(Excerpts from the article, "Leading by Heart" - Team CD's write-up on Daniel Goleman's new book, "Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence", in the Economic Times Corporate Dossier of 14 October 2011)
"Is there a relationship between EI and effective leadership? To get answers, Goleman studied the competency models of 188 companies to determine which personal capabilities - technical, analytical or EI - drove outstanding performance within these organisations and to what degree. The study threw up dramatic results. As he explains in the book, "Intellect was a driver of outstanding performance. Cognitive skills such as big picture thinking and long term vision were particularly important. But when I calculated the ratio of technical skills and IQ to EI as ingredients of excellent performance, emotional intelligence proved to be twice as important as others for jobs at all levels."
The study also revealed that the higher the rank of a star performer, the more EI showed up as a reason for his or her effectiveness - nearly 90%. "Our research with HayGroup shows that the more EI-based competencies a leader can display at full strength - such as emotional self-awareness, the drive to achieve and other self-mastery abilities, empathy, persuasion and collaboration - the greater their business results",
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According to Goleman, what makes a good leader is a high degree of self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy. Self-aware leaders who are in touch with their emotions are better able to gauge how their own feelings affect them, their co-workers, and their own performance. "One sure sign of self-awareness in a leader is that there is no gap between what they say and how they behave; another sign is that the leader is aware of how he/she is being seen by others."
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Secure executives who are on top of their feelings and impulses create an environment of trust and fairness. Politics and infighting dip sharply as a result and productivity jumps.
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According to Goleman, the single most important element in group intelligence is social harmony. Robert Sternberg, a Yale psychologist and his student, Wendy Williams, conducted research on why some groups are more effective than others, and found surprising results. Their conclusion: while a group can be no smarter than the sum total of all specific strengths, it can be dumber if its internal workings don't allow people to share their talents. "The strongest predictor of a team's performance is its harmony. Building trust and opening lines of communication make a big difference. Leaders can model and embody these as well as openly encourage them."
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But in the cold, process driven, result-oriented world of business, do emotions really have a place? Goleman builds a case. Happy employees have a direct impact on the topline. A study shows that for every one percent improvement in the service climate, there's a two percent increase in revenue. "For better or for worse, emotions are everywhere in the modern corporation. The best leaders know this and realise that their emotional task is to help people get into and stay in the best internal state for optimal performance."
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Participants who have been through the "CorporateTheatre" workshops - be it the 1-day 'Power Team Dynamics' module, or the 2-day 'Leadership Through Team Instinct' module would have experienced the above possibilities of 'social harmony', collaboration, trust, empathy, self and other awareness, and emotional richness that are instinctively, instantly, and abundantly possible in the 'natural' team environment. They would have also experienced how to create such 'natural' teams by using the 3 Pillars
. I am excited as well as delighted to share with you this validation of that experience through Goleman's research and writing.
(Thanks to Vinod Mahanta of Economic Times, Corporate Dossier, for this article.)