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Analyzing Trends in Emotional Intelligence to Create Training and Development Plans

Debra Cannarella, High Performing Systems, Inc

Because of our expertise as an Emotional Intelligence (EI) training company and helping team members and leaders with Emotional Intelligence development, HPS is often asked to conduct training using the EQ-i assessment. We were recently asked to work with a client to provide EQ-i feedback and training in conjunction with a mentoring program. After being selected to participate, each participant (mentee) in the program was paired with a more experienced employee (mentor) within the organization. Each member of the mentoring pair completed several assessments prior to the program, including the EQ-i 2.0 (see graphic below).

During the opening session to start their year-long partnership, HPS provided each person with feedback on their EQ-i results. The participants also completed several activities to experience various EQ-i scales in a team training environment. Mentoring pairs were encouraged to share results of their EQ-i assessments with each other and to create development plans based on the feedback they received.

Patterns in the Data

An analysis of the EQ-i scores revealed interesting patterns among the participants, and these patterns were used to create training programs that will benefit the organization and the participants. Among the mentors, the highest average subscale was Social Responsibility. Of course, averages and trends among a group does not equal causation, but one might wonder if the mentors were more willing than someone from the general population to volunteer an hour per week (or more) to partner with a colleague in a mentoring capacity. We can see Social Responsibility in action: giving of oneself to help the greater good by volunteering time and expertise to help other people develop.

Among the mentees, subscale scores were lower overall, but the patterns among the scores led to an interesting hypothesis. The two highest subscales among the mentees were Social Responsibility and Self-Actualization. Again, without making any assumptions about causation, it is at least interesting to speculate that perhaps the mentees want to develop and improve themselves (Self-Actualization) in an effort to give back to their organization across time (Social Responsibility).

Trends & Training Plans

When we examined the subscales where the mentees scored the lowest, we were able to formulate a training plan for the organization. The two lowest subscales among the mentees were Stress Tolerance and Optimism, both of which are part of the Stress Management composite of the EQ-i model. Problem Solving and Reality Testing were also low, as were Interpersonal Relationships and Assertiveness. By understanding the trends that were occurring in the group, we created a targeted development plan to have the greatest potential impact on the largest number of people. In the case of this particular client, we organized the lower scores into three groups of two scales each to create a training plan.

Stress Management

It is interesting to note that the mentees in this program had to complete a rigorous application process to be selected to participate. On top of already-busy schedules, these professionals actively sought the opportunity to develop themselves. Understanding the impact of the additional work and commitment of their time (not to mention work-life balance and personal sacrifices) and creating a plan to deal effectively with stress will be critical to ensuring program success. The organization has committed resources and time for the mentees to participate in this opportunity. Training and developing them specifically in time management and stress management will help give them an edge for keeping their stress levels under control as they proceed over the next 12 months. A specific plan for stress management training is the first step and will provide valuable skills the participants will need to manage an increased work load.

Decision Making

A critical component in Emotional Intelligence is using emotional information effectively when making decisions. Specific training to enhance skills for seeing situations objectively (Reality Testing) and solving problems even when emotions are involved will benefit these participants tremendously as they advance in their careers. Successful leaders are able to recognize emotions and use emotional information effectively, without letting emotions get in the way of making decisions. As they continue into their mentoring program, the participants will develop skills for making better decisions when dealing with emotions.

Speaking up and Connecting

The third opportunity for development is focused on two dimensions that actually work best when they are well balanced. Successful team members understand how important Interpersonal Relationships are for career success: networking, collaborating and teambuilding are critical skills for leaders to utilize as they advance to higher role levels and greater responsibility. Equally important, however, is the ability to share one’s thoughts and opinions openly (Assertiveness). The key is being able to do both well: defending one’s position while still connecting on an interpersonal level with colleagues. Successful team members and leaders have the skills to do both in tandem. A specific training module will focus on developing and balancing both skills equally.

Conclusion

Even though the subscales highlighted in this case study are specific to a particular client, the overall process can apply to all organizations. Analyzing trends among group members not only reveals patterns of overall strengths that can be leveraged and enhanced, it also identifies lower (or out-of-balance) scores among the group that can be used to generate training and development plans. The outcomes will be better awareness and use of EI skills as well as targeted training in the areas that need it most.

EQ-i 2.0 Model

EQ-i 2.0 Model

The EQ-i 2.0—the most scientifically-validated Emotional Intelligence assessment available—measures the interaction between a person and his or her environment. The power of the instrument is in how the five Composite Scales and fifteen Subscales pinpoint a person’s behaviors and the motivations behind those behaviors.

For a printable PDF of this article, click here.


High Performing Systems, Inc., is nationally recognized for  commitment and professional impact in cultivating teams, organizations and leaders to improve performance. HPS has provided leader development, assessments, consulting and professional development training since 1984. Contact HPS by email at info@hpsys.com.

High Performing Systems is an award-winning world leader in EQ-i 2.0® certification (since 2005), EI training and implementation, leader coaching and success profiles. Call 706-769-5836 to talk with an experienced EI practitioner about your organization's specific needs.

 

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