: she’d taken a recent call from a headhunter herself, and although she turned him down, the call had stimulated her thinking. Molly was feeling tired and drained at work, unable to muster motivation for much more than her day-to-day activities.

Emotion is the foundation for creativity, passion, optimism, drive, and transformation. Motivation is a synonym for enthusiasm, initiative, and persistence. A positive attitude in the Social dimension is motivation, one of the key facets of

Emotional Intelligence and of leadership.

A thought without emotion falls flat; it is emotion attached to the thought that acts as the springboard, the energy that’s needed for action. Without emotions, whatever work we do likely would be done robotically, thus affecting the entire organization, including business relationships. Motivation — internal energy that moves outward in one direction — is a quality that distinguishes the good leader from the great one.

 

Chapter 10: Social Competency and Emotional Intelligence

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CHAPTER 10

Social Competency and

Emotional Intelligence

Ted walked up to a group of three colleagues who were laughing and talking about a movie two of them had seen over the weekend. They were telling their other co-worker, Barbara, about some of the funny parts. Ted listened for a few seconds, and said “Hey, you wanna know what I did this weekend? I went to a roller derby. Now that was funny.” The others just nodded their heads at Ted and soon went their separate ways.

You probably know someone like Ted who has poor social skills or a poor sense of timing. Such people often leave a trail of unsuccessful relationships behind them, and never quite seem to get it together. Effective leadership and success in business depends in part on being able to develop deep and lasting relationships, as well as relationships that are social and short-lived. You must be able to engage in pleasant office chitchat with colleagues and customers and get along with others.

People will usually give us clues as to what to say in order to connect with them. If we observe and listen carefully, we can pick up valuable information that will help us bridge the gaps that exist between us and them. Social skills build on the EQ factors previously discussed: self-confidence, empathy, and an optimistic attitude toward others. Mastering these areas will set the stage for appropriate social behavior.

 

Chapter 11: Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Others: Developing an Employee

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CHAPTER 11

Promoting Emotional

Intelligence in Others:

Developing an Employee

Peter was in a hurry to catch a plane. He went flying into Becky’s office, knowing she was out of the office for the afternoon. He dropped a pile of papers with a hastily scrawled post-it note saying “Friday” on her chair, where she could not miss them. He was sure she knew what corrections he needed on the spreadsheet for the Friday afternoon meeting with the executive team, a meeting he would make only if his flight was not late. He had written a few comments on the draft. When Becky returned later, she was shocked to see “Friday” on

Peter’s note, since she was under a deadline herself and was not aware of his Friday meeting. To make things worse, she was not able to decipher all his comments and was confused about a reference to something he wanted inserted. Peter was forever doing these things to her, so she decided to work on her own project and if there was time left, she would try to figure out what he wanted.

 

Chapter 12 : Putting EQ to Wokr: The Team

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CHAPTER 12

Putting EQ to Work: The Team

Sharon proceeded to the conference room with a feeling of dread. She called a team meeting for this afternoon only because she had been told to do so. She preferred to relate to her team members individually or by e-mail, rather than get the group together in the same room.

This time, they all needed to be told at the same time about their new reporting relationships under the partial restructuring. Sharon was well aware that whenever their team was together, Tom and Sarah were always at each other’s throats, leaving the others feeling mostly disgusted or bored. Today’s discussion promised to be especially difficult. Sharon knew she should be able to control them, but this

“group” she had inherited six months ago was a team in name only, and she felt discouraged about anything positive coming out of the afternoon.

Teams and other small groups are now the mainstays of many organizations, and leaders are increasingly called upon to work with groups of people collectively. Skills for leading the group are built upon the individual relationships we establish with each team member, and teams call for many of the same relationship behaviors. In addition to building relationships with each individual member of the team, there are certain team skills that good leaders put to use in order to build the

 

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