Inside business: Tell your boss to grow up
The age of the overbearing employer is over, writes Roger Trapp
Sunday 07 February 1999
According to Ian Lawson, the organisation's director of leadership, the report shows that "the writing is on the wall" for command-and-control style leadership. Instead, people in all walks of life want leaders who can treat them as human beings.
Such findings are hardly new to Daniel Goleman, the man who has almost single-handedly put emotional intelligence into the thinking manager's lexicon. Dr Goleman - who was in London last week for the publication of the paperback version of his book Working with Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury) - writes in a recent Harvard Business Review article that, in a study he carried out, nearly 90 per cent of the difference between star performers and average ones in senior leadership positions was "attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities".
But what is emotional intelligence? In contrast to cognitive intelligence, or IQ, it broadly corresponds to the sort of things that the respondents to the Industrial Society research were looking for in their leaders. Looked at in more detail, it has five key components: self-awareness, or the ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well their effect on others; self-regulation, or the ability to control or re-direct disruptive impulses and moods; motivation, a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money and status; empathy, the ability to understand the emotional make-up of others; and social skill, proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. Organisations have long recognised the importance of the last of these, but it is only now that they are seeing the need to tackle all the aspects of the concept.
That said, though, there are signs that certain organisations are making the effort to make up for lost time. Dr Goleman, who wrote his first book Emotional Intelligence with the aim of alerting educators to the need to develop the quality among schoolchildren, says he has been amazed at the interest among business people. He has been so inundated with requests for help that he has teamed up with the Hay management consultancy to meet demand.
But, once he delved into the business area, he discovered what he calls "a golden vein" of material collected by companies to discover what makes people successful in organisations. All the studies offer conclusive support for the emotional intelligence theory, he says.
"IQ and technical skill still determine what profession you can enter, not how well you can do in it," he adds.
Such thinking is behind the adage that success in life is more about who you know rather than what you know. Since that implies a sort of "old boy network", it might be more accurate to talk in terms of applying what you know. At any rate, Dr Goleman believes the difference is that what was once implicit is now explicit. Business people have "a basis for arguing that this does matter and using it in a more efficient way".
However, there is a paradox. Just as society is now more open about the concept of emotional intelligence, it seems that workers are becoming less skilled in it. Dr Goleman put this down to children in developed countries being the "unintended victims" of two trends. The first is technological - the availability of PCs is making it possible to spend hours a day not communicating face-to-face with others. The second is economical - the growing tendency for both parents to work and the resulting reduction in free time in families. He says his theory is backed up by evidence from managers who say that young people are unable to collaborate, have trouble with feedback and find it hard to interact with colleagues.
The result, he says, is that companies will have to take on the position of schools. Challenging as that might be for them, it is not as bad as it could be, since Dr Goleman has insisted that emotional intelligence can be learned - in other circles it is called "maturing".
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the concept lies in the fact that it is starting to be introduced into business schools. For surely nobody has been more convinced of the supremacy of cognitive intelligence over everything else than the analysis-mad MBA.
`Smart Moves', page 3
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Hurricane Gonzalo: When will it hit the UK and how strong will it be?
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...