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Introducing Emotional Intelligence Interventions

Discover emotional intelligence interventions.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

As we can see from the toxic triangle, emotional intelligence interventions are becoming more important in today’s workplace.

‘Individuals are not judged on how intelligent they are, but on how they perform in their job. For example, how they deal with clients, how they manage others, how they work as a team and how they deal with stressful situations.’
(Steptoe-Warren 2013: 125-126)
We are about to introduce a case study that demonstrates how the development of emotional intelligence in a workplace can increase performance, productivity, and leadership development.
This will encompass many of the steps we have been working on in this course. Then you will have an opportunity to start some work on an emotional intelligence intervention of your own and have it reviewed by one of your peers.

Real-life Case

In the following interview, Katy talks about her experiences of the application of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

What role did emotional intelligence play in your workplace?

‘In my previous experience working within the automotive industry, there were numerous examples of managers who demonstrated good emotional intelligence. These managers nurtured their team, understood the challenges of the business and more importantly the impact they may have on staff. They worked with their team to stabilise and support situations. I witnessed these teams grow and succeed both professionally and personally as individuals and groups.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case. Managers with poor emotional intelligence tended to have been technically capable in their role, but when it came to their teams, made poor choices because they let their emotions rule decisions. These teams were disorganised and disjointed, often fighting against each other. They had no example to follow and when it came to supporting each other they would very often display “fight or flight” mentalities.’

Can you tell me an episode when you thought emotional intelligence was helpful in your organisation?

‘There have been a number of examples I can think of where members of staff acted in ways which are seen to be out of character or maybe made mistakes which seemed obvious in a process. Without the ability to use emotional intelligence to understand the individual’s situation the response to these scenarios could have been very different.
For example, in a particular situation I was party to, a member of staff was given a process document to read and follow by her manager. Her manager had displayed poor emotional intelligence and the member of staff, alongside her peers, struggled to communicate with the manager. Over the weeks, the member of staff was reported to have made the same error repeatedly, not a significant error but one which was noted by the quality assessment team.
This was reported back to the manager who advised the member of staff that if she did not correct the mistake, disciplinary action would be taken. The member of staff tried to explain she did not understand what she was doing wrong. She was referred back to the process document and two weeks later the member of staff was called into a meeting to advise her that her mistakes had not been rectified and she was being placed on a performance improvement plan.
Upset and frustrated, the member of staff consulted me, confused as to why she was not being trained and coached in the way she deserved to be. She did not understand the process document and questioned the document against the way her peers worked. We worked through the document and established that the document had not been updated. Her peers had also not adapted the process to enhance the service offering to customers since it was introduced, 3 months earlier.
Using communication, empathy and time we were able to establish there was no inadequacy in the staff member’s performance but simply a miscommunication in process and lack of confidence in the member of staff to highlight this to her manager. Collectively, the process document was updated and a conversation took place between the manager and member of staff to explain why there were multiple failings from a QA perspective.
In this instance, had the manager been approachable and respectful of the staff member’s concerns, the member of staff would not have been placed on an improvement plan. She would not have felt the need to approach another manager and would have been able to update documents in a proactive manner after a simple conversation with her manager. This would have meant more effective ways of working and creating a better working environment for future trainees.’

Reference

Steptoe-Warren, G. (2013) Occupational Psychology: An Applied Approach. Harlow: Pearson

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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