Magazine article New Zealand Management

EQ-Just a Fad?

Magazine article New Zealand Management

EQ-Just a Fad?

Article excerpt

Q Whenever I pick up a management magazine or book, or look at an advert for management courses I constantly see and hear references to "emotional intelligence". Isn't it just a buzzword?

A Yes, emotional intelligence is definitely very popular at the moment and there is a wide range of courses and books on the subject. Your question asks if there is something real behind the words "emotional intelligence", or if it is just a fad.

Emotional intelligence became popular a few years ago through the publication of a book on the subject by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence--Why it can matter more than IQ.

IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is a measure of mental ability and is often used as a way of getting a fix on how well a person uses their brain. It measures things such as the ability to make mathematical calculations, use memory and vocabulary. When the individual results for a person are compared with a range of results covering a wide population it can give a sense of the level of a person's ability to do these things.

IQ does not measure "intelligence" as this is made up of many things and doesn't just relate to how well you can think. For example, it also covers how well you can apply your thinking ability.

A low level of emotional intelligence can get in the way of a high IQ rating and make you less effective--this explains the subtitle of Daniel Goleman's book.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity for effectively recognising and managing your emotions, and to some extent those of others. Measuring emotional intelligence is an attempt to identify the behavioural tendencies that may be triggered by your feelings.

Research shows that awareness of your own and others' feelings can assist in managing your behaviour in ways that help you work more effectively with others. If your emotional response is strong and ineffective it can reduce your effectiveness. If you are aware of this then you are more able to manage your response and increase effectiveness. A high IQ is not everything.

This knowledge has led to a current focus in leadership and management development on self-awareness--awareness of how you are thinking and responding to what is going on around you.

Emotional intelligence is a currently fashionable concept but underneath it lie some simple lessons that can increase your value as a leader and manager.

Q I manage a company employing 650 people and located in three different geographic locations in New Zealand. I often receive complaints that there isn't enough "communication". …

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