Working With Emotional Intelligence

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Last updated: March 29, 2019

In “Working With Emotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman discusses the importance of emotional intelligences in business world. In particular, the author describes physical and neurological aspects of emotions stating that emotional life of people is not related to academic intelligence.

  In such a way, Goleman underlines the importance of emotional intelligence skills in the workplace and in private life. Goleman discusses the concepts of teamwork, listening, cooperation, communication, speaking as they key aspects of emotional intelligence emphasizing their role in effective leadership and professional training programs. Through Goleman’s writing, he presents that miserable morale, arrogant bosses and intimidated employees have destructive effects on performance outcomes and job satisfaction. The problem is that such emotional deficiencies remain neglected and ignored, but, if not managed, they are very likely to result in decreased productivity, missed deadlines, mishaps and decreased professionalism of employees.

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The book is Goleman’s quest for raising importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace.Book OverviewGoleman claims that emotional intelligence may be defined in several ways. For example, emotional intelligence is realizing one’s emotions, self-awareness and ability to recognize feelings, or handling skills in managing feelings and emotions of other people. More and more companies refer to emotional intelligence because, as Goleman says, rules have changed.

The new rules decide who is on the top of success and who is on the bottom of it. No matter what field the company is operating in, it depends on personal traits that are essential for company’s marketability and future jobs. The rules are not ones that are learned in schools. They are new measure of intellectual ability and technical skills. New rules drive companies towards prioritizing personal skills as adaptability, persuasiveness, initiative and empathy.

In Part One Goleman discusses emotional intelligence, IQ and experience stressing that being emotionally intelligent values more than technical skills. Goleman thinks that organizational success depends on such personal qualities as empathy, initiative, self-confidence, self-awareness, trustworthiness and adaptability. Goleman shows that relying on technical skills merely won’t ensure the highest productivity and job retention. Thus, he calls for relying on emotional intelligence instead of experience and IQ. The whole book is a business case how to leverage emotional intelligence, and the author cites 25 years of research within. Goleman (2000) argues, “Companies that leverage this advantage add measurably to their bottom line”.The key question is how emotional intelligence is associated with profit? Why is it so important for contemporary highly competitive business environment?  Today is the age of complex work and, thus, collaboration and cooperation are they key priorities for companies that tend to unite people in their work.

Successful companies are claimed to be companies that display emotional intelligence and realize the importance of employees’ abilities to handle emotions in the workplace. Companies with emotional intelligence have competitive advantage over others. Goleman (2000) stresses, “In the new workplace, with its emphasis on flexibility, teams, and a stronger customer orientation, this crucial set of emotional competencies is becoming increasingly essential”. Nonetheless, emotional intelligence is not limited to being simply nice or self-confident.

Instead, emotional intelligence is a combination of personal competencies that help individuals to manage own emotions through self-regulation, self-awareness and self-motivation, and of social competencies that assist in approaching relations with social skills.Goleman (2000) says that the concept of emotional intelligence is new and well-supported, “We now have 25 years’ worth of empirical studies that tell us with a previously unknown precision just how much emotional intelligence matters for success”. His practical research reveals that emotional and social competencies are twice as important for modern businesses because they contribute to excellence, in contrast to experience and IQ that specify only the technical side of performance. In Part Two Goleman specifies twelve job capabilities and stresses their unique contribution to overall business performance. Goleman stresses that, when hiring professionals, organizations should prioritize trustworthiness, initiative, self-awareness and self-confidence along with such social skills as team capabilities, leadership qualities and empathy. In Part Three the author refers to key relationship skills saying they let companies arrange working process more efficiently. Goleman says that successful organizations should consider the importance of empathy, leadership, political awareness and leveraging diversity.

Emotional intelligence doesn’t require being perfect in all the competencies rather it calls for being strong enough to reach success.The author offers recommendations for improving emotional intelligence within organization. In Part Four Goleman helps those who are willing to be on a par with their emotional intelligence and to avoid wasting time. He suggests that emotional competence training would be of great importance.

For that purpose Goleman recommends Managerial Assessment and Development course. Training courses should be outcome-oriented rather than ‘one-size-fits-all training’ as organizational leadership should be confident that their investments are effective and performance will be improved. Goleman (2000) says, “Too often the only real effect of training, no matter what it’s for, is that people get a short-term ‘buzz’ of energy that lasts no more than a few days or weeks, after which attendees fall back into whatever their habitual mode was before the training”. The author is willing to show that employees won’t turn to emotional intelligence at once because it is a complex and gradual process. Thus, it is necessary to follow sound guidelines to become emotionally competent. Goleman stresses that emotional intelligence can be learned encouraging, in such a way, organizations and individuals to re-shape key values and strategies. Nevertheless, Goleman recommends not becoming obsessed with the idea of emotional intelligence; instead, stretching out is recommended for reinforcing organizational values and missions.

Emotional intelligence should be promoted through extensive training as it allows creating atmosphere (2000) that “rewards and even celebrates such self-improvement”. Goleman says that sound leaders realize that costs of good training would be repaid within the year.In the last part of the book Goleman explain what it means to be emotionally intelligent and illustrates how improved business performance makes organization more attractive for employees.  Goleman (2000) writes, “An organization’s collective level of emotional intelligence determines the degree to which that organization’s intellectual capital is realized – and so, it’s overall performance”.

In particular, the last part is an example how Egon Zehnder International has managed to apply the concepts of emotional intelligence to business practice. Egon Zehnder International is global executive search company that has illustrated the effectiveness of cooperation and collaboration – key ideas of emotional intelligence. Egon Zehnder International is characterized by high levels of teamwork, open communication, commitment and cooperation. Goleman (2000) notes, “The search firm’s very business, finding the right person for a company, demands skill at empathy, intuitive accuracy, and organizational awareness”.The author shows that emotional intelligence does matter as Egon Zehnder International is fully repaid for re-arranging business approach.

Today Egon Zehnder International is one of the most profitable companies in the world being up to 60% more productive than average firms. The key to company’s success is rooted in its selective hiring procedure, in which only promising and emotionally intelligent candidates were selected. Personal qualities were emphasized in hiring procedure, and candidates were evaluated on their self-confidence, self-awareness, leadership qualities, teamwork capabilities, integrity, maturity, empathy and listening skills. Common sense, sense of humor and vivid imagination were highly appreciated and welcomed.

Candidates were expected to be good colleagues and friends. On the example of Egon Zehnder International, Goleman shows that changes are inevitable, and today businesses become less hierarchical, but he discusses what competencies organizational leader should have and what competencies should employees be entailed with. Some competencies are necessary for the top, whereas others are necessary for ordinary employees.

However, he concludes that personal skills are important for every bottom as they contribute to overall business performance. With years emotional intelligence will be equally demanded across the company.ConclusionIn “Working With Emotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman stresses collaboration and cooperation as key concepts of emotional intelligence. He argues that personal and social skills value more today than IQ and experience. Social relations, teamwork capabilities and leadership qualities are crucial to company’s survival, and emotional intelligence should be applied to facilitating cooperation within organization. The positive finding is that emotional intelligence may be learned and improved.

Thus, Goleman has made an excellent effort to explain the essence of emotional intelligence and its importance in contemporary highly competitive business world. Moreover, Goleman offers sound guidelines for improving emotional intelligence through extensive training programs. He concludes that emotional intelligence enhances employees’ job satisfaction, improves business productivity and performance.

Goleman promotes managing with the heart.Works CitedGoleman, Daniel. Working With Emotional Intelligence. USA: Bantam Books, 2000.


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