The training will consist of Our challenge as organizational development professionals is to first create an awakening and acceptance of the critical nature of emotional intelligence as we engage in leadership development, and second, to implement a less traditional training approach that is customized to individual development plans. Traditional training curriculum and delivery around topics such as Effective Listening Skills and Interpersonal Communications fall short of developing emotional intelligence competencies. Participants engage in activities, perhaps role plays, and are given feedback about how to do it better, what to change, what the standard is for high performance. The "one size fits all" approach to developing emotional intelligence competencies is ineffective as it ignores our individual complexities. Our superhighway of neural connections between thought and feeling is established by years of absorbing information from experiences and overlaying our feelings about the experiences; consequently, sitting in a workshop to learn about emotional intelligence is only the beginning of the journey. Not only does the traditional format poorly support EI initiatives, it consistently lacks return on investment in most interpersonal/management skill programs. Studies of Fortune 100 and 500 companies' programs indicate the effect of the traditional delivery format is an increase in energy -- feeling "jazzed" -- in the short-term (Dearborn, 2002).
Leadership development programs may be based upon a model that learners can reference, telling them how to assess what is needed in a situation and offering options of what to say in order to secure a desired outcome. These sustaining tools can support increased effectiveness if integrated as a common language used by all employees in an organization. However, it behooves us to catalyze leaders to see beyond the rote use of the models and connect the model's value to the strength of intuitive assessments of people and situations, empathic relationship building, and responsible leadership that speaks to the recognition of how deeply our interactions affect those with whom we work (Dearborn, 2002).
Organizational development professionals are beginning to see emotional intelligence concepts integrated in leadership development curriculums and multi-rater tools. The value of self-awareness and management, relationship building, being intuitive, and factoring feelings into your life's work is unquestionable. Accepting that much of the competence building which impacts effective leadership taps into our emotional domains may be the first hurdle as we build learning strategies. Another challenge is to design and support the individualized partnerships that self-directed learning requires. Yet, nothing speaks louder about returns than the experience of interacting with a leader who behaves differently -- in a way that's more intuitive, empathic, or inspiring. Ask any employee whether or not they feel the return on investment after that experience (Dearborn, 2002).
Exhibit 1. Emotional Intelligence Competencies
Emotional self-awareness: Reading one's own emotions and recognizing their impact; using "gut sense" to guide decision
Accurate self-assessment; knowing one's strengths and limits
Self-confidence; a sound sense of one's self-worth and capabilities
Emotional self-control; Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control
Transparency: Displaying honesty and integrity; trustworthiness
Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles
Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities
Service: Recognizing and meeting follower,…