Book Review – Leading with Feeling

Every month I receive the EI Update, the E-Newsletter of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations.  For the past two months it has been plugging Leading with feeling: Nine strategies of emotionally intelligent leadership by  Cherniss, C., & Roche, C.

Cary Cherniss, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Applied Psychology at Rutgers University, and co-chair of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations along with Daniel Goleman.  The newsletter is generally informative and who am I to criticise a co-chairman using his prerogative.

The book describes how 25 outstanding leaders used emotional intelligence to deal with critical challenges and opportunities. Featuring commentary from the leaders themselves describing how they handled each situation, it helps managers better understand not just what emotional intelligence is, or how to measure it, or how it is linked to bottom-line results: it also shows how real leaders used their emotional intelligence to deal with real situations. The book distils the leaders’ experiences into nine strategies that can help any leader or potential leader to be more effective:

1: Monitor the emotional climate

2: Express your feelings to motivate others

3: Consider how your own behaviour influences others’ emotions

4: Put yourself in others’ shoes

5: Decipher the underlying emotional dynamics of a situation

6: Reframe how you think about the situation

7: Create optimal interpersonal boundaries

8: Seek out others for help in managing emotions

9: Help others develop their emotional intelligence abilities

Having been a manager myself, the book does resonate with its examples.  However, I kept thinking as I was reading this book how much better it would be if the authors were s using the 7MTF model of temperament.  Genos uses a 7-factor competency model of Emotional Intelligence.  The Seven factors are Emotional Self-Awareness (ESA), Emotion Expression (EE), Emotional Awareness of Others (EAO), Emotional Reasoning (ER), Emotional Self-Management (ESM), Emotional Management of Others (EMO), and Emotional Self-Control (ESC) and appears to be an extension of the Goleman model and suffers from the same problems.  The focus is on emotions and not temperament which is our genetic emotional pre-disposition.

So if you take the first strategy, “Monitor the emotional climate” this is good advice.  But how do you practically do it if you don’t have model of core emotions in your temperament?  I consider the analysis in the book as platitudinous.  In the 7MTF model organisations often have a dominant temperament.  For example, retailers and fast-food companies are Socialisers, wholesalers are typically GoGetters, health organisations are Doublecheckers while the largest supplier in the industry is typically Politician.  Understanding what the likely culture is going to be and then working out the variations leads to a much better understanding of the emotional climate.  For example, a newly appointed CEO whose personal temperament contains a weak component that is the dominant component in organisation will have substantial problems fitting in.

Similarly with strategy 7 Create optimal interpersonal boundaries.  Again, this is good advice but how do you practically do it if you don’t have model of core emotions?  In the 7MTF model two of the seven factors are typically dominant, three are average, and two are weak.  If you and another person share a dominant component you will get along naturally because we like those who are like ourselves.  But if you meet someone whose dominant components are one of your weak ones you will have personality conflicts and you will need to change your behaviour.

For example, my two weak components are Doublechecker and Artist.  My wife is very strong in the Doublechecker component.  I don’t think we would still be married (45 years) if I did not understand the 7MF.  Similarly, the meeting that changed my life financially was with a high Artist.  I changed my behaviour and achieved my goals.  If you want a quick assessment of your temperament, take this five-minute quiz.

The book is worth reading but even better after reading it you can listen to Cary Cherniss discuss his book in a podcast; Can a leopard change its spots?

 In the podcast the author makes a number of very interesting points such as it takes about two months of emotional intelligence training to make a difference to a person.  I disagree.  If you learn the basic 7MTF which takes 5 hours you will dramatically increase your EQ competency in days.

And the good news is I have come up with a new positioning statement.  “Learn the 7MTF and lift your EQ in hours not weeks”.

This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn on 23 December 2023


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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