Leading with emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is critical for HR professionals. There are many different models, assessment tools and ways to understand emotional intelligence.

Paper boats line up behind their leader.

In 1998, Daniel Goleman wrote one of the most requested articles for Harvard Business Review: “What Makes a Leader?” In it, Goleman made a strong case for the need for leaders to develop their emotional intelligence (EI), which aligned with the way leadership was evolving toward a more collaborative and inclusive approach.

Nearly three decades later, progressive organizations have embraced EI as a critical, foundational set of skills and competencies for their workplaces. Leading organizations like Google, Nike, Amazon and Microsoft base their leadership development programs on EI, and are demonstrating just how central emotional intelligence competencies are for high performance leaders and effective organizations. We’ve also seen emotional intelligence added to the top 10 list of employment skills by the World Economic Forum. Everything from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and creating psychological safety, to the bottom line are impacted by EI  and organizations globally are discovering just how foundational emotional intelligence skills are.  

Emotional intelligence is critical for HR professionals. There are many different models, assessment tools and ways to understand emotional intelligence.

So, how do you, as an HR professional, choose? Here is how we arrived at our choice. We wanted to ensure that our clients were getting the most accurate and helpful results from their EQ assessment, so we looked for a model that was scientifically researched and validated. We wanted it to be focused on developing skills, so it had to be competency-based. We needed it to be straightforward to administer and accessible online. Having a focus on leadership was essential for us, as well as having the capacity to conduct a multi-rater or 360 degree assessment. 

The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i 2.0), which was first published in 1997 (updated in 2011), met our criteria. It is based on empirical research, making it stand out from other assessment tools for emotional intelligence. The comprehensive EQ-i 2.0 reports are available as Workplace or Leadership reports. The EQ-i 2.0 measures 15 core competencies that provide the client with a picture of their current level of effectiveness, and offers detailed descriptions of how to develop and improve in each of these areas. As well, the EQ-i 2.0 is also available as a multi-rater tool, the EQ 360

As an HR professional, you will want to choose an assessment and coaching tool that has the most research behind it, is available in many languages, and has more books and resources about it than any other. And, if that is not enough to assure you of its contribution to your organization, the EQ-i 2.0 has become the industry standard for assessing and improving emotional intelligence. 

If you are an HR professional who is focused on developing experienced and aspiring leaders, you will immediately see the value of the EQ-i 2.0. If you’re looking for a powerful blueprint for assisting leaders to leverage their strengths and identify development areas to reach their leadership potential, consider the EQ-i 2.0.

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