The Emotional Intelligence Activity Kit

50 Easy and Effective Exercises for Building EQ

The Emotional Intelligence Activity Kit

Authors: Adele B. Lynn, Janele R. Lynn
Pub Date: October 2015
Print Edition: $34.95
Print ISBN: 9780814449233
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814449240

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You've probably witnessed people in organizations

who display great skill beyond traditional

cognitive ability. More than likely, you have also

witnessed people who, despite great cognitive capacity,

demonstrate gaping deficiencies at work.

These deficiencies could be attributed to a variety

of factors, one of which is a lack of emotional

intelligence. The theory that multiple types of intelligence

exists has been recognized since 1983,

when Howard Gardner published Frames of Mind:

The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Along the way,

the term "emotional intelligence" was coined to

describe competencies related to managing oneself

and one's interactions with others. Thirty

years of research and ongoing debate have ensued

about the definition of emotional intelligence and

whether it even exists. Still, if you are a coach,

trainer, or organizational development practitioner,

your job comes down to helping people become

more effective in their roles. In addition, you've

come to appreciate that something other than

cognitive skills is at play. In the learning and development

field, emotional intelligence is widely

accepted as a desirable element beyond cognitive

skills for success in the workplace. This book is

designed to give you practical ways to help others

improve their emotional intelligence.

Studies show emotional intelligence competencies

as a distinguishing factor in functions as

diverse as sales, service, healthcare, productivity,

profit, and even ethical decision making. Research

that demonstrates the link between emotional

intelligence and increased organizational performance

are not hard to find. One study found that

executives who scored high on Emotional Quotient

(EQ) scales were more profitable than their

peers and had a greater ability to express empathy

and self awareness than their peer, who stood

lower on the EQ scale.1 Another study showed

that businesses whose owners had a higher EQ

earned greater revenues and experienced higher

growth. The owners used their EQ to positively

shape company culture.2 As a predictor of performance,

Druskat found that emotional intelligence

is two times more accurate as a predictor

of performance than cognitive intelligence, and

it predicts success beyond an employee's skill,

knowledge, or ability.3 Her work examined how

teams and leaders effectively manage complex interpersonal

and coordination challenges in cross-functional,

cross-cultural, and self-managing work

environments. Emotionally intelligent managers

are responsible for a 34 percent greater annual

profit growth, increased customer satisfaction,

and higher retention, according to a 2003 study

by Reuven BarOn and Geetu Orme.4 Even ethical

decisions, critical to the long-term success of any

organization, were linked to emotional intelligence

in a study of physicians and nurses. Higher EQ

scores translated into decisions that were more

ethical.5 And, the more senior the leader, the

more emotional intelligence matters. In a study

of officers in the British Royal Navy, EQ competencies

predicted overall performance and leadership

better than any other predictive measures.

This was especially true as the officer obtained


higher rank.6 For a comprehensive understanding

of the research behind emotional intelligence,

visit the Consortium for Research of Emotional

Intelligence in Organizations.

A Lack of EQ--What Are the Challenges

and How Do They Affect the Organization?

Lack of emotional intelligence can limit a person's

ability to get results. This inability can limit,

derail, or halt careers. Here are some examples of

how a lack of emotional intelligence can interfere

with a person's ability to deliver results:

* One leader was known for always telling people

what to do. He had all the answers to all

the questions all the time. He second guessed

his executives' decisions and freely told them

what they were doing wrong. Besides annoying

people with his arrogance, he eventually

found himself inundated with details as others

learned that if they didn't involve him in

a decision, he would find fault with it. His

approach also cost him loyalty and turnover

when several of his key executives left the

company for other positions.

* Another leader was promoted to president of

a large division, in which a key role was to

maintain positive relationships with employees.

Her predecessor had done this by constantly

demonstrating his appreciation to

employees. He had strong bonds with people

at all levels of the organization, knew everyone

by name, and engendered a genuine sense

of caring and engagement. The new leader

struggled. In fact, she avoided people. She

even figured out which path to take to the

ladies room so that she could see the fewest

colleagues. Several months later, the employee

engagement scores had tanked and turnover

was at an all-time high.

* Another senior executive had an intense need

to compete and win. He always wanted the

biggest budget, the greatest span of control,

and the last word. It actually cost him dearly

in his relationships with his peers. Not until

the CEO told him that these behaviors were

the reason he was not considered for promotion

did he pay attention to the cost and consequences

of this behavior.

* A senior leader continually created tension

among her peers by always reacting with

skepticism to new ideas. Although contrary

opinions and evidence are useful in decision

making, someone who constantly reacts with

skepticism will find it is draining and damaging

to relationships. It also gives the person a

label that she may not want to have.

* A leader lost his job when his new boss became

tired of hearing him make excuses. His

favorite excuse was, "We can't control business

conditions." The new boss's favorite expression

was, "We create our own business

conditions by steering the business in the direction

of opportunity."

The leaders in these examples are real. Each

failure can be traced back to an emotional intelligence-

related competency. Each leader suffered a

career consequence because of a lack of emotional

intelligence. More importantly, each leader had

the ability to successfully recognize and overcome

his or her failure and increase emotional intelligence


However, leaders are not the only ones who

suffer career consequences related to limited emotional

intelligence. Everyday people are inadvertently

sabotaging their careers with these types of


* The IT person who, once again, has offended

the customer.

* The call center worker who rarely can deescalate

the conflict and, so, requires the supervisor's

time and effort.

* The engineers who intensify the never-ending

email battles for the sake of proving themselves


* The coworkers who are so involved in the

daily cat fight that they miss the fact that

they are actually being paid to work.

* The healthcare worker who is so caught up in

the daily "who should be doing what" argument

that important health details are not


And, no doubt, each of these persons may be

right about something. However, their methods of

interaction may be flawed. It's the methods that


encompass the emotional intelligence failure. Although

all of these actions may invoke an individual

career penalty, ultimately, the organization

suffers the consequence. Moreover, the consequences

can be costly. Lost customers, lost time,

the best solution giving way to ego, or even medical

mistakes, can all result from EQ failures. Otherwise

talented individuals misdirect their time

and expertise, and the businesses and individuals

both lose. The challenge of EQ failures begs for a

solution. Coaching and training offer part of that


Development professionals can provide an essential

service to the organization by enhancing

the emotional intelligence of the workforce. This

book offers the "how."

A Working Definition of Emotional


The definition of emotional intelligence is "the

ability to manage ourselves and our relationships

with others so that we can live our intentions and

reach our goals."7 This definition, and the competencies

that follow, offer a practical model for

emotional intelligence. In addition, the activities

in this book make the definition and competencies

actionable for adults in the workplace, which

is the focus of this book.

The first part of the definition ("the ability to

manage ourselves") clearly centers on with the individual.

Common language requires people who

are emotionally intelligent to be aware of their

emotions and be able to self-manage, self-regulate,

or exercise self-control. The second part of the

definition ("the ability to manage our relationships

with others") requires that people be aware

of the impact they have on others, so that they

can productively manage the relationships that

life requires. In the world of work, those relationships

are with employees, peers, customers, vendors,

supervisors, and other people with whom

we interact. If those relationships do not function

successfully, productivity, morale, retention, and

costs will be negatively affected. The definition

continues with "live our intentions and reach our

goals." From the point of view of an organization,

living with intention equates to acting in alignment

with the organization's values. Finally, an

organization sets goals to be achieved. Of course,

the definition can be applied outside of the organizational

context. If so, living our intentions

and reaching our goals would imply living and

exercising our personal values and reaching the

goals/purpose that we have set for our lives.

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