Thursday, 18 April 2013

Manager Skills - Emotional Intelligence

A good manager needs a myriad of different skills to be effective. Getting the most from individuals cannot always be delivered using the same methodology, different individuals in a team will have many different drivers to behaviour. Identifying and understanding these motivations can only come about by a manager that has emotional intelligence. Often hearing what employees is saying is not enough, employees will be reluctant to clearly state all their motivations. Understanding an individual requires a huge amount of emotional intelligence to find not only the driver but also the personality of individuals under their leadership.

Managing staff can be a minefield of difficulty as each individual will at some point have some issues which impacts their ability to undertake given tasks, identifying and empathising to these needs is a vital skill. There is two extremes to this, being overly empathetic can lead to employees taking advantage of the trust and care. The other extreme may result in your employees feeling under-valued and will lead to a culture of hidden resentment.

There are three main models of emotional intelligence:

Ability Model: - Salovey and Mayer's conception is based around Perceiving, using, understanding and Managing emotions.

Mixed Model: - The model is based around components for good leadership developed by Daniel Goleman. The competencies are Self-awareness, Self-Regulation, Social Skill, Empathy and Motivation.

Trait Model - based on the ability model but the determination of this is about self-awareness of the skills, leading to an easier recognition by testing. Developed by Konstantin Vasily Petrides this form of emotional intelligence is deemed as being personality based and not skill based, meaning it is harder to train.

The value of emotional intelligence is difficult to ascertain as many companies fail to assess candidates on this criteria. The culture of an organisation frequently dictates the level of emotional intelligence that is perceived as being acceptable and leading from the top is vital. If empathy is shown to employees engagement levels may be higher and productivity improved, absence levels can also be lowered by ensuring employees are not having to hide any issues they have and able to speak openly about problems they have in personal life.

There are many online tests to determine your emotional intelligence ability here are two: