participants are asked to identify the best course of action to improve a feeling.
In Jerry's case, the results of the MSCEIT confirmed and clarified the issues involved in his leadership at that point in time. Jerry's scores on the Perceiving, Facilitating, and Understanding subscales were superb. That was no surprise: Jerry had accurately perceived his own, and Eddie Fontaine's, frustration and concern about the people on their team. He perceived that his group in Jersey City felt isolated and cut off from the rest of his team members (Perceiving Emotion). Jerry had used those feelings to focus on the immediate issues at hand: the details of the building, the parking, and so forth (Facilitating Thought). He understood the move could make them more than a little angry with him "for leaving them." He further understood that when people felt that way, their progression from irritation to frustration and then to anger, posed an enormous threat to the group's productivity and cohesiveness (Understanding Emotion).
Jerry's Emotional Management score, by contrast, was his lowest score on the MSCEIT. When Jerry looked at the diagram of the model and saw the profile of his scores, he had an "Aha!" experience - almost as if a cartoon light bulb had flickered on above his head. He realized that he had perceived and seen everything that was going on in his team, and yet, he had been unable to manage the emotions going on. Although Jerry knew full well that the real problem was his teams' feelings about the move, he had wrongly focused on the building, parking, and other concrete issues. When the coach and him discussed Emotional Management, Jerry smiled, nodded his head, and realized he needed to manage people's feelings, not the building and parking. It was time to identify and to solve the real problem, but Jerry was caught up in feelings of guilt and ineffectiveness. Such feelings may be useful in helping us to focus on details, but in this case, Jerry needed to engage in idea generation and inductive reasoning. Such creative thought processes are best facilitated by positive moods. His coach reminisced with Jerry about his many accomplishments and created a new tone for the meeting (displaying the use of Facilitating Thought). That brought Jerry out of his self-focused mood to adopt a more open, receptive point of view.
After more than hour of such thinking, Jerry decided to
move his office across the river two days each week. He would alternate the location of staff meetings. Jerry planned on having a "Welcome to Jersey!" housewarming party. The plan was gradually put into place. The complaints decreased and dwindled, productivity recovered. Jerry himself was not "cured": He still had a way of looking at the individual problems rather than the group of them together, and he needed to constantly remind himself to go beyond the facts and the logic of such situations when he managed them, to directly address the underlying feelings and emotions. An ability to address such concerns is, after all, one of the essentials of effective leadership. People high in EI will build real social fabric within an organization, and between an organization and those it serves, whereas those low in EI may tend to create problems for the organization through their individual behaviours Findings and claims about EI
The ability model of EI presented here is based on a careful theoretical development, coupled with empirical research. As already noted, once the popularized use of the term EI became unmoored from the basic meanings of emotion and intelligence, nearly any quality could be - and has been - referred to as Emotional Intelligence. Regrettably, almost any claim can be made about EI if the term is not clearly defined, since almost any research can be said to pertain to it. Unfortunately, many irresponsible claims have been made about the topic in various popularizations. These claims refer both to the size of the EI effect (e.g., "twice as important as IQ") and the areas of the EI effect (e.g., "virtually any area of life"). Our own position is much different: That EI is an important capability, but one that coexists with many other important strengths and weaknesses, and
Ivey Business Journal November/December 2002