Management Articles


Managing Employees to a Faster Learning Curve

By: Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, coaches individuals and executives in emotional intelligence, and offers workshops, presentations, trainings, Internet courses and ebooks.  She is a regular presenter for the Royal Caribbean and Costa cruiselines.  Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.

If constant change was the watchword for the last decade, constant rapid change is the watchword for the 00s.

If you’re a manager, you know that the faster the employee can learn a new skill, a new program, a new concept, or a new position, the less stress for you and the employee, the more successful the outcome, and the more positive the effect on the bottom line.

The ability to change rapidly, be flexible and learn quickly are highly valued in the workplace and these are skills you can teach your employees. They are no longer optional.

These are all Emotional Intelligence competencies you can learn to train your employees. Start with an overview of the field and an assessment of your own Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI). Take an interactive EQ course, and then work with a certified Emotional Intelligence coach who can provide a train-the-trainer program for the following results:
  • Learn the four areas of Emotional Intelligence
  • Learn what the competencies are and what they look like in the workplace
  • Develop your own Emotional Intelligence. You can take anyone else farther than you are yourself.
  • Learn specific methods for training others to develop theirs.
  • Learn how to assess EQ and to measure results
Having high Emotional Intelligence can accelerate the learning curve because it makes previous knowledge more accessible, allows for better cognitive functioning, and manages the emotions so they help the process, not hinder it.

Whether you choose to acknowledge and address emotions or not, they are a crucial part in the learning process.

The employee may think something is completely new, but with an EQ program, he or she can learn to identify the skills and steps that are familiar, and also the emotions that are familiar to all transitions and learning experiences. This eliminates a lot of the stress.

What holds most people back from quick learning is fear. They fear making a mistake. They think it will be too hard.  They remember past failures. They fear being overwhelmed. They fear success. They may have been publicly humiliated in the past.

Chances are you have a good training program for skills and techniques, and you have chosen intelligent and competent people to begin with. Learning to work with your employees on their Emotional Intelligence will give you an edge on the intangibles that have been holding you back that you may not have been able to identify and break down into learnable steps.

Change is stressful. Rapid change is even more stressful. Resilience, which was called the ultimate stress-buster in a recent Wall Street Journal article, is an Emotional Intelligence competency. It means bouncing back after failures, rejections, losses and defeats.

When you learn what makes people Resilient, you can pass this on to your sales staff, project teams and customer service reps who cope daily with rejection and frustration.

You’ve taken care of the skills, the education and the training, but what about the Emotional Intelligence? Take a second look. More and more managers are finding this to be the missing piece in their training.

© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2004

Other Articles by Susan Dunn

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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