In recent years, we have been talking more and more about emotional intelligence (EI) in personal development but also in management. Indeed, the approach advocated until then was generally abstract emotions.
These were even considered to be harmful in companies …
I remember a discussion in 2013, with an HR manager of a large bank in Douala. It was about meeting training needs and I was highlighting the Insights Discovery approach to address leadership and communication challenges. The manager told me that at home the psychological aspect should not be treated especially …
Without knowing it, this person had just made me understand why precisely there were so many difficulties in the company in terms of communication and management.
We can not manage men and women without being interested in them, their motivation, their feelings, their needs … and for that, we must look at the types of personalities and their psychological needs, as well as their differences. It is, therefore, necessary to be interested in emotions and thus to practice “psychology” … that is, to have emotional intelligence.
Currently, large companies have understood the importance of this in interpersonal relationships to ensure better communication and therefore better performance. For example, I have been speaking for a few years in an international oil group (in Central Africa) to give a three-day module on interpersonal relations for managers. In this module, emotional intelligence is approached with some application tools.
The Importance Of Emotional Intelligence
Recent research shows us that management failures are mainly linked to difficulties in communication and adaptation to others. Employees are influenced by the manager’s moods and the team’s performance is impacted. Many managers are poorly trained in communication and coaching. The management of the company is not aware of the huge losses that this causes (absenteeism, accidents, low performance, significant turnover of staff, etc.).
The first authors of the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) are Salovey and Mayer (1990). They define emotional intelligence as
” a form of intelligence that involves the ability to control one’s feelings and emotions and those of others, to distinguish between them and to use that information to guide one’s thoughts and actions .”
The concept of IE was mainly popularized and popularized by Daniel Goleman from 1995. Various models were then proposed with various developments of skills and skills measured by tests (Bar-On, Goleman, Petrides, and Furnham). We will not go into the details.
What Is EI In Practice?
First, EI is about being able to recognize emotions at home and in others (especially facial expressions and body language, but also what is expressed by others). It is also important to detect the emotional climate of a place to know if it is the right moment or not to intervene …
It is important to understand how emotions arise in us and how they affect us. Understand how they impact us personally but also others. Later, this will allow you to have the capacity to control yourself and others. This will have a great effect on the quality of interpersonal relationships.
Emotional Intelligence and Authenticity
A person with high emotional intelligence will be more authentic, in keeping with his actions, thoughts, and values. It can create around it a sphere of trust or the management of conflicts, emotions can be done in a calm atmosphere and especially constructive. This will translate more easily into concrete solutions and favorable to all (and especially for the company, it promotes better performance). This person will be very empathetic and will be careful to express gratitude to others in the right moments. It can also give corrective feedback in a respectful and effective way. This translates into the greater motivation of the people involved.
For a manager, having more IE will allow him to better understand and motivate his team. He will better know the motivational drivers of each employee. He can also understand why the relationship with some is more difficult and especially why it generates negative emotions in him.
Emotional intelligence also facilitates decision making. It will be faster and more serene, as listening to one’s own emotions is crucial in decision-making as Damasio’s work has shown.
Daniel Goleman develops four main concepts in his model. These are the ladder to conquer.
- The first, self-awareness, is the ability to understand one’s emotions, to recognize their influence in using them to guide our decisions.
- The second concept, self-control, consists in controlling one’s emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
- The third concept, that of social consciousness, encompasses the ability to detect, understand, and respond to the emotions of others.
- Finally, relationship management, which is the fourth concept, is the ability to inspire and influence others while promoting their development and managing conflict (Goleman, 1998).