How to Help Someone Develop Emotional Intelligence – I think not

I recently read the following article from Harvard Business Review website by Annie McKee: How to Help Someone Develop Emotional Intelligence. The article made the following points:

EI is difficult to develop because it is linked to psychological development and neurological pathways created over an entire lifetime.

The first step of developing EI is to help people find a deep and very personal vision of their own future.

The second step is to help them see how their current ways of operating might need a bit of work if that future is to be realized. McKee recommends using a 360-degree feedback instrument like the ESCI (Emotional and Social Competency Inventory) or a Leadership Self Study process (as described in the book, Becoming a Resonant Leader of which she is a co-author along with Richard Boyatzis.)

Step three is to carry out a gap analysis.

Step four is to develop a learning plan.

I must confess I disagree with this approach which strikes me as very time consuming and requiring a lot of one-on-one face time. I also wonder if it will work in today’s environment of flattened organisations and increasing use of technology; it certainly will be more difficult to implement in the future. Finally will you actually get emotional commitment using this methodology? Boyatzis himself has noted that millions (perhaps even billions) of dollars are spent by organisations and governments on training for leadership and organisational change but actual change achieved by the training is very low. He has argued that the reason for this was that too many of the courses taught a logic based methodology for leadership which he said was doomed to failure. According Boyatzis rational arguments come later, but it is emotional commitment that results in real behavioural change. Only when leaders connect emotionally with their followers does true change happen.

I think there is a much better way and that is to use temperament.

People drive performance, emotions drive people, but it is temperament that drives emotions.

Emotional Intelligence is achieving self- and social mastery by being smart with core emotions.

Self-Mastery = Awareness + Management (Steps 1 & 2 as defined by Goleman)

Social Mastery = Empathy + Social Skills (Steps 3 &4 as defined by Goleman

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 (it takes only a day) dramatically lifts their emotional intelligence. If you want to learn about the 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