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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND COMPETENCY

In a paper prepared by the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in


Organizations, research conducted in successful organizations showed common
traits among its people that led to significant improvements in their bottom lines.
Allow me to cite a few examples that they have found out.

“An analysis of more than 300 top-level executives from fifteen global
companies showed that six emotional competencies distinguished stars from
the average: Influence, Team Leadership, Organizational Awareness, Self
Confidence, Achievement Drive and Leadership (Spencer, I.M, Jr, 1997)”

“At L’Oreal, sales agents selected on the basis of certain emotional


competencies significantly outsold sales people selected using the company’s
old selection procedure. On an annual basis, salespeople selected on the
basis of emotional competence sold $91,370 more than other salespeople
did, for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. Salespeople selected on the
basis of emotional competence also had 63% less turnover during the first
year than those selected in the typical way. (Spencer & Spencer, 1993;
Spencer, McClelland, & Kelner, 1997)”

“Another emotional competence, the ability to handle stress, was linked to


success as a store manager in a retail chain. The most successful store
managers were those best able to handle stress. Success was based on net
profits, sales per square foot, sales per employee, and per dollar inventory
investment (Lusch & Serpkeuci, 1990)”

In many other researches, the traditional personnel selection on the basis of


intelligence quotient has shown that IQ was not a good indicator of success of the
individual. In fact, IQ only accounts for 25% to 30% while emotional intelligence
and competencies account for the rest of the success indicators.

But let me be clear that cognitive ability is also important even if you are to be
emotionally intelligent. For example, to be hired by a company, the applicant must
have a reasonably high IQ maybe in the area of 120s give or take. But what is more
important for the prospective employee is how he will be able to successfully
integrate into the organization and how he can be a productive member and this is
where emotional intelligence and competencies come in.

I have placed a lot of emphasis on emotional competence. But one cannot be


emotionally competent unless one is emotionally intelligent. It would be misleading
to conclude that emotional intelligence would be a good predictor of success in
work and in life. Both are requirements for an excellent chance of success.
Emotional intelligence is the foundation of emotional competence. One cannot be
in control of his emotions if he does have the competencies to control these.

Having said that, what are the essential elements of emotional intelligence? These
include understanding yourself, your goals, intentions and behaviour; and
understanding others and their feelings. Numerous researches shown that there are
two major competencies required: personal and social competencies. Let me briefly
describe these:

Personal competences include emotional awareness; accurate self assessment; self


confidence; self control; trustworthiness; conscientiousness; adaptability;
innovativeness; achievement drive; commitment; initiative; and optimism.

Social competencies on the other hand, include empathy; service orientation;


developing others; leveraging diversity; political awareness; influence;
communication; leadership; change catalyst; conflict management; building bonds;
collaboration and cooperation; and team building capabilities.

Let me conclude this article by relating an anecdote from the paper described
above: “A star performer reveals how several emotional competencies are critical in
his success: Michael Iem worked at Tandem Computers. Shortly after joining the
company as a junior staff analyst, he became aware of the market trend away from
mainframe computers to networks that linked workstations and personal computers
(Service Orientation). Iem realized that unless Tandem responded to the trend, its
products would become obsolete (Initiative and Innovation). He had to convince
Tandem’s managers that their old emphasis on mainframes was no longer
appropriate (Influence) and then develop a system using new technology
(Leadership, Change Catalyst). He spent four years showing off his new system to
customers and company sales personnel before the new network applications were
fully accepted (Self Confidence, Self Control, Achievement Drive). From Richman,
LS, “how to get ahead in America, Fortune, May 16, 1994).

In the interest of space, I will describe each of the personal and social competencies
in my next article. I would like to thank as well the businessballs.com for the
references in this article. Email: rbo811@yahoo.com

Article for the Manila Bulletin


Business Options Column
October 19, 2010