Emotional Intelligence – What’s the problem?


In the following series of blogs we’ll look at a few aspects of Emotional Intelligence to explore the impact of developing high emotional intelligence to give your leaders and teams the edge and the cost to your organisation of not doing so.

Emotional Intelligence – What’s the problem?

Problem solving – a definition

Problem solving is the ability to find solutions to problems in situations where emotions are involved, and to understand how emotions impact decision making. Problem solving is associated with being conscientious, disciplined, methodical and systematic in persevering and approaching problems. The skill is also linked to a desire to do one’s best and to confront problems, rather than avoid them.*

The costs of poor problem solving to an organisation

You only have to briefly scan the financial headlines to see the effects of poor decision making – a government department may have wasted millions of taxpayers’ money, a patent lawsuit may have costs escalating out of control or a company may have made hundreds redundant due to poor sales or planning.

Leaders who lack outstanding decision making skills can cause major difficulties for their employers. For example, unsatisfactory service delivery to clients could lead to a loss in sales or, worse, the client account itself. Bad decisions in purchasing departments can lead to excessive or unnecessary costs. Inadequate use of resources by managers can result in lost opportunities for cost-savings or even increased costs. Poor leadership can also result in unproductive and unhappy staff.

One solution

Specific coaching. In just about every area of business, effective problem solving is required by leaders to maximise their impact. Whilst they often learn some of these skills experientially in the workplace, specific coaching can be of great benefit.

Who needs it and what can we do about it?

One way of determining the need for this kind of coaching is encouraging leaders to participate in a psychometric assessment which evaluates their Emotional Quotient. The EQ-i 2.0 is one such psychometric tool used by Black Isle Group. Thoroughly assessing leaders’ emotional intelligence can highlight areas where they can focus their personal and professional development. Through a series of targeted coaching sessions, leaders can learn and adopt new approaches to making decisions. In this way, they become the expert solution-focused leaders their organisations need.

*Definition adapted from Bar-On, R., Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Technical Manual (Toronto: |Multi-Health Systems Inc., 1997), p.17