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You’ll find the 20% of leadership information that produces 80% of leadership results in this newsletter. This is well-researched leadership information that, when consistently implemented, will produce bottom-line results.

Emotional Intelligence: Does It Really Exist?"

How much money have companies spent on Emotional Intelligence (EI) and its "measure" Emotional Quotient (EQ)? Is EI used for development? promotion? hiring? Emotional intelligence intuitively sounds like a great leadership quality and clearly, relationships matter. However, EI may not exist as a distinct and statistically verifyable kind of intelligence. Intrigued? Read on.

Does Leadership Need Emotional Intelligence?

John Antonakis, Ashkanasy, N.M. and Dasborough, M.T. Leadership Quarterly (2009) 20, pp. 247-261

This article is a fascinating series of letters between Antonakis and Ashkenazy and Dasborough. Antonakis argues against the existence of emotional intelligence as a mental artifact separate from intelligence and personality. Ashkenazy and Dasborough argue for its existence.

What’s important in this exchange is that the authors on both sides of the fence agree on the following:

  • If EI exists then the Salovey & Mayer ability model is more likely to yield result than the Goleman and Bar-On model which uses broadly defined traits. The ability model consists of:
    • Emotion perception
    • Emotion facilitation
    • Emotion understanding
    • Emotion management
  • Instruments purporting to measure EI are inadequate, in particular those that are self report
  • Emotions are important in leadership
Applications:
  • Relationships are important in leadership. The specifics of how leader/follower relationships impact productivity in Volume 1 on Leader-Member Exchange.
  • The best use of EQ would be through instruments completed by others and compared to a self report. This information is best used for development.
  • All the authors agree that EI instruments should not be used for hiring, promoting or firing.
  • Be cautious about using EI measures and instruments to predict leadership success, especially self report instruments and a paper and pencil instrument measures the cognitive response to an emotional situation. Instruments do not give information on a person’s emotional reaction in a given situation. In other words, the person may know what to do and yet not do it under emotional conditions.
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