Assessing the Emotional Intelligence Factor – Part 1

The biggest reason leaders fail is not intelligence or IQ, but lack of emotional intelligence or EI. Fortunately, EI is developable; IQ isn’t. Research shows that the leadership art of influencing others to achieve common business and organizational goals is based on inner strengths, the ability to build mutual satisfying working relationships, effective decision-making and the ability to manage reactions to the work environment. 

Emotional intelligent capabilities involve areas such as confidence, independence, assertiveness, self-knowledge, interpersonal relationship building, problem-solving, empathy, objectivity, flexibility, self-control, and community building; these documented core capabilities are characteristics of great organizational leaders.  Research and practical experience show that by focusing on and practicing these potential development areas, we can replace ineffective leadership practices and become successful in leading others towards a vision and goals.

Hiring for Attitude

For many positions, EI is an important factor to evaluate while screening candidates. There are some excellent assessments to evaluate EI and we encourage you to consider using them. Key Associates, Inc. offers an on-line EI assessment called the Bar-on with the option of providing interpretive feedback on the candidate in question.

Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines often spoke of “hiring for attitude.” His premise was that you can train people to develop skills, but usually not attitude. We agree that selecting people with the right attitude and emotional skills is a key part of hiring the right people. “Hiring for attitude” is all about including emotional intelligence in the mix of critical criteria when you assess candidates for key positions.  

Here are some examples of EI skills:

  • Self-awareness or the ability to be conscious of your impact on others
  • Assertiveness or the ability to state how you feel and why in a non-defensive and clear way
  • Empathy or the ability to demonstrate to another that you understand how s/he feels and why in a variety of situations
  • Impulse control or the ability to control your anger or impatience with people and situations

These emotional skills or competencies impact how effectively people will work with each other, and how successful they are in their careers and life.  That’s why selecting people with the right attitude and emotional skills are a key part of hiring the Right People. For more information on hiring click here.