What is EI? Articles

What is EI? - Article categories


« 14. Organisational emotional intelligence: Okay? »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute, accredited MSCEIT consultant.

The main research into emotional intelligence at work, in the past, has examined the emotional intelligence of individuals. However, most people work in teams in an organisation or business, and not in isolation.

You may have individual people who have high emotional intelligence. You may have a team with high emotional intelligence. But what impact does the emotional climate within the organisation or business in which they operate influence their effectiveness? This is becoming a major area of research interest.

Researchers, such as, Neal Ashkanasy, and his colleagues at the University of Queensland, have done a lot of research on emotions in organisations; so has Sigal Barsade, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Does organisational emotional intelligence exist?

Yes. Every organisation has a feel to it.

However, emotional intelligence is far more than how an organisation feels. It is also about the emotional climate that people are expected to work in.

Only last week I presented to two different organisations. The difference emotionally was obvious in their reactions.

One audience laughed, asked questions, interacted with me in front of others, showed enthusiasm, gave appreciation and generally showed high levels of enjoyment.

They gained a great deal as a consequence.

The other organisation felt like hard work to me. They were very quiet and subdued, they did not become readily involved, nor show signs of engagement or enjoyment. They were careful and not willing to take risks or ask questions.

They didn't learn as much.

Now who cares? Well, if you are involved in staff recruitment and you want to attract high quality employees and retain them, then you may care. The emotional climate in an organisation will influence your ability to do this.

I mentioned to one of the organisers of the first presentation how I had enjoyed working with her people.  This was a large, international and highly successful organisation.

The person replied, "Oh yes, I used to be a client of the firm and every time I Interacted with them I always noticed how easy people were to deal with and how much they enjoyed their jobs.  So much so I packed in my other position and came to work here".

Your organisation's emotional intelligence influences your reputation in the marketplace.

Want to do the MSCEIT to measure your emotional intelligence? It is the gold-standard ability measure. To find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green, click here

Further resources on the Mayer Salovey emotional intelligence model.

Employee engagement & organisational EI?

There are many questions you can ask to start to gauge the emotional intelligence of your organisation. However, you may already be assessing it without realising it. Many organisations conduct employee engagement surveys.

Employee engagement can be a key indicator of the emotional climate and emotional health of an organisation. 

Employee engagement  is centered around emotions. It is really asking employees about how they feel about their work, the people they work with, the people who manage them and the people who lead the organisation.

Feeling engaged is an emotion. Feeling disengaged is an emotion. Feeling enthusiastic about work is an emotion. Feeling disinterested in work is an emotion. You can't have engagement without "positive" emotions.

If you have low scores on your engagement survey overall or find high percentages of your employees are not fully engaged, this may strongly indicate you have some work to do in developing a more emotionally intelligent organisation

How can I start developing EI in our organisation?

There are many steps involved in developing emotional intelligence and it doesn't happen over-night. However, there is a very important step you can take immediately. You can start by developing greater awareness of the emotional climate in your organisation right now. It isn't until you have some baseline data that you will even know what needs to be improved or changed. 

Find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) by clicking here and get feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green.

15 questions about your organisation's emotional intelligence

  1. What emotions, if any, are considered important in your organisation?
  2. What emotions are people encouraged to express?
  3. Which emotions are people expected to suppress or hide? Is this emotionally inteligent?
  4. Which emotions are ignored or trivialised? Is this emotionally inteligent?
  5. Which "positive" emotions are deliberately fostered?
  6. What level of emotional intelligence does the CEO display when leading the organisation?
  7. How comfortable are employees in approaching their managers about difficulties they're experiencing?
  8. What are the written and unwritten emotional rules and norms in your organisation?
  9. To what extent do people feel valued and appreciated? Feeling valued is a key contributor to employee engagement.
  10. How do people feel after presenting to the executive?
  11. How many people enjoy their work?
  12. How many people feel loyal to the organisation?
  13. What emotions do your customers experience ater being in contact with your organisation or business?
  14. In what ways do you ensure there is congruency between the emotions in your organisation and the organisational values? 
  15. How are the emotions of conflict handled across the organisation?

The information you gain will be a very useful baseline from which to build a more emotionally intelligent organisation and culture. There is a causal link between emotional intelligence and profit - can you afford to ignore it?

How high is your emotional intelligence? Take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) to find out and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green. Click here to find out how.

Do shareholders care about EI in the organisation?

In case you are thinking, who cares about the emotions let's just look after the shareholders, remember it is emotions that drive behaviour in your organisation, and behaviour that determines your productivity and profit ... and, of course, your shareholders are happy when a profit is made.

Are you leading from the top?

Further articles will cover different aspects of organisational emotional intelligence and leadership and emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence in an organisation needs to start at the top and be role modelled from the top to have any chance of being built on a strong foundation.

What are you doing to ensure you have high emotional intelligence in your organisation?

How emotionally intelligent is your organisation? Do you have staff who aren't pulling their weight and are disengaged, or others who are frustrated or avoid taking risks. Maybe you just wish everyone were more innovative? All these factors are indicators of an organisation's emotional intelligence.

Maybe you don't feel very confident with emotions or wish that you didn't have to deal with them. Then invite me in to help you guide your organisation to higher levels of emotional intelligence and productivity, so you can recruit and retain the staff you need.

Have your emotional intelligence assessed now.

Want to know how high your emotional intelligence is? There is another model of emotional intelligence, by Salovey and Mayer, that has an ability-based emotional intelligence test called the MSCEIT which you can complete online.

Click here to find out how to take the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test (MSCEIT) and gain feedback on the results from our Director, emotional intelligence specialist, Rachel Green.

Develop your emotional intelligence now

We have many resources plus coaching packages to help you. Click here for the 5 star emotional intelligence coaching package, or for more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.

Develop your emotional intelligence now and lead a happier, more productive life and improve your work relationships, whether with colleagues, stakeholders or customers.