Are EQ skills important for managers?

While the proponents of Emotional Intelligence (including yours truly) are always saying how important it is, there are few studies you can actually point to saying that it is important. However a recent analysis done by Korn Ferry: Korn Ferry Study Identifies Leadership Challenges Being Coached Most Often supports the argument that managers should learn to lift their emotional intelligence.

The study surveyed more than 200 coaches from around the globe who are part of Korn Ferry’s coaching network—professionals who listen to, guide, and counsel thousands of senior leaders. The coaches responded to questions about the challenges leaders face most frequently, which coaching interventions they use most often with clients, and what competencies they see as most essential for leading companies through complex and uncertain business conditions. As part of the survey, respondents were asked to identify the top 10 most frequent coaching topics by level of leader. Three levels of leader were analysed: C-Suite-Level leaders, Business Unit Leaders (SVP, VP), and Mid-Level Leaders (Senior Managers, Function Head). The top 10 topics for each level were given but the average score for the top 3 topics are illuminating.

Interpersonal relationships, listening skills and empathy ranked first with an average score of 1.33, Influence ranked second with a score of 2.33 and Self-Awareness ranked third with a score of 2.66.

These three topics of course correspond to the three of the four components of Goleman’s definintion of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Empathy and Social Skills.

The Korn-Ferry article concluded “Coaches will have to move beyond the realm of the one-to-one, isolated coaching relationship. They will need to be engaged in and understand the business, the organizational and social systems and the dynamics of the senior team.” Such responses suggest that, beyond working with leaders to clarify vision and direction, coaches also should work with leaders’ broader teams to support shared meaning, coherent action, and agreed upon practices.”

I disagree with this conclusion. What is important is that coaches have a systematic framework for lifting their emotional intelligence. My own belief is that while people drive performance, and emotions drive people, the secret to lifting your EQ is realising temperament drives emotions.

However the key to emotional intelligence is understanding your core emotions compared to your transient emotions. Your core emotions are driven by your temperament – what you are genetically born with. Based on a study of 11,000 identical twins nature is around twice as important as nurture. I have found the 7MTF/Humm-Wadsworth model of seven core emotions the most practical tool for people to use and once understood (takes a day) dramatically lifts their emotional intelligence. If you want to learn about the 7MTF/Humm download a free white paper on using Emotional Intelligence in either selling or management.

My e-books available in Kindle format explain the technique in more detail.


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Chris Golis - Author


"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."

Peter Morris, Executive Officer, Lomax Financial Group

Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

- Great presentation. Very informative.

- Excellent presentation.

- made me think.

Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web