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‘School Smarts vs. Street Smarts’. Exploring the Role of “Emotional Intelligence” in Workplace Success. Presentation for 6th Annual Conference of the Women in Engineering Advisory Committee Ryerson University Elaine Sigurdson October22, 2005. What is Emotion?.

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Exploring the role of emotional intelligence in workplace success

‘School Smarts vs. Street Smarts’

Exploring the Role of “Emotional Intelligence” in Workplace Success

Presentation for6th Annual Conference of the Women in Engineering Advisory CommitteeRyerson University

Elaine SigurdsonOctober22, 2005

What is emotion
What is Emotion?

Latin: motus anima - “the spirit that moves us”

Families of Emotion

  • Anger

  • Sadness

  • Fear

  • Enjoyment

  • Love

  • Surprise

  • Disgust

  • Shame

Purpose of emotions
Purpose of Emotions

  • Evolved to have a powerful role in our psyches

  • Energize us to act - to avoid pain and seek pleasure

  • Response to danger

  • High positive energy state spurs high performance

  • Add colour and texture to our world

From to a historical perspective
From to – A Historical Perspective



  • 1905 – Alfred Binet developed first intelligence test for use in schools

  • IQ testing gained momentum during WWI - IQ seen as only significant predictor of potential for decades

  • 1983 – Howard Gardner – concept ofmultiple intelligences; intelligence goes well beyond narrow definition that predicts success on 3 R’s

  • 1985– Reuven BarOn – Israeli psychologist –life long research on factors that determine success in life showed emotional factors – not IQ, significant; coined term “EQ” or Emotional Quotient

From to a historical perspective1
From to – A Historical Perspective



  • 1995 - Emotional Intelligence achieved notoriety with publication of Daniel Goleman’s book summarizing large body of research

  • 1997 - BarOn EQ-I published by Multi-Health Sytems (MHS) in Toronto, 1997; basis of majority of EQ research

  • Goleman’s Working with Emotional Intelligence and association with the Hay group expanded the definition of emotional intelligence

What is emotional intelligence
What is Emotional Intelligence ?

  • Salovey

    “the ability to know and manage one’s own emotions; recognize emotions in others and handle relationships”

  • BarOn

    “an array of non-cognitive abilities that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures”)

    “ the personal, social and survival aspects of overall intelligence” ( Stein, CEO of MHS)

What is emotional intelligence1
What is Emotional Intelligence ?

  • Goleman/Hay

    Expanded definition to 25 competencies that differentiate “stars” from average performers,( e.g. achievement, conscientiousness, leadership, initiative, leveraging diversity, etc.); source of controversy

What emotional intelligence is not
What Emotional Intelligence is Not



  • Versus

    • IQ measures cognitive intelligence, how readily we learn new things, remember, reason with words and numbers, think abstractly and analytically; problem solve by applying previous knowledge.

    • IQ predicts success in school; EQ measures success in life!

    • IQ is relatively fixed through life; EQ rises steadily (average 5 points) from late teens through 40’s ; “as we get older we get wiser”

Eq is not personality
EQ is not Personality

  • Personality tests - measure relatively enduring traits that are fixed throughout life (e.g. outgoing, adventurous, ambitious)

  • Emotional intelligence tests - measure short-term, dynamic and tactical skills that are brought into play when a situation warrants it.

Emotional intelligence model
Emotional Intelligence Model



  • Emotional Self-Awareness

  • Assertiveness

  • Independence

  • Self Regard

  • Self-Actualization

  • Empathy

  • Social Responsibility

  • Interpersonal Relationships


Stress Management

  • Problem Solving

  • Reality Testing

  • Flexibility

  • Stress Tolerance

  • Impulse Control

General Mood

The intrapersonal realm
The Intrapersonal Realm

The ability to know and manage yourself

  • Emotional Self-awareness: The degree to which you are in touch with your feelings; to know what you are feeling and why

  • Assertiveness: The ability to clearly express your feelings and thoughts, stand your ground and defend your position

  • Independence: The ability to be self-directed and self-controlled; to “stand on your own two feet”

  • Self-Regard: The ability to recognize your strengths and weaknesses; to accept yourself, “warts and all”

  • Self-Actualization: The degree to which you are involved in pursuits that are meaningful to you and allow you to realize your potential

The interpersonal realm
The Interpersonal Realm

The ability to interact and get along with others

  • Empathy: The ability to “tune in” to and emotionally read other people

  • Social Responsibility: The ability to function as a responsible trustworthy and dependable member of the team or community

  • Interpersonal Relationships: The ability to forge and maintain relationships that are mutually beneficial and marked by “give and take” and a sense of emotional closeness

The adaptability realm
The Adaptability Realm

The ability to be flexible and realistic and to solve problems as they arise

  • Problem-Solving: Ability to define, confront and devise effective solutions to problems as they arise in all areas of life

  • Reality Testing: The ability to see things as they actually are rather than the way you want them to be

  • Flexibility: The ability to adjust your feelings, thoughts and behaviours to changing circumstances

The stress management realm
The Stress Management Realm

The ability to tolerate stress and control impulses

  • Stress Tolerance: The ability to remain calm and focused in stressful and pressured circumstances

  • Impulse Control: The ability to pause and think before acting out in an aggressive or irresponsible manner; self-control

The general mood realm
The General Mood Realm

  • Optimism: The ability to look at the brighter side of life; to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude even in the face of adversity

  • Happiness: Your contentment with life – the ability to enjoy yourself and others

Eq and work success
EQ and Work Success

Emotional Intelligence Factors that differentiate between high and low performers

Sales (524)

  • Self-Actualization

  • Assertiveness

  • Happiness

  • Optimism

  • Self-Regard



Eq and work success1
EQ and Work Success

Emotional Intelligence Factors that differentiate between high and low performers

Senior Managers (260)

  • Self-Regard

  • Happiness

  • Interpersonal Relationships

  • Reality Testing

  • Self-Actualization

Eq and work success2
EQ and Work Success

Emotional Intelligence Factors that differentiate between high and low performers

Engineers (86)

  • Self-Actualization

  • Happiness

  • Optimism

  • Empathy

  • Interpersonal Relationships

Emotional intelligence and gender
Emotional Intelligence and Gender

  • Overall EQ scores very similar for men and women across countries and cultures worldwide.

Gender differences on component scales:

  • Women had higher scores on Social Responsibility and Empathy worldwide. In North America, women slightly higher on Interpersonal Relationships

  • Men had higher scores on Stress Tolerance worldwide. North American men higher on Self-Regard

The case for emotional fitness
The Case for Emotional Fitness

  • Numerous studies : IQ predicts 1-20% (average is 6) of work success; EQ predicts 25-47% - depending upon the function

  • Of 19 career “stoppers and stallers” (Lominger leadership competencies ) - 13 reflect EQ deficiencies

  • The Millionaire Next Door, 5 top factors rated by millionaires as most responsible for their success are emotional fitness factors