Emotional Intelligence & Leadership

Schools Measure Emotional Intelligence

Question: Tom felt anxious, and became a bit stressed when he thought about all the work he needed to do. When his supervisor brought him an additional project, he felt ________________ .

  1. overwhelmed
  2. depressed
  3. ashamed
  4. self-conscious
  5. thrilled to be presented with a new challenge

 How you answer this question is a reflection of your emotional intelligence.  (Hint – Tom is not thrilled.)

Therterre have been several news stories recently that indicate the educational institutions which educate America’s business leaders are finally recognizing the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership.

 The Yale School of Management (SOM) is studying the role of emotional intelligence in predicting leadership ability.  SOM tested  its current incoming class for emotional intelligence and will use the results to determine whether traits like empathy and the ability to read people are predictive of future success.

 Furthermore, all full-time MBA students at SOM will be given the opportunity to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)  in SOM’s first-year leadership program. Students can analyze their emotional intelligence scores to learn about how to better exert personal influence and maintain self-control as a leader.

Emotional intelligence is thought to help leaders and managers understand how others around them are feeling and to alter their management style to better achieve goals. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to read people, understand and manage emotions, communicate effectively, and adapt quickly to other cultures.

The 141-question MSCEIT test, measures the four branches of emotional intelligence:

  • Identifying Emotions – the ability to recognize how you and those around you are feeling.
  • Facilitating Thought– the ability to generate an emotion, and then reason with this emotion.
  • Understanding Emotions – the ability to understand complex emotions and how emotions transition from one stage to another.
  • Managing Emotions – the ability to manage emotions in yourself and in others.

One question, for example, is to ask a test-taker to rate the emotion expressed  in a photograph of a face

In addition to the SOM,  Notre Dame and Dartmouth also are administering emotional intelligence tests to future business leaders attending those schools.

The  MCEIT was developed by Yale’s president-elect, Peter Salovey, and David R. Caruso, a management psychologist and special assistant to the dean of Yale College, and John D. Mayer, a psychology professor at the University of New Hampshire.

Lack of E.I.

One trait common among managers who abuse and bully their staff appears to be a lack of empathy, which is a facet of emotional intelligence.

In fact, some researchers blamed the recent Wall Street collapse partly on a small number of business leaders who had many or all of the traits of  a psychopath and who acted without regard to the well-being of their employees, customers and the American public.

There is overwhelming evidence that employers who hire or tolerate abusive managment invite expensive litigation, needless and costly turnover, lost work time and poor morale, higher health costs, etc.