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Companies that consistently beat the market excel in both dimensions of capability and capacity. However, most organizations excel in capability (process, technical skill, systems), but are weak in terms of capacity (purpose, leadership, cultures, ideas, energy). EI sits firmly in the capacity camp and is often overlooked in favor of building capability through skills development.
In fact, research suggests that EI is twice as important as technical skills and IQ in maintaining excellent performance and can be the defining factor of great leaders. This is why EI is still relevant after 17 years – at a time when it’s all about ‘more for less’ with training budgets cut and time at a premium – developing EI is crucial and pays dividends in terms of ROI. Organizations are increasingly seeking to improve leadership performance and shape leadership style by developing EI.
Global pharmaceutical, Sanofi, has developed a program for emerging leaders, which is founded in EI. EI profiling was used to ensure the program cohort contained individuals with the capacity to become strong leaders, and became a fundamental thread throughout the program as an indicator of high performance.
Building and accelerating EI resulted in heightened self-awareness and an ability to create high-performing teams. At the end of the program, shifts in key EI criteria included: an increase in self awareness of 50 per cent; 60 per cent saw a positive shift in ‘awareness of others’ score; and 60 per cent experienced an improvement in emotional resilience. Deborah Holmes, Head of People Development at Sanofi commented: “Participants demonstrated substantial shifts in leadership capacity, EI and in the scope and scale of their roles and responsibilities. They found that the EI assessment enabled them to develop a greater understanding of themselves and others, empowering them to approach commercial challenges differently.”
Relationships are the fundamental unit of value creation in an organization: it’s not about people, it’s the relationships between them that matters. Developing EI leaders allows them to build a combination of skills, attitudes and habits to better manage business relationships. This is achieved through an individual’s ability to recognize and regulate emotions in themselves and others, and to use this understanding to manage thinking and behaviors.
When emotional and relational capacity is developed, leaders build a common ground and trust within their teams because effective leaders have a high belief in others and get the best out of people through forming close bonds. Ultimately this means leaders are better able to succeed in an increasingly high-pressure environment.
Therefore, leaders need a high EI quotient to be successful, and the good news is, that these can be developed with training. For those of us who witness excellent leaders in action, we know now that the evasive quality that they are demonstrating to their organization is a high Emotional Intelligence Quotient. Training in handling change, working in a team and interpersonal skills can help to increase your Leadership EI.
Contact BBD today to discuss your EI training needs. Give us a call at (612) 227-8922