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We have long been taught that emotions should be felt and expressed in carefully controlled ways, and then only in certain environments and at certain times. This is especially true when at work, particularly when managing others. It is considered terribly unprofessional to express emotion while on the job, and many of us believe that our biggest mistakes and regrets are due to our reactions at those times when our emotions get the better of us. David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey believe that this view of emotion ...
We have long been taught that emotions should be felt and expressed in carefully controlled ways, and then only in certain environments and at certain times. This is especially true when at work, particularly when managing others. It is considered terribly unprofessional to express emotion while on the job, and many of us believe that our biggest mistakes and regrets are due to our reactions at those times when our emotions get the better of us. David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey believe that this view of emotion is not correct. The emotion centers of the brain, they argue, are not relegated to a secondary place in our thinking and reasoning, but instead are an integral part of what it means to think, reason, and to be intelligent. In The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, they show that emotion is not just important, but absolutely necessary for us to make good decisions, take action to solve problems, cope with change, and succeed. The authors detail a practical four-part hierarchy of emotional skills: identifying emotions, using emotions to facilitate thinking, understanding emotions, and managing emotions—and show how we can measure, learn, and develop each skill and employ them in an integrated way to solve our most difficult work-related problems.
Let's not get too excited.
You are being way too emotional about this.
We need to look at this rationally.
We are taught that emotions should be felt and expressed in carefully controlled ways, and then only in certain environments and at certain times. This is especially true when at work. It is considered terribly unprofessional to express emotion while on the job. We all believe that our biggest mistakes and regrets are due to being overly emotional-the times when our emotions get the better of us. After all, emotions are remnants from 300 million years ago, when they were necessary for the survival of our species.
We believe that this view of emotion is incorrect. After 300 million years-give or take a few million-human brains have gotten bigger and more complex but still have the wiring for emotion. The emotion centers of the brain are not relegated to a secondary place in our thinking and reasoning but instead are an integral part of what it means to think, reason, and be intelligent. This is the essence of the work conducted by University of Iowa neuroscientist Antonio Damasio.
The fundamental premise of The Emotionally Intelligent Manager is that emotion is not just important but absolutely necessary for us tomake good decisions, take optimal action to solve problems, cope with change, and succeed. This does not mean that you jump with joy every time you make a sale or that you sob your heart out when you aren't promoted. Instead, the premise of The Emotionally Intelligent Manager replaces the conventional view of emotion with an intelligent view-one that might sound like this:
Let's get excited.
You are not being emotional enough about this.
We need to look at this emotionally-and logically.
The Emotionally Intelligent Manager is organized around an ability-based approach to emotional competencies that was developed in the late 1980s by two psychologists, John ( Jack) Mayer and Peter Salovey, and called emotional intelligence. This intelligent approach to emotions includes four different skills arranged in a hierarchical fashion. We explain the importance of each of the four emotional skills and provide you with concrete techniques to improve and use these skills in the workplace.
These are the four emotional skills around which we build The Emotionally Intelligent Manager:
1. Read People: Identifying Emotions. Emotions contain data. They are signals to us about important events going on in our world, whether it's our internal world, social world, or the natural environment. We must accurately identify emotions in others and be able to convey and express emotions accurately to others in order to communicate effectively.
2. Get in the Mood: Using Emotions. How we feel influences how we think and what we think about. Emotions direct our attention to important events; they ready us for a certain action, and they help guide our thought processes as we solve problems.
3. Predict the Emotional Future: Understanding Emotions. Emotions are not random events. They have underlying causes; they change according to a set of rules, and they can be understood. Knowledge of emotions is reflected by our emotion vocabulary and our ability to conduct emotional what-if analyses.
4. Do It with Feeling: Managing Emotions. Because emotions contain information and influence thinking, we need to incorporate emotions intelligently into our reasoning, problem solving, judging, and behaving. This requires us to stay open to emotions, whether they are welcome or not, and to choose strategies that include the wisdom of our feelings.
Each ability can be isolated from the others, but at the same time, each builds on the others. Although we can measure, learn, and develop each skill on its own, the interrelationships among the skills, as depicted in Figure I.1, allow us to employ them in an integrated way to solve important problems.
A Diagnostic Example
Here is a simple example to show how this process model of thinking and feeling works.
You are conducting a product development team meeting with a number of items on the agenda. There is some discussion regarding the items, and once everyone has had a chance to provide input, you ask for consensus agreement before you move on to the next item. Most of the items are discussed efficiently, and you have a good deal of agreement by team members. You find that you are moving quickly through the list.
The next item has to do with the latest changes to the product specs requested by your internal customer-the marketing VP. Such changes are not unusual; they have been requested before in this project, and you consider these particular changes to be fairly minor. There is general agreement by the group for the need to alter the plan, and you are about to move to one of the last items on the agenda. But something holds you back, keeps you from moving on, and you pause to reflect briefly before closing down the discussion. It's nothing that anyone has said that gave you pause, but it certainly was something. Almost without thinking, you mentally review the requested changes and feel less sure about them. Something does not seem quite right-does not feel right to you.
You consider letting this fleeting feeling pass. But even though you have paused for just a few seconds, you see that the pause has had an effect on the group. They seem a bit more attentive and have drawn themselves forward in their chairs. The mood is a bit more serious. One of your senior engineers speaks up and wonders whether the changes, albeit minor, will have an impact on any of the underlying architecture. It's an annoying question, as you have covered this ground a number of times. Again though, you reflect that the vague uneasiness you just felt may have something to do with this very issue. You ask for others' input, and with the now-more-serious focus, a number of team members point out that the product changes are much less trivial than they first appeared to be. You encourage this focused attention and analysis to continue, and in doing so, the team realizes that the system was simply not being designed with such changes in mind. Rather than looking for buy-in, you are now seeking information with which to go back to the marketing VP to demonstrate that the requested changes are not feasible.
What just happened? And why did it happen? Our model of emotional intelligence begins with the awareness, recognition, and identification of emotion. Something held you back from moving on. What was it? First, there was the look on the faces of a few of your more senior developers that indicated some subtle signs of uneasiness and caution. Second, you felt some inner discomfort, recognized it, and did not let it go. Third, you expressed your uneasiness and sense of trouble by looking down at the floor, slightly frowning, and rubbing your hand over your chin.
The second part of our model explains how these feelings influence thinking. The fleeting feelings of worry and concern focused your attention-and the team's attention-on a problem. Your brain, or something inside of you, is saying, "Houston, we have a problem." Your thought processes became more attuned to search for and find errors and inconsistencies. And you did find them.
Our process model then moves to an understanding of emotions, what causes them, and how they change. You determine that the change in the mood of the group is due to some potential issue regarding the requested product specification change. You reason that the growing sense of uneasiness is not due to either the lateness of the hour (the meeting is on time) or to any other external issues. It seems pretty clear to you that everyone is focused-and for good reason.
The fourth and final part of our model indicates that because emotions contain data, we must stay open to them and integrate them. The very last thing you need is another project set-back. And you certainly don't relish having to tell the marketing VP that these latest changes won't fly. Many of us in similar circumstances might try simply to ignore the uncomfortable feelings, discourage them, and direct the team's attention to the next agenda item. But you let the feelings hold sway, allowed them to redirect attention, figured out what was going on, and then stayed open to the wisdom of these feelings to uncover a serious problem.
You have just employed an emotionally intelligent approach to core functions of managing, such as planning, flexible thinking, and adaptability. A focus on emotion does not make you weak or vulnerable; instead, it allows you to be much more able to face up to, and successfully cope with, conflict and change. This approach to managing is not just a reactive, passive analytical tool; it has a strong prescriptive and positive function. It's not enough to uncover problems. The job of the effective manager is to solve problems, and this is where our emotional intelligence approach pays dividends. Let's look at two approaches you, as the team manager, might use to resolve the problem you just discovered: an emotionally unintelligent approach and an emotionally intelligent approach.
The Emotionally Unintelligent Manager Approach
In most managerial situations, we try to be rational and logical about our management responsibilities. After all, this is what we are being paid to do: to think, to decide, and to act intelligently. We get paid to think, not to worry or to feel. This approach seems sensible, but, as you'll see, is not very effective. Accordingly, you go back to the marketing VP and tell her that the team can't make the launch deadline if these changes are required. She looks surprised and somewhat displeased. That begins a cascade effect. Now in a negative mood, she begins to focus on details, and her search for problems and errors is enhanced. She begins to think about other promises you have made and not kept. You claim that you never actually agreed to the revised specs, and the situation degenerates even further. The result is that she is truly angry with you, as anyone would be in this situation, and you sullenly and reluctantly agree to whatever is asked of you. Not a pretty outcome, is it?
You were completely rational and logical. You were calm and straightforward. And you were also quite ineffective. A truly intelligent approach to managing people must go beyond the search for a holy grail of unsullied rationalism.
A Better Approach
The emotionally intelligent manager prepares and plans for important social interactions. We don't mean that you need to do a month-long strategic planning effort before each meeting you have, but the smart thing to do is to use the skills we've outlined to enhance your interpersonal effectiveness. Let's return to the marketing VP situation.
You know the marketing VP pretty well; you realize that if you just state the problems in a straightforward manner, she will not be very happy. Think about it. After all, you sort of mentioned that the changes didn't seem to be all that major. In fact, you might have even said something like, "I think we can handle that." If anything, she is expecting good news from you. What will happen if you deliver unexpected news? It will be a surprise-an unpleasant surprise at that-and her positive mood will likely turn negative very quickly. If you understand emotions, and if you use your emotional strategic planning ability, you will be able to avoid such an outcome.
In reality, you don't have a rote strategy that you'll employ. You never do, because the exact approach you take must be a function of your emotional situation analysis of how the other person feels at the moment. Is the starting mood positive or negative? Let's say that the VP seems happy and upbeat. That means that your job is to help her to maintain a slightly positive mood, which will enable her to see and to stay open to creative alternative solutions. You understand that you simply cannot announce a major problem and have her maintain her composure, so instead you indicate that you brought the latest changes to your team, and they discovered a number of issues. However, you would like to discuss some ways they came up with to deliver the functionality over a longer period of time while keeping the initial product launch date unchanged.
You'll need to stay attuned to various cues in order to determine how the approach is being received and to modify it accordingly. This won't be easy to do, and it won't necessarily be fun, but this is exactly why they are paying your salary. This is the job of an effective manager. The emotionally intelligent manager leverages the four skills in our model by:
1. Identifying how all of the key participants feel, themselves included
2. Using these feelings to guide the thinking and reasoning of the people involved
3. Understanding how feelings might change and develop as events unfold
4. Managing to stay open to the data of feelings and integrating them into decisions and actions
Because The Emotionally Intelligent Manager combines passion with logic, emotions with intelligence, readers from opposite sides of the heart-head debate can find value in our approach. Readers who are highly analytical and skeptical about the meaning of emotion or who prefer rationality to emotionality should find The Emotionally Intelligent Manager to be a thinking approach to emotions. Readers who embrace the emotional side of life will find that The Emotionally Intelligent Manager provides them with a structured way of viewing their world.
Emotional Intelligence and Effectiveness in Managers
As managers, we have been buffeted by many a management fad and exhortation to develop new skills or risk certain failure. So we've dutifully gone to often terrific and valuable courses on creative thinking, quality circles, and self-directed work teams. We have also been exposed to other training efforts of more dubious quality and utility. Is emotional intelligence just another course, a passing fad? Or is it something new and of lasting value? After all, anyone who has even minimal work experience knows that emotional skills are not a prerequisite for being hired or promoted. The workplace abounds with stories of emotionally unintelligent managers who were considered successful-at least to a certain point.
Have you ever worked for someone who said to you, "As your boss, I can tell you what to do, and you will do it"? Such bosses believe that their autocratic style works well, and they don't have to waste time explaining motives, soliciting cooperation, or engaging in dialogue. We've worked for a person like that. Karen was very "emotional," but she motivated people by playing on their fears. She made promises she never intended to keep, told her boss things he wanted to hear, and acted, in short, like many of the managers we've all seen and worked for. She was a political animal, and that way of operating worked well for her in many ways.
However, Karen did not seem to understand how her actions affected those of us who worked for her. Perhaps Karen would have cared if she had known, but she seemed oblivious to the feelings of her direct reports. Figure I.2 shows that Karen did not have a high level of any of the four emotional skills.
Karen was considered an effective leader by many on the senior management team. She got things done, and her projects were at or under budget. If effective leadership depends on possessing emotional skills, then how come Karen was considered to be an effective leader? The moral of this story may be that we are paid to get things done. In a leadership situation, we get things done by directing the work of other people, no matter what it takes.
So are emotions important at work? Do they matter? Does effective leadership truly require strong emotional skills? Karen and many others might well answer a decided no.
Excerpted from The Emotionally Intelligent Manager by David R. Caruso Peter Salovey Copyright © 2004 by David R. Caruso. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|Pt. 1||Learn About the World of Emotional Intelligence||1|
|1||Emotions and Reasoning at Work||3|
|2||An Emotional Blueprint||24|
|Pt. 2||Understand Your Emotional Skills||31|
|3||Read People: Identifying Emotions||33|
|4||Get in the Mood: Using Emotions||41|
|5||Predict the Emotional Future: Understanding Emotions||52|
|6||Do It with Feeling: Managing Emotions||62|
|7||Measuring Emotional Skills||74|
|Pt. 3||Develop Your Emotional Skills||81|
|8||Read People Correctly: Improving Your Ability to Identify Emotions||83|
|9||Get in the Right Mood: Improving Your Ability to Use Emotions||100|
|10||Predict the Emotional Future Accurately: Improving Your Ability to Understand Emotions||115|
|11||Do It with Smart Feelings: Improving Your Ability to Manage Emotions||134|
|Pt. 4||Apply Your Emotional Skills||157|
|12||Managing You: Applying Your Emotional Intelligence Skills||159|
|13||Managing Others: Applying Emotional Intelligence Skills with Others||173|
|14||Building the Emotionally Intelligent Manager||194|
|App. 1||Assessing Your Emotional Style||213|
|App. 2||The Emotional Blueprint||245|
|App. 3: Further Reading and Updates||253|
|About the Authors||275|
Posted April 24, 2005
I really enjoyed reading the book, and then, trying out some of the strategies. I didn¿t need to be convinced of the importance of these 4 emotional abilities, and instead, I focused on how to develop the skills, and for me, how to apply them in my work. Later, I went back and read the chapters that discuss the importance of each ability, and found that they were helpful to me as well. They weren¿t just theoretical. And I felt that the book spoke about emotions, and to the reader, in a respectful, intelligent manner.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 4, 2004
It's rare for a business book to offer first-hand, practical advice from a thinker who has revolutionized academic thought in his field. Here, that thinker is co-author Peter Salovey, the pioneer who invented the concept of emotional intelligence. Salovey provides a practical, application-oriented guide. With co-author David R. Caruso, he shows you how to take the idea of emotional intelligence ¿¿ that emotional well-being and wholeness are at least as essential as intellectual capacity ¿¿ and use it to do something truly relevant: create emotionally intelligent managers. The authors thoughtfully steer away from the superficial, self-help genre pitfall that purports to offer an easy one-book panacea. Instead, they offer a series of case studies and interactive exercises that may help even the most hard-hearted executive become less emotionally challenged. We give this book its highest recommendation; it's a gift to those toiling in the emotionally barren modern workplace.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2004
From the team who brought Emotional Intelligence (EI) to academia comes a text designed for managers and leaders. The developers of the MSCEIT (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) provide managers with a blueprint for understanding emotional intelligence using the ability model of EI. I read THE EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT MANAGER simultaneously with Paul Ekman's EMOTIONS REVEALED. I found the combination to be inspiring and educational as the authors have empirical research to back up their theses. I would highly recommend both of these books to Organizational Development (OD) facilitators and business consultants who work with managers and leaders. In fact, THE EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT MANAGER is a MUST HAVE for consultants.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 5, 2004
Developing great managers of people is almost a lost art. Now this book helps us to fine-tune the skills and emotions necessary to keep our employees motivated and on-task. In today's downsized climate, we need every advantage to grow our business efficiently.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2004
With all the hype surrounding emotional intelligence, I was pleasantly surprised by the authors' candor. They manage to be responsible about the science, but hands-on and extremely helpful at the same time. Will be a great selection for my managerial clients.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.