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Emotional intelligence: theory and description:A competency model for

interpersonal effectiveness
James Thomas Kunnanatt. Career Development International. Bradford:2008.
Vol. 13, Iss. 7, p. 614-629

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Document 1 of 1
Emotional intelligence: theory and description:A competency model for
interpersonal effectiveness
James Thomas Kunnanatt. Career Development International. Bradford:2008.
Vol. 13, Iss. 7, p. 614-629

***** Abstract (Summary) *****

Despite the crucial role that emotional intelligence (EI) could play in
improving individuals' performance and career prospects in organizations,
employees, executives and career professionals across the world are still in
search of practical frameworks for understanding the concept. This is because
EI research outputs from academics still remain mostly as correlations, co-
variations and associations between EI and other variables. This paper seeks to
provide a practical framework that could help executives, employees and career
advisors understand what EI competencies people need to acquire and how these
could be developed through EI training. The approach is to develop a
competency-based model of EI based on inputs from academic research and
feedback from EI training specialists. An attempt is made to incorporate the
role of brain theory in EI. Exploration is also made into the progressive
stages and dynamics involved in typical EI training programs. The paper brings
out current research insights and highlights the strategic significance of EI
as an augmenter of job performance and career advancement. The competency-based
model provides comprehensive understanding of the psychological configuration,
inner mechanisms, and organization and operation of EI in human beings. While
the model holds many of the classic components of EI intact, a new sub-
competence called social influence is introduced, with cautions about the
difficulty in acquiring this sub-competence solely through EI training. Going
beyond the popular literature, the paper explains the role of brain theory in
EI - a dimension often ignored in EI discussions. Finally, the paper provides
an abbreviated coverage of the progressive stages and the dynamics involved in
typical EI training programs. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
***** Full Text *****
(7869 words)

Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2008

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a new branch of study in psychology. It is

gaining currency in performance counseling and career development circles, as
executives bestowed with EI are increasingly being shortlisted for faster
career advancements in organizations ([15] Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003; [40]
Langley, 2000). Realizing that EI is a strategic asset facilitating improved
organizational performance many organizations including multi-national
corporations are realigning their HR policies and career development strategies
to favor an emotionally intelligent workplace ([3] Aydin et al. , 2005; [8]
Cherniss, 1997; [14] Dries and Pepermans, 2007). As research unfolds,
organizations are fast realizing that traditional intelligence, or IQ, is
necessary but not sufficient for human performance and career advancements in
organizations ([13] Diggins, 2004; [27] Goleman, 1995; [46] Mayer and Salovey,
1997; [58] Rosete and Ciarrochi, 2005). No wonder, researchers and career
advisors are exploring the possibilities of extending the application of EI to
non-business arenas of life such as health, government, defense, education and
even families ([26] Gibbs, 1995; [35] Kaufhold and Johnson, 2005; [39] Kusche
and Greenberg, 2001; [52] Morehouse, 2007).

In spite of the crucial role that EI could play in improving individuals'

performance as well as career prospects in organizations, employees, executives
and career professionals across the world are only beginning to understand the
concept. They want to know what EI is, how EI develops in a person, and what
tools, techniques and methods are available to raise and incorporate EI into
one's personality. These queries persist because, despite EI becoming a
multimillion-dollar training industry in itself, research outputs from EI
academics are yet to reach the wider populations. This paper attempts to answer
these questions by portraying a model of EI drawn upon inputs from academic
research and feedbacks from EI training professionals. Though the model would
require more research in future to add empirical strength, the aim of this
paper is to help executives, employees and other career aspirants understand
what EI competencies they need to acquire and how these could be developed
through EI training.


The field of EI is rich with a plethora of research studies that often report
correlations, co-variations and associations between EI and other variables.
The approach in this paper is not to go extensively into these literatures but
to draw upon relevant updates from academic research so as to create a model of
EI that would provide a comprehensive understanding of the concept. While the
model holds many of the classic components of EI intact, the attempt is to
present a competency-based model of EI that might deviate a little in its
configuration from the popular models.

The paper first reviews the current research link between EI and career
performance and shows how EI contributes to social effectiveness. The concept
of EI is then explained by portraying the psychological configuration, inner
mechanisms, and organization and operation of EI in human beings. Going beyond
the popular literature on EI, the paper explains the role of brain theory in EI
- a dimension often ignored in the discussions on EI. The paper then introduces
the competency-based model of EI and explains in detail the EI competencies -
personal and social competencies - that constitute the model. In particular,
the model introduces a new sub-competence called social influence, but cautions
about the difficulty in acquiring this sub-competence solely through EI
training. Finally, the paper provides an abbreviated coverage of the
progressive stages and the dynamics involved in typical EI training programs
and discusses the implications of EI for HRD and career development.

Emotional intelligence and career performance

Before delving into the construct of EI, the role of EI in driving human
performance and career advancements in organizations may be briefly reviewed.
The question pondered here is "Do careers of individuals with high levels of EI
differ from those of individuals with low levels of EI?" Research outputs tend
to show that people possessing superior EI perform better and develop steadier
career paths in organizations ([3] Aydin et al. , 2005; [12] Druskat and Wolff,
2001; [15] Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003; [19] Feist and Barron, 1996; [41] Mandell
and Pherwani, 2003). Studies on career performance of executives reveal that
managers who are aware and have true understanding of their own and other's
emotions, and are able to use that understanding to effectively motivate,
inspire, challenge, and connect with others are far more effective than
traditional managers who actively separate any emotion from the workplace and
promote methodical, detached, micro-managing style of supervision ([24]
Gardner, 1999; [29] Goleman et al. , 2002; [38] Kouzes and Posner, 1995; [74]
Wheatley, 1999). Based on evidences from 121 companies around the world [28]
Goleman (1998) argues that EI abilities are two times more crucial for
performance excellence than technical and cognitive abilities. Recent research
evidences also support EI as a vital element in excellent job performance
profiles in organizations ([52] Morehouse, 2007).

EI can also raise the level of individual and team performance. Perhaps due to
an enhanced ability to recognize and manage emotions and brace against
distracting emotions, EI skills connect both to individual cognitive-based
performance and team task performance skills ([52] Morehouse, 2007). In
research on teams, [34] Jordan and Troth (2004) reported that teams comprised
of members possessing high EI tend to display superior task performance skills
when compared with teams made up of emotionally less intelligent members. [28]
Goleman (1998) had earlier found that for technical and complex positions in
organizations, a lack of EI might lead to diminished cognitive performance and
an inability to accomplish tasks, especially with others.

It thus appears that EI has a pervasive influence on job performance in diverse

career settings. But do these performance stories culminate in career
advancements for people? Studies indicate that EI competencies are all the more
important for career advancement of people as they move up and across various
career levels in organizations. Research comparing promotion readiness of
middle and senior executives reports EI as a more important screening criterion
than intellect and other managerial skills ([40] Langley, 2000). [41] Mandell
and Pherwani (2003) observe that EI-linked competencies of people in leadership
positions, such as flexibility, conflict management, persuasion, and social
reasoning, become increasingly important with advancing career levels in
organizations. Findings from a seven-year longitudinal study by [15] Dulewicz
and Higgs (2003) also revealed EI as stronger determiner than intellect and
other management competencies in predicting career advancements of managers.
Analyzing the skills required at various career levels in an organization's
hierarchy, [15] Dulewicz and Higgs (2003) compared skill differences between
senior directors and managers and found that the directors displayed
significantly higher measures on overall EI and on interpersonal sensitivity
whereas no differences appeared to exist among the directors and managers in
terms of intellect or other managerial competencies.

Though the above research studies do not deal with EI in detail, the findings
are sufficient, perhaps, to believe that EI provides both performance advantage
and career advancement opportunities for executives in organizations.
Realization of this truth regarding the power of EI in augmenting job
performance and career prospects of individuals has resulted in many
organizations aggressively realigning their HR strategies in favor of EI over
the hitherto valued traditional intelligence or IQ, though not as replacement
to the latter but as a supplement to it ([3] Aydin et al. , 2005; [7] Carmeli
and Josman, 2006; [10] Cote and Miners, 2006; [12] Druskat and Wolff, 2001;
[58] Rosete and Ciarrochi, 2005; [62] Sayegh et al. , 2004).

Can emotional intelligence be a handicap?

While the discussions above portray EI as a virtuous attribute, is it always

so? Or, are there careers/occupations/jobs in which a high level of EI might
actually be a handicap or could be used to the detriment of others? Research is
scanty in answering this question. However, there are popular literatures
available in the print media that advise people on topics such as "emotional
abuse", "emotional blackmail", "how to control people", etc. ([18] Evans, 2002;
[23] Forward and Frazier, 1997). These literatures, though, do not advocate
people to use EI in any negative or undesirable ways. Instead they advise
people on how to deal with relationships and situations when other people use
fear, obligation, and guilt to manipulate and get things done.

Emotional intelligence - the acid test of social effectiveness

It thus appears that emotionally intelligent people are more effective in the
workplace and enjoy better career advancements. Research ([2] Abraham, 2004;
[7] Carmeli and Josman, 2006; [10] Cote and Miners, 2006) shows that this is
particularly because while interacting with the social environment people
possessing personality patterns with high EI (EI personality) produce win-win
relationships and outcomes for themselves and others. Such people, by virtue of
their positive personality and cordiality of interactions ([1] Abraham, 1999)
develop a magnetic field of "emotional attraction" around them. People with low
EI, on the contrary, happen to enter into counterproductive emotional behaviors
with others, and end up in win-lose or lose-lose type of transactional
outcomes. Their emotional negativism or the neutrality of their social
transactions builds around them, often unknowingly, a field of "emotional
repulsion" because of which their social circles get contracted and distanced
from them. Such people often prove detrimental to their own and others' careers
in organizations (Figure 1 [Figure omitted. See Article Image.]).

Accordingly, there exists a scale of emotional attractiveness - repulsiveness

on which every individual will fall, and the better the position on this scale,
the greater the success of a person in the social environment. The goal of EI,
then, is to facilitate individuals in gaining self-awareness about who they are
and where they stand in the world of emotions and to guide them smoothly toward
success in their interpersonal journeys in life ([42] Martinez, 1997).

The EI personality - a profile description

Research on career performance of emotionally intelligent people from business

and industry has revealed many of the characteristics that contribute to what
may be called the EI personality. Chief among them is the capacity for
"emotional literacy" or the competence in sensing, tracing and reading,
correctly and in real time, the rational-emotional processes going on within
the mind ([45] Mayer and Salovey, 1995; [43] Mayer et al. , 2004; [54] Park,
2005; [61] Salovey et al. , 1999). Research shows that emotionally intelligent
managers, supervisors and leaders are better at handling their own emotions,
are more effective at soothing themselves when upset, and get upset less often
([1], [2] Abraham, 1999, 2004). Because of this capacity for "self-regulation",
such people are also more relaxed biologically, with lower levels of stress
hormones and other physiological indicators of emotional arousal ([37] Keichel,
1987; [70] Tischler et al. , 2002). Even in the midst of most complex social
transactions, their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates experience them as
emotionally comfortable companions and rate them as having fewer behavioral
problems such as rudeness or aggressiveness ([1] Abraham, 1999). Socially they
are more "attractive" to their peers and associates and are seen by others as
more interpersonally skilled and influential ([73] Walter, 1996).

While in leadership roles or when executing responsibilities, EI personalities

display remarkable empathy in their feelings and approach toward people and
make others feel understood, supported, trusted, remembered, involved, listened
to, helped, empowered and rewarded ([8] Cherniss, 1997). They are both visible
and credible among their fellow beings as compassionate individuals who can see
things from the point of view of the other persons. In organizational contexts,
the net impact of EI people in their organizations is that they act as powerful
catalytic agents who transform both the character and performance of the
organizations ([43] Mayer et al. , 2004; [51] McGarvey, 1997). Studies from
industry, government, education, and other fields show that emotionally
intelligent people are far more effective and productive than their less
emotionally intelligent counterparts in making things happen with and through
others ([10] Cote and Miners, 2006; [55] Pilling and Eroglu, 1994; [58] Rosete
and Ciarrochi, 2005).

Emotional intelligence - the roots

EI has its roots in the early works of psychometric researchers like [68], [69]
Thorndike (1920, 1936), [53] Moss and Hunt (1927), [32] Hunt (1928), and [72]
Vernon (1933) but the concept was defined and theoretically sharpened only in
recent years through the works of Drs J.D. Mayer and [59] P. Saarni (1999). The
true merit for popularizing the concept, however, is attributed to [27] Goleman
(1995) who through his classic book published in 1995 took EI from the world of
academics and research to the practical world of business and industry.

The founding authors and researchers explain that emotionally intelligent

people possess the remarkable attribute of diagnosing and monitoring the
internal emotional environment of their own and others' minds during social
transactions and show skillfulness in managing their dealings and relationships
with others in ways that produce winning and mutually productive outcomes for
both. Drawing upon their leads, the EI model in this paper conceives EI as the
sum total of the mind capabilities that enable a person in understanding one's
own and others' emotions correctly, in real time, and in managing these
emotions intelligently so as to produce personally and socially desirable
transactional outcomes. From a practical point of view, EI is the application
of emotions in a rationally guarded (intelligent) manner in situations that
call for the synchronized involvement of both emotion and reason.

Brain theory - the link with emotional intelligence

Careful and intelligent use of emotion and reason is an art. It calls for
proper understanding of how emotion and reason interact and operate within the
human brain. Brain theory today is so advanced that we know much about how the
human brain works. Researchers in brain theory suggest that there exists an
ongoing relationship of competitive inter-dominance between the rational and
emotional domains of the brain ([5] Bear et al. , 1996; [16] Edelman, 1987;
[33] Isaacson, 1982). In this inter-relationship, due to the genetic
programming of human biological equipment and due to the type of conditioning
received during socialization, in most individuals the emotion-regulating part
of the brain (i.e. the amygdala along with other limbic structures) tends to
dominate the rational brain (neocortex) controlling or even suppressing the
rational thoughts and actions of humans ([67] Thompson, 1988).

When emergencies or critical moments call for intelligent and careful action by
the rational mind, the emotion-biased amygdala might suppresses the rational
processes of the neocortex thereby depriving the individual of his/her
reasoning power to cognitively process and test the reality of the situation (
[11] Davidson et al. , 2000). Moreover, in many situations, the amygdala
interprets and even exaggerates the events as hostile and dangerous and advises
the bodily equipment of the organism to get ready for a fight or flight
situation. In such cases, obeying commands from the amygdala, the person
perceives the situation as threatening and starts engaging in defensive,
emotionalized behavior that takes irrational dimensions, which, in turn, could
harm the person as well as the environment ([31] Holland and Gallagher, 1990).
The person can be depicted as operating in the emotionally less intelligent
mode. At this point, the person becomes emotionally excited and the body shows
symptoms of palpitations, increased blood pressure, and other biological
reactions. All these happen within the flicker of a moment and can be
summarized as the "emotional game" played by the amygdala. Most people
experience many such series of emotional games daily ([11] Davidson et al. ,

The true role of EI in managing a person's interactions lies here. In

emotionally intelligent people, the mind is trained and tuned to detect this
emotional game played by the amygdala and the capacities of the mind are so
developed that the person exercises "controlled emotional involvement" during
the process of dealing or negotiating with others or working through a critical
problem. This ability of the EI person to pull back and recognize "what is
happening inside the mind" is called "meta-regulation of mood" ([47] Mayer et
al. , 1997a). In the mature form of EI, the person is even able to channel his/
her emotions constructively and use them as "motivational support" for the
actions of the rational mind ([25] George and Brief, 1996; [70] Tischler et al.
, 2002).

Emotional intelligence - the model

EI competencies - the building blocks of emotional intelligence

Drawing upon the support from various sources of research and training in EI,
EI theory has tended to take two different approaches to model building.
Academic researchers view EI as an abstract concept whereas training
specialists look at it as a combination of practical competencies acquired by
the individual. This paper, while drawing heavily upon the insights from
academic research, approaches EI from the competency perspective and hence
attempts to present a model that construes EI as a constellation of

Some researchers suggest that emotionally intelligent people may be believed to

behave in rationally and emotionally balanced ways because they are in
possession of certain attributes called EI competencies ([43] Mayer et al. ,
2004; [61] Salovey et al. , 1999). These competencies can be classified into
two broad categories:

personal competence in understanding and managing one's "own self"; and

social competence in knowing and dealing with the "self of others" ([19] Feist
and Barron, 1996; [27] Goleman, 1995; [46] Mayer and Salovey, 1997; [65]
Sternberg, 1996; [71] Van Rooy and Viswesvaran, 2004).

Personal competence is the ability of a person to sense one's own internal

mental moods and processes and regulate the operations of the mind in such a
way that emotions do not disturb or deter the rational mind from executing its
actions rationally and to the best of its intellectual capacity. Personal
competence is divisible into two sub-competencies, namely, self-awareness and

Self-awareness is the ability to detect the internal emotions and feelings, in

real time, as they occur within us. Self-aware individuals are able to read and
"link" their feelings with what they think and act. In EI terms, it is called
"emotional literacy" ([44] Mayer and Salovey, 1993; [51] McGarvey, 1997).

Self-regulation is the ability of a person to use self-awareness (or emotional

literacy) to manage one's own emotions. The person uses self-awareness to
regulate the rational and emotional operations of the mind in balanced ways so
as to provide an emotionally supportive pathway for the reasoning mind to make
logically correct and socially acceptable decisions and judgments ([42]
Martinez, 1997; [70] Tischler et al. , 2002).

Research indicates that people possessing personal competence manage their

impulsive feelings and disturbing emotions well and stay composed, positive,
and unflappable even during trying moments ([42] Martinez, 1997; [45] Mayer and
Salovey, 1995). Such people can think clearly, stay focused under pressures and
are able to take sound, decisive decisions despite uncertainties and demands,
shifting priorities, and changes in their life ([63] Slaski and Cartwright,
2002). Moreover, they show remarkable tact in adapting to fluid circumstances.

Concepts related to personal competence have been discussed in psychology

previously. For example, personal competence may appear similar to self-
monitoring - a concept in psychology proposed by [64] Snyder (1974). Self-
monitoring theory refers to the process through which people regulate their own
behavior so as to appear and "look good" so that they will be perceived by
others in a favorable manner. Self-monitoring theory distinguishes between high
self-monitors, who monitor their behavior to fit different situations, and low
self-monitors, who are more cross-situationally consistent ([64] Snyder, 1974).
However, while self-monitoring takes care of one's behavior and appearance in
public/social situations, it does not fully enable a person to handle and
regulate his/her deeper, disturbing internal feelings and emotions - a feat
that EI can achieve. EI should, accordingly, be viewed differently from self-

Social competence is the ability of a person to gain psychological insight into

the emotional world of others and to use one's empathic capabilities and
"relationship skills" (such as leadership, assertiveness, and communication) to
produce socially desirable and productive behavioral outcomes both for
themselves and others. Social competence includes two distinct sub-
competencies: social-awareness and social influence.

Social awareness refers to the competence of a person in getting a "true feel"

of the emotional mind of others. He/she enters into a covert "emotional
dialogue" with the interacting partners ([61] Salovey et al. , 1999) and is
able to empathize or "feel like" the other person. Empathy forges emotional
connection ([36] Kellett et al. , 2002) and in many cases bonds people even far
deeper and stronger than shared values, ideologies, and beliefs. Goleman
believes that empathy underlies many interpersonal aptitudes like teamwork,
persuasion and leadership ([28] Goleman, 1998).

Social influence refers to the potential of a person to influence and effect

positive changes and outcomes in others by using his or her interpersonal
skills. The term social influence, as a component of EI, has received only
rudimentary treatment in EI literature. In the classic EI models, the second
component of social competence is represented by "social skills". Social skills
are a misnomer in the study and analysis of EI, so far. A review of 18 journal
websites reveals that EI theorists and training specialists have bundled a
large repertory of (historically known) interpersonal skills under the
competence "social skills" - making it difficult to define as well as measure
this competency.

This paper, however, assumes that there are prominent interpersonal skills that
need to be focused and developed in individuals if EI is to produce desirable
effects and impacts on their social environment. While the skills required for
effectively influencing others could be many, a few could be rated as
important, considering the significance attached to these skills in management
development and career counseling circles. Chief among these skills that
contribute to a person's social influence are assertiveness, communication, and
empowering leadership. Assertiveness helps a person in establishing a mutually
respectful, win-win, I am ok-You are ok relationship with others. Communication
skills enable the person to listen carefully to others as well as negotiate
successfully to produce desirable outcomes in social transactions. Empowering
leadership equips the person with the abilities of guiding and motivating
others in situations that involve leadership and group management. Though these
core social influence skills might appear as independent of each other, in
actual use they merge and blend with each other and have to be used in a highly
synchronized manner to be productive and effective in the social environment.

Social influence might appear akin to the so-called political skill but the two
should be viewed as related but different attributes. Political skill is the
ability of a person to influence others and get them to buy into one's own
ideas and objectives ([21] Ferris et al. , 2000). Political skill in itself is
a virtue that is increasingly being advocated today as necessary competency to
be effective in organizations ([22] Ferris et al. , 2007); but, the possibility
exists that it could also be used, at times, for personal gains than for mutual
benefits. Social influence on the other hand uses one's relationships skills in
an empathic manner and focuses on buying others into one's ideas by building
trust and pursuing means that mutually benefit each other. These additional
elements of empathy coupled with mutuality of benefits to each other in social
transactions perhaps demarcate social competence from political skill and
distinctly distinguish it from the latter.

In an emotionally intelligent person, the above four competencies work together

and in unison. Absence of one or more of these reduces the EI competence of the
person and possibly inflicts damages both to the person and to his/her social
functioning. However, a word of caution is due. The first three of the EI
competencies, namely, self-awareness, self-regulation, and social-awareness are
basically functions of the rational-emotional mind of the person and could be
enhanced by a person through rigorous training and practice in EI techniques.
The fourth competency, social-influence, on the contrary, is highly
interpersonal in nature, and, therefore, the success of this competency is
dependent, also, on the attitudes and attributes of the other parties involved
in social interactions. Furthermore, while engaging in and deploying the skills
of social influence, the person is under pressure to keep aloof from the
tendencies to engage in politicking because the means and goals of the latter
often conflict with those of emotionally intelligent behavior. The conclusion
here is that developing one's social influence skills is more difficult than
the acquisition of other competencies of EI.
Is emotional intelligence measurable?

In psychology, traditional intelligence is expressed as IQ. Similarly EI is

measured and expressed as emotional quotient (EQ). EQ is a measure of the
emotional competencies of a person, but it is not EI as such. It is the measure
of the application of EI to one's personal and social life. EQ measures the
level of one's personal and social awareness and active skills in the area of
managing interactions with others and vice versa ([48] Mayer et al. , 1997b).
From the brain theory point of view, EQ is the measure of a person's competence
in maintaining the rational-emotional balance required at the inner mental
level and tells his or her "touch with reality". In summary, thus, EQ is a
summative score of the rational and emotional abilities in dealing with the
interpersonal realities of life.

Even though there are conflicting arguments ([9] Ciarrochi et al. , 2000) about
the validity and reliability of the tools used in measuring EI, EQ measurement
is fast becoming an industry in itself. Academic researchers and EI training
agencies have designed and used a plethora of measuring instruments to help
people gain insight into their EI profile. The most common measuring
instruments include Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT;
[49] Mayer et al. , 2002), Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI; [29] Goleman et
al. , 2002), and [4] Bar-On's (1997) EQ-I.

Raising emotional intelligence - the training process

Interested in the interpersonal benefits of EI, people frequently ask the

question, "How can one raise the level of emotional intelligence and be more
effective at interpersonal relations?" Aimed at helping people to restructure
their EI competencies, EI practitioners have developed a variety of EI
development programs. Though there is no universal standardization, in a
carefully drafted EI development program the participants pass through a
progressive series of stages such as emotional mapping, emotional diagnosis,
emotional authentication, emotional navigation, empathy building, and building
social influence.

Emotional mapping is often the first stage of an EI development program.

Universally, human beings experience a multiple set of emotions that includes
joy, hope, eagerness, surprise, fear, anger, sorrow, jealousy, resentment, etc.
Every passing moment, depending on our moods and environmental cues, we
experience, enjoy or withstand hundreds of variations of these emotions. Also,
depending on the social circles and the context in which our interactions
occur, these emotions emerge and disappear, blend and merge, and on at least
certain occasions confuse us or even conflict within ourselves ([20] Feldman et
al. , 1991). Negotiating successfully with these emotional upheavals and
downfalls is not possible without gaining meaningful insights into how they
operate within our mind. Emotional mapping exercises train people to capture
their own emotions and feelings as they appear and strengthen and help to take
true cognizance of these emotions and diagnose deep into their causal
attributes and direct impacts upon the operations of mind ([59] Saarni, 1999).
Through the mapping process, people learn to understand how emotions operate
within the mind and how they influence and determine our thoughts, feelings,
and actions.

Diagnosing emotional patterns is the second stage in EI training. Bio-

chemically the human brain is so structured that it develops a network of
neural pathways in the brain and uses these pathways as guidelines for action
during social interaction ([27] Goleman, 1995). These neural pathways are the
biologically learned responses of the human mind to the various stimuli coming
from the social and natural environment. During socialization in our society,
through repetition and reinforcement, these response patterns become habitual
and transform themselves into neural pathways that define the person's
behavior. Over time, through further reinforcement, they become roads and roads
become highways. Once the neural pathways become reinforced they define and
determine almost every aspect of our behavior so strongly that we are often
unable to think and act differently ([27] Goleman, 1995, [28] 1998). The
pathways are so strong that they tightly control or even dictate our thoughts,
feelings, and actions. Once formed, interrupting an established neural pathway
requires extraordinary efforts and energy.

Participants in EI development programs are trained through appropriate

emotional exercises to penetrate deep into these neural pathways and recognize
how the pathways are configured and networked within their minds and affect
their interactions, goals, and motivations. They are also encouraged to
decipher how the neural pathways interfere with or promote the way they
structure their relationships with others. Based on the insights so derived the
participants are helped to formulate strategies that augment their emotional
and social effectiveness and to develop a structure of personal values and
beliefs, and support systems that validate the strategies and courses of
actions chosen. The whole process strengthens the mind's capacities to face
emotions with proper understanding of their cues, causes and effects and in
dealing with them in socially productive ways ([39] Kusche and Greenberg,

The above two stages of emotional mapping and emotional pattern diagnosis equip
the participants with true and deeper self-knowledge of their emotional world
and give them a true awareness of where they stand in the world of emotions and
management of emotions. Participants then gradually pass onto the next two
phases of training: namely, "emotional authentication" and "emotional

Emotional authentication exercises are aimed at helping each participant assess

how productive or unproductive their emotions and actions have been in the past
and are in the present and how these impact on the emotions and actions of
others and themselves. Emotional authentication, at times, permits and
justifies impulsiveness if the situation so necessitates, but it also warrants
checks, limits and delays in gratification if the consequences would be
unproductive, undesirable, or painful. In any case, the individual's emotions
and actions are carefully guarded through conscious self-monitoring and are
kept under guided control and self-regulation. The outcome is that many of
those decisions and choices the person tended to make unconsciously or less
consciously in the past now become clearer to the conscious mind and give way
to the rational and intelligent deliberations of the mind ([30] Halberstadt et
al. , 2001) and produce results that are profoundly more effective and
productive in the social circles. The individual learns to become more self-
synchronized at evaluating the costs and benefits of his/her emotional and
behavioral choices.

The next stage of the EI program is emotional navigation - a series of

supervised exercises that provide participants with opportunities to experience
a true feel of their hidden emotions and feelings. Societal pressures often
force individuals to control and suppress their emotions and, as a result, they
repress and often hide feelings such as excitement, anger, sorrow, and the like
from their natural decisions and behaviors. Emotional navigation tells people
to experience just the opposite. It tells that emotions are not as destructive
or troublesome as they are often thought to be; instead, they have powerful
healing and soothing properties and are required on many natural occasions in
our social life. Emotions, when deployed with care and caution, provide the
much needed insight, energy, and motivational support for making bold and
qualitatively superior decisions. Emotional navigation trains people not to
deny the existence of active emotions but guides them on how to consciously
slow down and regulate their emotional reactions until they get a conscious
opportunity to think and act creatively, insightfully, and powerfully. When in
a conflict or crisis mode, this slowing-down process helps in carefully
engaging both heart and mind, and, thus, generating creative and intellectually
superior solutions ([45] Mayer and Salovey, 1995; [62] Sayegh et al. , 2004).
By navigating boldly through emotions intellect can be used to guide emotions
and harness the productive power embedded within them ([50] Mayer et al. ,
2003). As we become competent at sensing, labeling, and using our covert
emotions, we are able to face and harness them as a source of information and
motivation and use them constructively as a force for self-action.

Having learned to test the reality and value of one's own emotions, the next
task in EI development is building empathy. An empathic individual recognizes
and responds to other people's emotions. The person has the capacity to
experience the emotions of others in their true spirit. In nature and in
content, empathy is both instinctive and conscious. Certain aspects of empathy
are instinctively gained through heredity. The other dimension is the
consciously built up understanding of the other person - a competency acquired
through learning and socialization in society. In EI programs, participants
pass through a series of empathy workshops that help them diagnose and become
conscious about the inner empathic deficiencies and strengths in their
personality. Though a difficult process, once empathy is developed at the
conscious level, it provides the way for building and sustaining valuable
relationships with others in the social circles. The empathic change in the
personality is visible through the way participants begin to make others feel (
[17] Eisenberg et al. , 2000). They are now more confident and tuned to make
others feel attached to, attended to, listened to, cared for, respected, and
trusted with the result that an emotionally enriched foundation starts building
up in their surrounding social relationships.

Influence building is the last stage in the EI development program. The aim is
to develop the interpersonal influence potential necessary for effective
management of social relationships. Success in this competency area depends on
the level of mastery acquired by a person in such interpersonal skills as
leadership, communication, assertiveness, and negotiation, among others. The
contents of most EI programs generally do not address these interpersonal skill
areas because a variety of highly specialized and sophisticated training
programs are available for developing these skills. What is important from the
EI angle is that a person who has sharpened his/her skills in the other
components of EI need to sequentially develop these people management skills so
as to use them as vital inputs for building productive social relationships and
for managing these relationships successfully.

To sum up, participants who successfully travel through the so-called stages of
emotional mapping, emotional diagnosis, emotional authentication, emotional
navigation, empathy building, and influence building are expected to come out
of the program with meaningful changes in the emotional structure that
influence both their "inside" aspects and the "outside" relationships. The
program acts as an instrument of emotional engineering that restructures the
rational-emotional processes and elevates their capacity to reason about
emotions and regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual
growth in life.

Implications of EI development programs for HR and career development

Companies that have implemented EI development programs and endeavored to

enhance EI competencies of human resources have witnessed quicker and more
powerful changes in the quality of employee effectiveness and have found the
changes to be sustained over time([6] Brooks and Nafukho, 2006; [54] Park,
2005). Research evidences indicate that by creating emotionally intelligent
work places, organizations have been able to truly drive performance and
careers in organizations ([7] Carmeli and Josman, 2006; [54] Park, 2005). As a
result, organizations have begun redefining the norms for dealing with employee
careers and promotions. In the past, external staffing criteria (hiring from
outside the organization) tended to be well defined, and most often defined in
terms of technical skills and intellectual factors such as IQ ([8] Cherniss,
1997; [28] Goleman, 1998). Promotion or career advancement criteria were,
however, less so well defined and tended to be somewhat ambiguous. In recent
times, due to increasing awareness about the role of emotional competencies in
career performance and organizational success, more weight is often given by
organizations to personality-related interpersonal competencies ([3] Aydin et
al. , 2005). People who get along well such as those with high EI tend to
possess an advantage over those with lower levels of EI.

The message that emerges from these developments is clear: executives,

employees and career aspirants who wish to advance and grow in their careers
should pay attention to developing EI competencies and endeavor to strengthen
these skills as they progress through organizational careers. As individuals
grow in EI, it changes both their inner minds and outside relationships and
cultivates within them better attitudes, clearer perceptions, and productive
social relationships that are valued in diverse career and life settings ([27]
Goleman, 1995). Most often, EI builds and incorporates into the minds of people
a burning spirit for pursuing noble goals, missions, and accomplishments that
lead to definable progress both in their career and life.


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Corresponding author

James Thomas Kunnanatt can be contacted at:

[Author Affiliation]

James Thomas Kunnanatt, Department of Business Administration, College of

Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab


Figure 1: Emotional intelligence and social interaction

***** References *****

* Cited by (1)
***** Indexing (document details) *****
Subjects: Emotional intelligence, Personal relationships, Career
development planning, Models, Studies

Classification 6200, 9130


Author(s): James Thomas Kunnanatt

Author James Thomas Kunnanatt, Department of Business

Affiliation: Administration, College of Business and Economics, United
Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Document types: Feature

Document features: Diagrams, References

Publication title: Career Development International. Bradford:

2008. Vol. 13, Iss. 7; pg. 614

Source type: Periodical

ISSN: 13620436

ProQuest document 1587923731


Text Word Count 7869

DOI: 10.1108/13620430810911083

Document URL:


Abstract (Summary)
Emotions in health organisations tend to remain tacit and in need of clarification. Often,
emotions are made invisible in nursing and reduced to part and parcel of 'women's work'
in the domestic sphere. Smith (1992) applied the notion of emotional labour to the study
of student nursing, concluding that further research was required. This means
investigating what is often seen as a tacit and uncodified skill. A follow-up qualitative
study was conducted over a period of twelve months to re-examine the role of the
emotional labour of nursing. Data were collected primarily from 16 in-depth and semi-
structured interviews with nurses. Key themes elicited at interviews touch upon diverse
topics in the emotional labour of nursing. In particular, this article will address nurse
definitions of emotional labour; the routine aspects of emotional labour in nursing;
traditional and modern images of nursing; and gender and professional barriers that
involve emotional labour in health work. This is important in improving nurse training
and best practice; investigating clinical settings of nurses' emotional labour; looking at
changing techniques of patient consultation; and beginning to explore the potential
therapeutic value of emotional labour. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]