Feelings or Facts? MBA Students’ Applications Include Emotional Traits Testing

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B-Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel?

By MELISSA KORN

Forget what you know. Business schools increasingly want to know what you feel.Students show emotions at the Joplin High School commencement ceremony in Missouri

Schools are trying to choose from a crowded pool of well-qualified applicants and get a sense of the human being behind the application by adding personality tests and scored, standardized in-person interviews to the traditional battery of essays, transcripts and recommendations. Now, prospective M.B.A. students need to shine by showing emotional traits like empathy, motivation, resilience and dozens of others.

Measuring EQ—or emotional intelligence quotient—is the latest attempt by business schools to identify future stars. Since students typically start their job hunts almost as soon as they arrive on campus, the schools have little time to fix any faults.

“Companies select for top talent with assessments like this,” says Andrew Sama, senior associate director of M.B.A. admissions at University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. “If we are selecting for future business leaders, why shouldn’t we be [using] similar tools?”

Since the fall of 2010, Mendoza applicants have been required to complete a 206-item online questionnaire called the Personal Characteristics Inventory. It screens them for traits the school has found in its most successful students and graduates, such as teamwork and leadership abilities.

It is difficult to determine the “right” answers. For example, one item asks, “What are your sources for new ideas?” The multiple-choice answers include “reading,” “my own thoughts,” “subject-matter experts,” “family and friends” and “people I work with.” Star students tend to provide the same responses, Mendoza says.

Paul Toboni, a first-year M.B.A. student at the school, says he “couldn’t beat around the bush or give an artificial response” in the online test, unlike with interview talking points.

Still, the 23-year-old Mr. Toboni says he was pleased the school was evaluating his personality and not just the length of his résumé, since he was “shallow” on work experience.

Based on the assessment, Mendoza labels students “recommended” or “not recommended,” though the school may ultimately admit a number of students in the latter category and may reject others in the former.

Mendoza plans to track this spring’s graduates closely, as they are the first class admitted with the explicit consideration of EQ. The school says early indications show that those who scored well on the assessment are highly engaged in classroom and club activities.

Yale School of Management, meanwhile, plans to try out the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test on volunteers from its current batch of applicants in coming weeks. Results of the online self-assessment won’t affect admission decisions, says Bruce DelMonico, assistant dean and director of M.B.A. admissions, because the school is just gathering data on what traits predict success.

The 141-item test, co-created by Yale University Provost Peter Salovey, measures how well applicants might manage or understand their own emotions with questions about everyday scenarios. A candidate might be asked, for example, to predict how someone will react in a certain situation, or to identify someone’s emotions based on a picture.

“Talent assessment is a difficult science,” says Mr. DelMonico, though he says it is getting easier to quantify, or at least figure out, what needs to be assessed.

Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business updated its recommendation form this year, fine-tuning questions to better assess EQ. The school says it asks people who recommend a student to score the applicant on ability to cope with pressure, intellectual curiosity and other traits.

Admissions Director Dawna Clarke says she is still on the hunt for a test that accurately and consistently measures EQ.

EQ assessments aren’t altogether new. The MIT Sloan School of Management introduced its “competency model” in 2000, creating a four-zone grid that measures demonstrated success, such as test scores and standout work experience, and personal attributes, such as relationship-building skills and sensitivity to others.

The school doesn’t administer a test like Mendoza does, but rather conducts behavioral interviews that require applicants to offer examples of times they demonstrated various elements of EQ. “You’re assessing wired behavior,” says Rod Garcia, senior admissions director at Sloan.

While a low EQ won’t outright ruin someone who otherwise dazzles on paper, Mr. Garcia says, a high EQ —in certain cases, at least—can offset mediocre performance elsewhere. Sloan is “somewhat flexible” on GMAT scores and academic achievements, Mr. Garcia says.

Admissions consulting firm Veritas Prep added a Myers-Briggs personality assessment to its application-prep and GMAT study packages this spring, after noticing that business schools were paying more attention to personality and emotional maturity.

More than 200 clients took the Myers-Briggs test in just the first few weeks the firm offered it, says Scott Shrum, director of M.B.A. admissions research at Veritas. They can get a report highlighting their strengths and weaknesses in working styles and interpersonal relationships, with nuggets such as “[You] prefer to focus on the task, rather than on the people involved.”

That insight helps students determine which traits to play up or minimize in their applications, or even what kind of school might be a good fit, says Mr. Shrum.

Business schools aren’t the only educational institutions weighing emotional intelligence in their decisions.

University of Notre Dame’s own undergraduate admissions office is taking a cue from Mendoza as it seeks a new way to identify standout students. Stellar test scores and grades don’t differentiate many applicants anymore, laments Donald Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment. He says this year the school could have filled its 2,000-student freshman class three times over with applicants who scored in the top 1% nationally on standardized tests or high school transcripts.

Mr. Bishop’s team is in the research phase now, collecting data on current and former stars, and expects to roll out a tool within two to three years.

Meanwhile, University of Ottawa professors recently studied medical school applicants’ EQ factors such as altruism and resilience, then tracked admitted students’ use of mental-health services and other clues they might be headed toward early burnout.

Dr. Derek Puddester, a psychiatry professor at Ottawa involved in the research, says that while hard work and self-sacrifice are often valued in doctors, such traits need to be balanced by an ability to cope with stress.

Some experts say screening for emotional intelligence in admissions isn’t very smart. It is good that business schools are thinking about EQ measures, says Daniel Goleman, a leading psychologist in the field of emotional-intelligence. “But they’re paying attention to it in the wrong way if they’re selecting for it.”

EQ can be learned throughout life, he says, so “It should be the task of the business school itself to help people develop strength in emotional intelligence.”

A version of this article appeared May 2, 2013, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Business Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel?.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582004578456770420379666.html?mod=wsj_streaming_stream

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu BharwaneyGeetu-High Quality Res

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the appplication of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

Leadership Traits: Business Intelligence Balanced with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: An Essential Leadership Trait

Eric Douglas:

When we think of successful leaders, we often consider their business intelligence – the ability to think and execute in the short-term and plan for the future – as the most important factor of success. Equally important for a leader is emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and communicate effectively to different audiences. It’s the ability to understand your own motivations and feelings. It’s the ability to display confidence while at the same time enabling others to feel confident and successful.

emotional-intelligence

 

High emotional intelligence creates stronger leadership in the following ways:

  • It gives leaders the self-awareness to understand how subtle changes in their demeanor and speech affect those around them.
  • It helps leaders respond with an affirming intent and manner—even in the middle of a heated discussion—making conversations more productive.
  • It enables leaders to empathize with employees—even those they disagree with—which leads to higher levels of trust.
  • Emotional intelligence gives leaders a view into what motivates different people. Some people want a lot of autonomy. Others prefer to work in teams. Emotional intelligence enables leaders to tap into those motivators to encourage better performance.

Take the following steps to hone your emotional intelligence:

  • Avoid rushing to judgment when an employee does something that disappoints you. Slow down and ask questions about what led to the behavior. Listen with an open mind.
  • Examine whether you were at fault for a negative outcome. If so, accept responsibility and be honest with yourself and others about where you went wrong.
  • Think through carefully what motivates the people around you. Engage them in discussions about how best to tap their intrinsic sources of motivation. Use emotional intelligence to figure out how to communicate and support them.
  • Be attuned to your patterns of communicating.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/leadership/emotional-intelligence-essential-leadership-trait-01203608#yw6vB0pHFs0fdGFt.99

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

Are You “Old Smart” or 21st Century Smart?

AI-lowres-300x28521st Century Smart: Staying Relevant In The Artificial Intelligence Age

Unless you have been under a rock, you know that the world is changing fast. You know that technology advances, especially smart robots and smart thinking machines, will continue to drive change. They will raise serious questions about how anyone over the age of 18 stays relevant and competitive job-wise in a world of smart machines. Studying that issue from the viewpoint of the science of learning leads me to believe that we all need to adopt a new operating definition of what being “smart” means. Why? Because it will be a new game—we will have to compete for jobs not only against other humans, but also against smart machines

Being “smart” now generally means that I know more than you as evidenced by good grades and fewer mistakes. It is quantity-based definition. Well, by that definition, smart machines will beat all of us. Smart machines can learn more, remember more and retrieve much more information much faster than we humans can with far fewer mistakes. Our ability to learn is hampered by our reflexive cognitive blindness and biases and by our emotional defensiveness. Smart machines don’t have those limitations.

So, where does that leave us if we want to stay relevant? We need to be good at doing what smart machines can’t do better than us, at least for the foreseeable future. For most workers that means being good at critical and innovative thinking and creativity and having and using high levels of social and emotional intelligence.

That would mean that the new, 21st century “smart” person would be someone who is a good critical and innovative thinker, listener, and collaborator and who has developed his or her emotional and social intelligence to high levels. This person would also need to be good at managing themselves—managing how one thinks, listens, emotionally reacts and emotionally engages and collaborates with others. Most of us have had no formal training in how to think, how to listen, how to emotionally engage, how to manage our emotions, or how to collaborate. And most of us probably have not done the necessary developmental work to attain high levels of emotional and social intelligence. That raises the question of how do we “old smart” people learn to be new, 21st century smart people? Here are seven steps I found in my research of the science of learning and high-performance learning organizations:

1. Accept the science of learning—our “humanness.” We all are usually suboptimal thinkers who operate on autopilot seeking to confirm what we already believe and seeking to affirm our self-image. We also are usually poor listeners, quick to judge, quick to defend or deny, and “it’s all about me”-oriented. We are usually fearful of making mistakes, looking bad and not being liked. That makes us, in many cases, emotionally defensive thinkers. We usually do not manage our thinking, listening, relating and emotions. In order to change, one must accept those realities and on a daily basis rigorously use strategies, processes and checklists to overcome those natural tendencies. No longer is being smart measured by how much you know. New, 21st century being smart will be measured by how well you think, listen, relate and collaborate with high emotional and social intelligence. 

2. Decouple your ego from your beliefs (not values). You are not your ideas. Your mental models are not reality. Decoupling your ego from your beliefs or ideas makes it easier to listen to different views with an open mind and without becoming emotionally defensive. It makes it is easier to collaborate with others and stress- test your beliefs. It makes it easier to modify your beliefs to better represent reality. It makes it easier to be a fair-minded seeker of fact-based truth.

3. Listen to learn not to confirm.Being a good listener is absolutely necessary to be a 21st century smart person. Most successful critical and innovative thinking and emotional engagement requires nonjudgmental, patient, empathetic listening. Good listeners do not interrupt people to show how smart they are. They often ask clarifying questions before giving their views. They reflect more as contrasted to emotionally defending or reacting. They seek to make meaning with other people by exploring ideas. They understand that listening is relational and not a competition. Good listening requires a quiet ego, a calm mind and calm emotions.

[For more see:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/darden/2015/04/08/21st-century-smart-staying-relevant-in-the-artificial-intelligence-age/]

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

 

Physical Health v Emotional Health – We Need BOTH

Pebble balance emotional stateLearning to live healthier

We all take steps to keep our body fit and healthy. We look after our diet; we go to the gym or take up a sport to keep in shape (or at least this is one of our recurrent New Year’s resolutions); we go to the GP whenever we don’t feel well.

As we grow up we learn problem solving skills. In school we study various subjects, we learn to resolve practical problems.

What do we do for our emotional wellbeing?

For the most part, our quality of life is determined by our ability to deal with our emotions and yet we sometimes struggle to manage them. We don’t always know how to express them appropriately and have little awareness about what triggers them.

Our ability to deal with emotions can also affect our relationships.

Emotions are at the core of most of the decisions we make every day and influence our behaviour. If we feel annoyed we are more likely to snap at the people around us, or whenever we feel low, we may avoid other people’s company as we may feel we do not have the energy for that.

It can be hard to deal with the many demands of life and it is easier to keep our focus on the world outside as opposed to what happens on the inside.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand how we feel and why, and it can greatly improve our enjoyment of life.

It also makes it easier to identify other people’s emotions and respond appropriately.

When we pay attention to how we are feeling, we learn to trust our emotions, and we become far more able to manage them.

A healthy emotional life allows us to live more fully, to build stronger and more satisfying relationships and to look at the world around us in a more balanced and realistic way.

There are many steps we can take to increase our emotional intelligence.

Here are some for you to try:

• Stay with your emotions. If you experience uncomfortable feelings try not to distract yourself, but rather try to identify them.

• Try to find connections between how you are feeling now and other times that you felt similarly in the past.

• Listen to your body. A knot in the stomach may mean you are in a situation which you find stressful.

• Finally, pay attention to your behaviour. Notice how you act when you experience a certain emotion and how this affects your life.

http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/local-news/learning-to-live-healthier-1-7164540

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Soothing the Toxic Office

5 Ways Successful Leaders Handle Toxic People

We’ve all encountered them. Try as we might in the hiring process, one or two might slip in and become the dark storm in our work environment.

Is there a way to avoid toxic people?

And if they’re a part of our business, how do we manage them?

Toxic Office

We can say they don’t know any better, perhaps they appear unaware of their ability to create turmoil or provoke untenable situations. More than likely, this individual possesses zero self-awareness and may have no idea that their emotional survival depends on chaos.

From the book Coping With Toxic Managers, Subordinates…and Other Difficult People by Roy H. Lubit M.D., Ph.D., toxic behaviors concern how someone has learned to understand the world and his or her place in it. Their core issues may manifest as narcissism, aggression, rigidity and unethical behavior. There are a variety of core belief systems at work, which are the foundation for their antagonistic behavior.

The toxic employee believes everyone is against him or her. In their mind, if they don’t attack first, they will be attacked. Some of these individuals delight in bullying others, giving them a sense of control over their peers. Others may see themselves as victims, and while their peers see their behavior as offensive, this person sees it as self-defense or some form of compensation for a perceived wrong.

Not only do toxic people lack any emotional intelligence (EQ) in dealing with others, they may lack the ability to manage their own emotions.

They may become overwhelmed by the intensity of their emotions. Their rigid behavior can create so much strife that every task becomes monumental in the work place, leaving many to struggle with becoming successful. While individuals who manage their emotions, become top performers in the company. They know how to remain calm and in control.

Leaders with a high EQ have an ability to offset the behavior of some toxic people. In many instances, where dismissing venomous personnel is not an option, leaders who are astute in EQ, can manage to neutralize their behavior.

There are several approaches available to leaders in handling toxic individuals. Below are five tips that may empower a leader to be more in control and remove toxicity from the work environment.

1. Solutions Only.

Misery loves company. Many toxic people get off on finding problems without concerning themselves to provide a solution. Toxic people feel better when others join them in feeling powerless and stuck in a negative state. They may feel a sense of control and perhaps, glee at bringing others down to their playing field. Create a policy that allows subordinates to report an issue, but at the same time requires them to provide a viable solution. Any time someone starts to complain, stop the talk and refocus on the solution. If that doesn’t work, then end the conversation. Complaining is not productive nor should it be tolerated.

2. Seek To Understand.

Understanding how a toxic person is motivated, provides a leader with information on the best way to influence the individual into behaving in more positive ways, by managing their emotions.

The key is knowing the differences in offensive types of behavior. Some are driven by fear and insecurity, others are confused or feel victimized, and many need to dominate and control other people. Those who operate on fear and insecurity, will become calmer when treated with tolerance and reassurance. Tolerance and reassurance on the other hand, will not work when dealing with someone who needs to control others or is a victim, if anything, it makes it worse. Strong boundaries determining acceptable behavior will be helpful in those cases, while those who suffer from anxiety and tension, will need to be offered other ‘mindful’ tools for coping.

Understanding these characteristics, equips leaders with knowledge to determine whether to keep an employee who is currently acting in a toxic manner or remove him or her from the business.

3. Remain Neutral and Practice Self-Awareness.

Falling into the drama created by someone else is unnecessary. Being pushed by someone into an emotional response that we can’t control can be stopped. Having self-awareness that whatever someone else is going through emotionally, does not start or end with anything we did. We all decide in a split second what we will react to, and what we can let go of. Leaders can witness an employee engaged in turmoil, while remaining the observer and not participate in the issue. In remaining neutral, it is easier to understand the toxic behavior, and see it as more predictable. Meanwhile, we must pay attention to our own emotional state. As leaders, we can catch ourselves reacting, take a step back, and say nothing. We may evaluate our trigger and make a decision requiring appropriate action (if any) on our part.

4. Emotional Intelligence With Action.

If a leader hasn’t developed their emotional intelligence enough, then it’s almost impossible for them to effectively utilize their learned ‘managerial’ skills. To motivate and persuade people, it’s necessary to know what they want, what they fear, how they perceive their tasks and what their ability is to actually listen to what is said to them. Focusing on their toxic behavior gives them power over us. If we get mired in the stress of how hard it is to deal with them, we never come to an equitable solution. A leader learning about his or her own feelings and perception of events, is more apt to find an optimal way to deal with toxic situations. Without these skills, the relationship with anyone we manage can become toxic.

5. Create a culture that strongly discourages toxic behavior.

The book The Four Agreements states, “Be Impeccable With Your Word,” we always have a choice in how we speak, including the words we use toward ourselves. If we are negative in addressing ourselves, it is likely we will be negative in talking to others. This may lead to victimization, an environment of blame. And if we’re focusing on negativity, we create more of it. What to do? Create a positive environment. Teach self-awareness and self-responsibility as a priority in the business. People who aren’t in fear and understand their role, own their mistakes and learn from failure are authentic and operate in a positive manner. As a leader, we not only need to practice this, we also need to remove any toxicity, which chronically pollutes the atmosphere. If a leader, doesn’t deal with a toxic employee, sometimes by removal, other employees may view them as condoning bad behavior and this costs a business.

Policies empowering the workers who genuinely exercise positive characteristics at work, can make a major difference in the entire workplace culture.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tracy-crossley/5-ways-successful-leaders_b_6882966.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

 

Google Emotional Intelligence – If You Want to Work with Google

GoogleWhy Are Leading Tech Companies Like Google, Facebook and Zappos Investing in Emotional Intelligence?

Coaches Working with Silicon Valley Giants Featured at Vitality Conference

SAN FRANCISCO, March 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ – It’s no secret Silicon Valley tech companies are great at hiring the brightest, most tech-savvy employees to come up with the next big thing. But increasingly, they are finding that being tech savvy doesn’t always mean good people skills. Now they are acting on research that suggests emotional intelligence (EQ) is an even greater predictor of effective leadership.  The week of March 16-20th, coaches working with Zappos, Facebook, and Google will be presenting at Six Seconds’ 4th Annual Vitality emotional intelligence conference and talking about these company’s initiatives to improve the people skills in their organizations.

As Rich Hazeltine, Sr. Manager of Tech University @ Zappos, IP Inc., says: “In the tech sector, and probably everywhere, the ‘secret’ ingredient to great leadership is connecting with people.  I teach emotional intelligence because it’s the skillset that enables managers to actually lead.”

Experts in emotional intelligence have teamed up with major companies to learn how they can enhance employee engagement and organizational vitality. This five day online conference offers real-time interaction with leaders and innovators in business, science, education, and psychology.

The topics include using emotional intelligence to build teams and effective organizations, increase employee loyalty and retention, and improve overall success. Other topics include building safe schools and helping reconnect youth to their communities.

Presented by Six Seconds, one of the oldest and largest organizations teaching emotional intelligence (EQ), this highly interactive event will feature over 75 webinars with leading thinkers in the field. It is free and open to anyone with a computer and internet connection. Last year’s online conference featured 20,000 discreet sign ups by participants.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/why-are-leading-tech-companies-like-google-facebook-and-zappos-investing-in-emotional-intelligence-300042769.html

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res Geetu Bharwaney

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Finding a Home for Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence: Don’t forget about people

By David Lykken
Special to MPA

In the mortgage industry, we have the tendency to focus on numbers. Just like in any other industry, we focus a great deal on sales–on producing results. We’re concerned in closing ratios and productivity in generating revenue, and so on and so forth. We also pay a lot of attention to rates, because they sort of set the pace for the direction our industry moves. Most of the time, we’re only considering what can be quantified.

Image courtesy of “Hand And Icon House” by phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of “Hand And Icon House” by phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What we often forget, though, is that our industry–just like every other–is all about people. We talk about “the consumer” like it’s an abstract concept quantified by ideas such as “consumer sentiment.” But, at the end of the day, the consumer is a real life flesh-and-blood human being. Consumers are people with real wants and desires. And it’s not just consumers; it’s employees, it’s partners, it’s investors. All of these are people–and not just numbers.

As leaders in the mortgage industry, I believe we need to invest more in bolstering our emotional intelligence. We need to work on strengthening our levels of empathy. We need to be able to understand what people want and why they behave the way they do. The old saw is true: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. When we can demonstrate to the people with whom we interact that we care about them, the numbers will follow. But we should always start with empathy–we should always start with treating people like the human beings they are.

http://www.mpamag.com/mortgage-originator/emotional-intelligence-dont-forget-about-people-21469.aspx

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney                        

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

 

Is Your Team Emotional Bank Account Overdrawn?

Emotional Intelligence Can Be Your Project’s Most Critical Success Factor

When a high-profile project fails, news articles are quick to publicize what went wrong, but few care to explain why these projects failed.

Over the past 20 years, organizations such as the Standish Group have catalogued a wealth of information about the causes of project failure as well as identifying success factors. In the last few years, a new success factor has emerged: emotional maturity or or emotional intelligence (EQ).

According to Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, emotional intelligence is made up of five key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.

When EQ components are evident, a project team will act with a high emotional bank account, the buffer or shield that can protect a team and support project success on a high-risk, high-engagement project. An emotional bank account is a Stephen Covey metaphor for the amount of trust perceived in a relationship.Team 2

With a well-funded account balance, project team members feel secure in imagining and executing creative paths to success and issues that arise are remedied efficiently and maturely. Research shows that a more cohesive, high-performing team produces better results.

But an EQ-deficient environment leaves employees feeling overworked, underappreciated and unwilling to help each other. Quite simply, unhappy team members can hinder the success of a project.

When the emotional bank account is low, problems arise more easily and can cause project failures, potentially even requiring a complete project turnaround. Unhappy and unproductive teams with little change to spare in their emotional piggy banks can feel like their problems are insurmountable and will disengage from the project.

Here are a few warning signs that your team may be lacking in emotional intelligence:

Team members constantly blame others for issues.

You hear victim statements (“I can’t because…”).

Team members are arrogant and not open to the opinions of others.

Members of the team become overambitious and overextended, trying to solve problems they cannot or should not.

Your team is consistently unavailable.

To effectively build a team’s emotional bank account, start by gauging its emotional state. A team with a healthy, robust emotional bank account knows how to have fun, continuously learn and give and receive quality feedback. If your team needs an emotional intelligence boost, consider taking the following actions:

1. Enable team members.

The most effective way to ensure a healthy team is to empower its members with resources, ensuring that they understand their roles, responsibilities and expectations. Thriving teams let their members play to their strengths, focusing on the tasks they are uniquely qualified for, as this will bring them satisfaction in their everyday work and help the team achieve its overall goals.

Here’s how: Assess the emotional intelligence and health of your team. Check in regularly with team members to ensure that they feel supported. Targeted surveys can help, provided that there is a clear feedback mechanism. Once the results are compiled, share them, along with an action plan to rectify the areas of concern, with the entire team.

2. Gain leadership support.

Obtaining a buy-in and engagement from the company’s leadership is a critical success factor for any type of project. Through their advocacy, leaders can make consistent small deposits to the team bank account. And when issues and risks arise, the leaders’ hands-on support can sustain the emotional bank account when it’s needed most.

Here’s how: For leaders to fully support the emotional intelligence of the team, they must visibly demonstrate their commitment to the project’s success by acting as sounding boards, encouraging creativity and calculated risk taking in the work’s execution and garnering overall support from the organization to clear the path to success.

3. Create transparency and clear communication.

When transparent relationships between team members exist, communication and overall clarity of the engagement are much easier. This should include transparency about upcoming activities and decision making for the group as a whole.

Here’s how: This is where solid project managers are worth their weight in platinum. Set up communication channels to inform team members about their responsibilities for activities or events that are in the project timeline. And team members with a strong, well-communicated and consistent decision-making process can function with less ambiguity and time-wasting, political maneuvering.

Working on a team with a well-funded emotional bank account is an enviable experience, one that anyone would be eager to replicate. It allows for a high-functioning team that is both effective and happy — with a built-in buffer that helps mitigate any speed bumps.

While intelligent and competent teams are always in demand, those that carry a solid emotional bank account will be the ones that consistently achieve success.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242782

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney                        

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

Emotional Intelligence Can Boost Productivity

Productivity imagesCF1K9K5N4 Hacks to Rewire Your Brain for Productivity

The internet is full of articles about how to become more productive.

However, becoming more productive requires new habits, and often times new habits require rewiring your brain. Otherwise, as many have already discovered, it becomes far too easy to fall off the productivity wagon.

The truth is that in order to take on a new productivity hack – and actually stick to it – we need to do some major work on our brains. Simply put, a brain that isn’t ready for peak performance is naturally going to have a hard time sticking to a new habit.

Use our tips below to actually rewire your brain for productivity so you can get more done.

Start Meditating

By now it’s no secret that meditation helps us clear our minds and focus.

The reason meditation works is because it forces us to slow down. Our brains have over 50,000 thoughts a day. On top of that about 70% of these thoughts are negative and repetitive. As you can imagine that can be pretty exhausting and get in the way of getting stuff done.

Meditation, is in essence, an exercise in focusing our attention.  In the world of social media, instant information and breaking news it can be difficult to stay focused on one task for a long period of time because of constant interruption. Your brain ends up taking this on as it’s main form of operating. Therefore an exercise like meditation can help you re-focus.

Increase your emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence helps you handle stress and manage emotions. Individuals with high emotional intelligence know how to conserve their energy versus when they have to give a task their all. Additionally, they know how to prioritize and set boundaries.

By increasing your emotional intelligence, which is more mental than anything else, you’ll in essence also increase your productivity because you’ll be able to better manage emotions like stress and anxiety. You’ll also know when something needs your immediate attention and when it can wait.

Determine Your Peak Work Hours

Not everyone works on the same rhythm. Some people are more energetic in the mornings. Others have more energy in the afternoon. And even still others are total night owls.

Rather than trying to force yourself to do something when you don’t have the energy, start paying attention to when you do have energy and try to get your tasks done during those times.

By scheduling your tasks around your energy levels you’ll be able to get more done in less time. It also won’t be as difficult because you have the energy and mental capacity to get stuff done.

Exercise

A recent New York Times article reported on the positive effects of walking during your lunch hour. Those who walk for 30 minutes during their lunch break have improved moods, feel less stressed and are more readily able to handle their afternoon workload. Additionally, countless studies suggest that those who exercise regularly are more productive.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/4-hacks-to-rewire-your-brain-for-productivity.html#ixzz3RwJpbG8L

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney                        

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

It’s Not Just Your Phone That’s Smart

Smart business womenIt’s Not Smart People Who Build Successful Organizations — It’s Smart Women

Julie Zeilinger:

Teamwork can be the worst. There are differences in skills, silly group politics and the dreaded specter of meetings on top of meetings that can make group work both inefficient and exhausting.

But a group of researchers believe they’ve found the key to harnessing organizational power and creating smarter, more effective teams. A team of MIT researchers led by Carnegie Mellon professor Anita Woolley set out to with a simple task: to unravel why some groups are simply smarter and better than others.

The secret? More women.

The study: Starting in 2010, Woolley and her team conducted two studies in which 699 people were divided into groups of two to five people and given IQ tests and various tasks to complete. These tasks, Woolley writes in the New York Times, were meant to replicate assignments that might be given to groups in the “real world.” They included logical analysis and brainstorming exercises and emphasized skills such as “coordination, planning and moral reasoning.”

The researchers found that, despite popular assumptions, the smartest groups are not derived from group members’ average intelligence or from the level of intelligence of the smartest person in a group but rather multiple, arguably unexpected factors.

Collective intelligence, the researchers write in the study, is “strongly correlated with the average social sensitivity of group members, the equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking, and the proportion of females in the group.”

The researchers elaborated on these findings in the New York Times, noting that the individual IQ tests revealed that “teams with higher average IQs didn’t score much higher on our collective intelligence tasks than did teams with lower average IQs.” The tasks demonstrated that smart groups are composed of members that “contributed more equally to the team’s discussions” and scored higher on a test that “measures how well people can read complex emotional states” from only viewing the eyes of a given face.

These findings suggest that collective intelligence, therefore, may not be related to intelligence or even gender a priori. Rather, as Derek Thompson noted in the Atlantic, it’s women’s specific, proven ability to score higher on metrics of emotional intelligence, such as reading nonverbal cues of their teammates, that results in teams with more women being smarter. While researchers did find that the smartest groups had quantifiably more women, they similarly attributed this finding to the fact that “women, on average, were better at ‘mindreading’ than men.”

Why it matters: This research isn’t just about gender: It offers support for the power and intelligence of employing empathy in an increasingly technologized world seen as disassociated from emotion. As Thompson writes, the study suggests that “emotionally sensitive people are gifted at reading between the lines, whether the literal lines are brow wrinkles or text messages.”

More broadly, though, given that women are still woefully under-represented in many fields, like finance and tech, for example, these findings should bolster calls for greater gender diversity in professions across the board. Companies that continue to rely on groups solely comprised men to devise strategies and make major decisions, according to this research, are putting themselves at a disadvantage.

http://mic.com/articles/108732/it-s-not-smart-people-who-build-successful-organizations-it-s-women

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney                        

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org

 

 

Students Need People Skills

People Skills Missing In Workforce, Who’s To Blame?

When people graduate from college, they have a transcript documenting their skills in various academic disciplines.

GraduateAfter many years of hard work and academic training, how much was devoted to developing emotional intelligence?

According to a new study, students graduating from college are not prepared with the people skills needed in a professional work environment, reports Science Daily.

Among the skills the researchers were looking for were the ability to build relationships with others and providing support to colleagues.

The study recommends that, “Universities should consider how to offer opportunities which help graduates develop important leadership skills that at present aren’t developed through degrees.”

“For employers, we found that work performance developed at the start of individuals’ careers rather than later on. This suggests that employers should target more effort at early career development interventions,” according to the study.

The researchers are not suggesting that education and work experience are not beneficial. Rather, the current preparations for the workforce need to be re-evaluated.

Those in the workforce still need the professional and technical skills such as evaluating problems and processing details which university degrees provide. Work experience is also valuable for developing leadership skills.

The study raises the question of where exactly do those entering the workforce gain people skills.

It is possible that people skills are innate or developed during childhood, according to the researchers.

“As people skills are harder to develop and may be innate, employers may be better considering personality measures when selecting for people orientated roles, rather than relying on an individual’s education or experience,” according to Katie Herridge,  a co-leader of the study.

The findings of the research were presented by Rab MacIver, Sarah Chan and Katie Herridge of Saville Consulting at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

http://www.designntrend.com/articles/34258/20150109/people-skills-missing-workforce-who-s-blame.htm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geetu-High Quality Res     Geetu Bharwaney                        

Geetu is the Founding Director of Ei World Limited, one of Europe’s thought leaders in the application of emotional intelligence in business.  Her main interest lies in organisation development through leadership skills development.  She has built emotional intelligence interventions from scratch and has proven measurable results with individuals and groups.

http://www.eiworld.org