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Emotional Intelligence

emotional_intelligenceTake a moment to think about the very best boss, coach, mentor, teacher, etc. that you’ve ever had. As you recall that person and those memories, think about how they made you feel.

You may have felt/feel like this:

  • Appreciated
  • Motivated
  • Confident
  • Respected
  • Empowered
  • Valued

As you recall how you felt/feel, take a moment to consider the amount of discretionary effort you were/are willing to put forth while working for this person. This is your level of employee engagement. Did you/do you feel like:

“I love my position and tell others how great it is to work here”

“I never think of leaving even when other opportunities are presented to me”

“I’m motivated to do everything I can to make this place successful”

Now, take another moment to think about the most challenging or difficult boss, coach, colleague, etc. that you’ve ever had. As you recall that person and those memories, think about how they made/make you feel.

You may have felt/feel like this:

  • Belittled
  • Disengaged
  • Berated
  • Stressed
  • Bullied
  • Worthless

As you recall how you felt/feel, take a moment to consider the amount of discretionary effort you were/are willing to put forth while working for this person. This is your level of employee engagement, and it’s probably vastly different from the engagement responses you had/have for your very best.

The difference between these two individuals is the level of Emotional Intelligence skills that they possess and demonstrate. As you’ve just experienced, these skills are critical in the workplace. How we feel either enhances or impairs our decisions and behavior and directly impacts the level of employee engagement.

Emotional Intelligence comprises a number of different skills that assist us with recognizing and acknowledging the emotions of others and within ourselves. The use of Emotional Intelligence skills is equally important as the use of intellectual skills (IQ) for achieving accomplishments in your working and personal life. When considering the world of work, a Leader’s Emotional Intelligence is shown by research to be the single biggest factor in driving employee engagement.

Regardless of your status, or position in life or work, every person on this planet interacts with others in some way. When we are aware of our own emotions, and understand how they affect our everyday behavior, we have opened the door to success and achievement in both our working environment and in our home life.

Supporting Statistics

  • After 20 years of research and 60,000 exit interviews, the Saratoga Institute reports that 80% of turnover is directly related to unsatisfactory relationships with one’s boss
  • According to a Gallup Organization study of approximately 1 million workers, the number one reason people leave their jobs is because of “bad bosses”.
  • A conclusion reached by Roger Herman is that ¾ of people voluntarily leaving jobs don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. (Herman, Roger. Winning the War for Talent. The ASTD (now ATD) Trends Watch: The Forces That Shape Workplace Performance and Improvement.)
  • Another recent Gallup study found poorly managed workgroups are an average of 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable than well-managed groups.
  • Being the victim of a brutal boss leads to clinical depression in 41 percent of victims, according to a survey by, and online nonprofit in Benicia, CA that advises victims of workplace abuse
  • Companies with high employee engagement had a 19% increase in operating income and 28% growth in earnings per share. Conversely, companies with low levels of engagement saw operating income drop more than 32% and earnings per share decline 11% (Towers Watson [then Towers Perrin] “Global Workforce Study”).

It’s clear that developing the Emotional Intelligence of Leaders and Individual contributors greatly enhances the productivity, engagement and culture of organizations both internally and externally.

The link between Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement

Research shows that the link between Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement is profound. A 2010 study of over 400,000 employees who fed back on their 40,000 leader-managers showed that the following behaviors evoked engagement in them:

The ability to listen, to create a positive working environment, a contagious energy and enthusiasm, the preparedness to recognize positive contributions and their undying belief that every one of their team members has something special to offer.

In short, these 400,000 employees identified those behaviors typical of Emotionally Intelligent leaders.

In 2012, 100 IBM leaders from the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific were assessed by Genos International for their emotional intelligence, and simultaneously, the engagement of the 438 employees who reported to this leadership group was measured.

In the graph below, each dot represents an employee’s engagement score. The x axis of the graph represents leaders’ emotional intelligence as a percentile score – scores between 1 and 39 are low, 40-59 are average and 60+ are high.

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As you can see, a manager being average or low in emotional intelligence results in wide and varying levels of employee engagement where their employees are disengaged, not engaged and engaged. These types of engagement scores are typical of low and average performing organizations. On the other hand, high levels of emotional intelligence, and total emotional intelligence scores above the 75th percentile, result in consistently high engagement scores.

The business case is incredibly strong for utilizing the Genos Model of Emotional Intelligence to measure and develop Emotional Intelligence and employee engagement.

The Genos Advantage

  1. Designed specifically for application in the workplace (rather than academic or clinical)
  2. Measures observable behaviors (how people “turn up”)
  3. Designed for development including “before” and “after” measurements
  4. Recognizes and measures the link between Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement
  5. Takes into account the context (recognizes that Direct Reports, Peers, and Leaders will view some items as more important than others and that some raters are more familiar with the subject than others)
  6. Leader-specific and Individual Contributor-specific assessments
  7. Emotional Intelligence coaching, training and consulting programs available


Earlier we asked you to identify your “best leader, coach, mentor etc.” and your “most challenging” Imagine what your organization would be like if more Leaders and employees had the degree of Emotional Intelligence that your “best” does. What would that mean for the company’s culture? Employee Engagement? Productivity? Leadership? Employee Retention? Imagine the impact of measuring and developing Emotional Intelligence at all levels in your organization.


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Contact me today to learn how to measure the Emotional Intelligence of your Leaders and Individual contributors and to create a development program for them to move toward the Productive States.