Emotional Intelligence: The Shot Felt ‘Round the World?By: Susan Dunn
I just hung up the phone with Li-Yan, who wants me to come to Malaysia and present a workshop with her on emotional intelligence for businesses. She quit her corporate job there, because she found the work environment stifling, unethical and demoralizing. Now she wants to help businesses in Malaysia change to a more emotionally intelligent
We agree that when they do, they won’t lose exceptional workers like Li-Yan.
Tom McDorman , managing director of Western Digital (Malaysia) Sdn. Blh.D, believes "emotional intelligence-style management techniques” can bolster faltering Asian manufacturers, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. When he began cultivating the ‘soft’ side of his workers, productivity at his Kuala Lumpur factory jumped 20%.
In England, Greg Syke, the director general of the BBC, was accused of being over confident and “lacking emotional intelligence” by a Labour peer. Lord Lipsey, then tipped as a board member of the new media watchdog, Ofcom, said that Syke’s instincts are “to colonise, to compete and destroy.”
Neal Ashkanasy, a professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, is also talking about emotional intelligence. He says “It’s an easy target in terms of the softness and fluffiness, but failure to recognize emotions in the workplace [can] reflect in a demoralized workforce.”
In April, an Emotional Intelligence Conference is scheduled in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where IIR will challenge participants to “learn about the most significant innovation in people management in the last 25 years.” They’ll be showing a film where a commercial organization suffers a major business setback, not related to the business strategy, but because the people in key positions didn’t have appropriate levels of emotional competency.
An article on an Australian website begins, “Top leaders are getting in touch with their emotions and those of their staff as intuition and emotional intelligence become the hottest management buzzwords.”
Intuition? We read in “The Namibia Economist: Custodian of Business Intelligence,” a Namibian economist saying, “Fore casting is a dangerous exercise and I shall not give myself out as an expert on this terrain. What I’m saying is based purely on my personal gut feeling...”
And in Scotland, Lorna and David Ramsay, directors of Top-set®, a company that investigates accidents and incidents, teach engineers in high-hazard industries how to stay alive using their instincts and “gut feelings.” The Ramsays have discovered that when they teach businesses how to think differently, and become more humanitarian, it saves lives, increases business performance, enhances the company’s reputation, increases profitability, complies with regulation, and prevents and predicts similar occurrences.
Brazilian sports psychologist Suzy Fleury predicts “The team that wins the World Cup will be the one with the most emotional intelligence.”
And in the US, Shoshana Zuboff, Ph.D., runs a business school program for mid-life executives called, “Odyssey.” The goal, she says, is to “deepen ‘internal’ emotional intelligence, to learn about one’s inner resources and individuality. These things can be taught, but one has to want to learn them and be ready.”
What does this term “emotional intelligence” mean? It means liking yourself … the people you like to work with … the kind of work atmosphere that motivates and energizes you … ethical and skillful leadership … being able to see things from the other person’s point of view … not having tantrums … a host of good things, large and small, the world seems ready for.
© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2003
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