Emotional Intelligence Training: Raising Your Emotional Quotient
Until Daniel Goleman published his bestseller Emotional Intelligence in 1995, this critical category of emotional intelligence training had largely been overlooked in the research annals of leadership training. Instead most programs focused on cognitive techniques and analytical thought processes as determinants of leadership prowess, and many still do today. Such programs routinely churn out leaders who appear “scripted” to their associates. In short, what used to work is now considered the antithesis of leadership effectiveness. It is emotional intelligence and leadership prowess that offers optimal people skills.
Well ahead of his time, the late Dr. Jim Farr, co-founder of The Leadership Trust®, had known to incorporate the role of emotions as a catalyst to transformational leadership development some forty years ago. He reasoned that you can not have social intelligence without emotional intelligence and went about the business to prove it by incorporating emotional intelligence training exercises designed to create emotional self-awareness, the foundation of the emotional quotient.
It has only been within the last two years that behavioral scientists have offered research to support that without emotion one can not express empathy, the basis for highly effective leaders of today ( Journal of Social and Personal Relationships). This is emotional intelligence at its best, the outcome of which is authentic leadership, where people feel meaningfully connected to the leader and thus will offer support even under the most dismal of circumstances. “Servant leaders create servant associates,” another by-product of emotional intelligence training. You will want to look at this within the framework of the law of polarities where more is less and less is more.
In case you think this emotional intelligence training stuff sounds a bit touchy-feely, you will want to reconsider. After all, you can fire a person with empathy and compassion. Think about it. The leadership industry has evolved from authoritarian to humanistic leadership due much in part to the new “breed of person ” we have in our workforce today – we’re referring to the Generation Xers and Ys (the latter representing those born in 1977 or later). They will not tolerate managers who operate without empathy and caring and empowerment. Neither do they wish to work for people who are withdrawn, passive, disengaged or afraid of confrontation. And it can be very expensive to train up this growing proportion of your workforce only to lose them to your competitors who are practicing the leadership style that works in today’s marketplace, a style that has nurtured emotional intelligence.
Winston Churchill offered that “one can not inspire with emotion until he is swamped with it himself.” Churchill may as well have said that one must be in touch with his or her emotions. Obviously you can not have emotional intelligence without having emotional self-awareness. In order for a leadership training program to be highly effective, it must combine within its approach processes that enhance both emotional intelligence and leadership. Lecturing on emotions will not create the desired effect. Only experiential exercises, even those in which the emotions are purely internal and private, can create the degree of change that promotes the level of emotional intelligence necessary for highly effective leadership. Experiential exercises awaken one’s right brain which houses emotion, intuition, creativity, empathy, the sense of knowingness. Case in point, Einstein discovered his theory of relativity in his right brain.
Finally, given that research supports the notion that work affects home and home affects work, when emotional intelligence is honed, our graduates are quick to point out the heightened harmony they experience both at work and at home. This is in addition to positively impacting bottom line.
Why emotional intelligence? Positive permanent change does not take place without an accompanying emotion, and neither can decisions be reached without an accompanying emotion. It only makes sense that the higher one’s emotional quotient, the better the decision-making process and lasting positive change.
Trite though it may sound, people do not care what you know until they know that you care. Intellectual savvy is not enough. Emotional intelligence training offers the experience of a knowingness that exudes a quality of authentic humanness, of simply being real. That’s the credibility factor that you must have in order to create buy-in, in order to be solidly successful. The Personalized Leadership Development Program™ unfolds in a natural way that builds emotional intelligence – the emotional quotient – such that participants realize they are so much more than the act they have been nurturing and practicing for so many years. It’s all about getting centered to who you really are and really liking it.