Self Development - Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence

Self Development - Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence

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S Making the Connection Leadership Skills and Emotional Intelligence There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitutes what is now commonly known as emotional intelligence plays a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace. Recent CCL research has uncovered links between specific elements of emotional intelligence and specific behaviors associated with leadership effective- ness and ineffectiveness. by Marian N. Ruderman, Kelly Hannum, Jean Brittain Leslie, and Judith L. Steed LIA VOLUME 21, NUMBER 5 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2001 3 tuart is a senior manager at a well-known pharmaceutical com- pany. He is brilliant, and everyone who knows him believes he has the potential to achieve great things. His primary strength is strategic thinking; colleagues say he has an uncanny ability to predict and plan for the future. As Stuart has advanced in the organization, however, his dark side has become increasingly apparent: he often lashes out at people, and he is unable to build relationships based on trust. Stuart knows he is intelligent and tends to use that knowledge to belittle or demean his co-workers. Realizing that Stuart has extraordi- nary skills and much to offer the company in terms of vision and strat- egy, some of his colleagues have tried to help him work past his flaws. But they’re beginning to conclude that it’s a hopeless cause; Stuart stubbornly refuses to change his style, and his arrogant modus operandi has offended so many people that Stuart’s career may no longer be salvageable. Every company probably has someone like Stuart—a senior man- ager whose IQ approaches the genius level but who seems clueless when it comes to dealing with other people. These types of managers may be prone to getting angry easily and ver- bally attacking co-workers, often come across as lacking compassion and empathy, and usually find it diffi- cult to get others to cooperate with them and their agendas. The Stuarts of the world make you wonder how peo- ple so smart can be so incapable of understanding themselves and others.
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What Stuart is lacking is emotional intelligence. There may be little hope of salvaging Stuart’s career, but there is good news for managers who are similarly deficient in emotional intelli- gence capacities but willing to try to change their ways: emotional intelli- gence can be developed and enhanced. DEALING WITH EMOTIONS In articles published in 1990, psychol- ogists Jack Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University coined the term emo- tional intelligence, referring to the constellation of abilities through which people deal with their own emotions and those of others. Mayer and Salovey later went on to define emotional intelligence as the ability to perceive emotional information and use it to guide thought and actions; they distinguished it from cognitive intelligence, which is what determines whether people will be successful in school and is measured through IQ tests.
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