Emotional Intelligence: how to calibrate your compass?

compassIn previous blogs we wrote about the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the use of feedback instruments. In this contribution, we want to combine these two aspects which lead to a very powerful combination for people in leading roles to strengthen their leadership.



Cognitive Intelligence is not enough

As indicated before, EI differentiates the average leaders from the outstanding ones. Of course, cognitive intelligence is important as well, but that is mainly seen as a kind of entry barrier. It is a given that your intelligence needs to be above a certain threshold value to ensure that you can understand and deal with the intellectual challenges in your job. However, as already pointed out by Meredith Belbin in his book Management Teams, putting people with a more than averaged high IQ in a team, often results in teams that are not capable to complete relatively straightforward assignments. Belbin called this phenomenon the Apollo Syndrome. These teams lack other aspects related to EI that are also relevant for good performance.

Can EI be measured?

There are various standardised tests to assess our intelligence quotient (IQ) which is seen as a measure of our cognitive intelligence. In general, there is rigorous scientific validation for the IQ tests that are in the market place. So, how about our EI? Can that be measured as well? This is an interesting question indeed, and there is quite some argument on whether or not it can be measured and -if so- how accurately (Measuring Emotional Intelligence on www.free-management-ebooks.com). Overall it can be concluded that there is currently not one test available that really measures EI quantitatively and is scientifically validated.
scaleThere are tools available where questions related to Emotional Intelligence are scored by the person herself AND by people around them. These 360 degree surveys result in a comparison of the self-image of a person and how their behaviour is perceived by the people around them. It is our experience that this kind of assessment of Emotional Intelligence can be very useful for the development of the individual. In our experience the Emotional Social Competency Inventory (ESCI™) survey as developed by Daniel Goleman and the HayGroup has the capacity to shed light on a person’s EI. This survey gives an individual very valuable feedback on strengths and weaknesses related to EI. Accredited users of the ESCI™ hold expertise to support individuals who receive ESCI™ 360°-feedback converting the main messages from the survey into a successful personal development plan for a subsequent coaching programme.


Measuring EI is not straight forward but it can be a great tool for individuals to make an important step in their personal development.
If you want to explore the subject in more detail please get in touch with us as we have highly experienced coaches who are accredited in ESCI™ and can provide it in English, German and Dutch.

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