Emotional Intelligence in Tough Conversations

I was recently sent a link to this video. Emotional Intelligence in Tough Conversations

The presenter is Susan David Co-Director, Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital.

I consider this Harvard Business School video as a great example of an emotional intelligence video that can cause more harm than good.

In the video Susan lays out four steps to improve your emotional intelligence:

1. Recognise emotions

2. Use emotions to facilitate thinking

3. Understand the cause and the outcome of emotions

4. Manage emotions to lead to better outcomes.

The problem with this model is that it says it is the transient emotions that are important. Also in the video there is no reference to a lexicon of emotions. I believe that what is essential in lifting your Emotional Intelligence is an understanding of temperament, which is that part of the personality that is genetically based and is what determines our habitual emotional response. All of us have core dispositional traits and that it the mixture of these traits with some being dominant and others weak that makes each of us unique. The model that I have found most practical at explaining temperament is the 7MTF/Humm-Wadsworth Temperament Scale. This model says we are all slightly insane and as I get older I am more and more relaxed about this hypothesis. The model also says we have seven core emotional drives based on the seven most common forms of insanity. Thus it provides a lexicon of core emotions.

As an example of what can go wrong Susan argues that to increase your emotional intelligence you should develop mood task matching. When considering the task, work out what is the best mood to generate the best result. For example she suggests that in some situations when dealing with people, some initial chit-chat beforehand will lead to a better outcome. I completely agree with this concept but you need to be able recognise the dominant temperament components of a person. For Movers, Hustlers and Doublecheckers initial social chit-chat is almost mandatory. However if you engage in social chit-chat with Normals, Artists, Politicians or Engineers your sociability may have a negative effect. If you cannot differentiate between the various temperament components in the first 60 seconds your social skills (and hence your emotional intelligence) will be regarded as low.


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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 www.ceo.com.au.