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« 31. Emotional intelligence case study: Facebook hurt »

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

Emotional intelligence at work is needed across many different situations, including the use of social media.

How well do you or your staff understand the emotions of others when leaving messages on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook? Or even when writing emails?

It is all part of dimension three on the Genos EI model.

In this emotional intelligence case study we look at how easy it is to misunderstand others when all you have are non-verbal written cues about people's emotions, and how easily this can produce conflict at work.

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.

Facebook hurt

Case study of emotional intelligence

A member of staff, Anna, was on Facebook reading her messages. The staff party had taken place the night before and staff were already leaving photographs and comments.

Suddenly she noticed another employee, Christie, had left a comment saying that "You looked BEAUTIFUL!".

How would someone with high levels of emotional intelligence have reacted to or interpreted this comment?

How would someone with lower levels of emotional intelligence read this?

Anna felt very hurt. She read the capital letters and the exclamation mark as sarcasm. She presumed that Christie was putting her down and suggesting that really she looked awful.

Devastated by this, she immediately flicked back a quick response saying, "You didn't look that flash yourself". Ouch!

Conflict was created in one step.

Being able to understand the emotions of others, means being accurate in your reading of others. It does not mean reading in something that is not there.

What did Christie mean?

In this case, Christie really did think her friend at work looked beautiful. She had used the capital letters to add emphasis, and to show how enthusiastic she really was. Exclamation marks are typically used by women to express enthusiasm, so she had also included that for extra impact.

Anna displayed a lower level of emotional intelligence both in reading the comment and in responding to it. She needed to be more accurate in reading others' emotions.

How accurate are you in reading others' emotions?

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

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