Talent Management and Talent Development White Papers
Understanding Emotional Intelligence & Personality Type
Clearer Perceptions and Sounder Judgments: The Core Elements of Emotional Effectiveness - Roger Pearman
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Leadership Development Strategy #1 - Experience-Driven Learning
Given that our mental, emotional and behavioral development over time is related to our personality and how it navigates life challenges, building on our strengths increases the likelihood of success. The building blocks of personality as outlined by the model of personality types give a handy way to approach working with individual differences in a constructive way. In Table 1.3, the nature of these eight functions and how they parallel the abilities of emotional intelligence. It seems reasonable that learning which extends the use of these eight mental processes will benefit the overall effort for personal development by increasing confidence, stamina, and behavioral range. As noted above, the best strategy to enhance development is specific experience.
Using correlational studies reported in the three manuals of the MBTI® tool (1962, 1985, 1998), Majors Psychological Type Indicator (2006), the Golden Type Profiler (2005), and articles published in the Journal of Psychological Type, two tables were created linking the primary activities associated with the key dimension of the eight mental resources of type provide access to the range of experiences which will enhance your awareness and use of the eight resources of type. Presumably, this increasing capacity will enrich flexibility, confidence, and have the residual consequence of lifting global functioning.
In initial work with the following tables, leaders have reported a greater awareness of their psychological resources and satisfaction with addressing some problematic issues. For example, one leader reported that he needed to understand how intuition really works and after trying on some of the work and leisure activities, reported a greater appreciation for the complexity of this kind of thought. He went on to note, "I see the need for greater patience and recognition of the value of this perspective, even if very different from mine. While in the past I've been rather terse with those who seem inclined to approach things this way, I can at least give it fair play." Is this a more emotionally intelligent response?
You are encouraged to try these suggestions. Give the activity at least six months of attention and create a file (computer or paper) to note your efforts and how the energy shifts over time. Our initial use of this has been productive and promising in coaching outcomes. These activities do not always link specifically to emotional content. The goal is to increase the range of perception and decision-making behaviors, which in turn have the beneficial effects of increasing effectiveness.
Leadership Development Strategy # 2 - Relationship-Driven Learning
When asked which qualities they want in a coach, managers will typically respond that the ability to create a trusting relationship is essential. Competence in assessment, business or organizational knowledge, and a proven record in assisting others are also important, but the relationship is central to an effective coaching relationship. Managers will say the same about any important relationship in their life. Whether they are thinking about a dear friend, a significant other, or other important figure in their life, they will zero in on a trusting relationship as key.
Greg Babe, President of Bayer Material Science, addressed a group of senior managers and said, "You need people who can give you feedback that you can trust and rely on so you can learn. You need to learn how to effectively lead diversity, and you need to take care of yourself or you are no good to Bayer. He talked about business strategy and other important business issues, but it was his comments on leadership and learning that stole the show. Many of these managers noted that having their corporate president discuss being a learner and the need for ongoing feedback brought home the importance of having trusting relationships with people who could tell them the truth.
Working with an individual with expertise in emotional intelligence and emotional effectiveness can be a valuable strategy. Ideally such a person would assess your behavior through a variety of mechanisms-instruments, observations, and interviews with those who know you well. Using emotional intelligence tools and EQ tests like the BarOn EQ-i®, MSCEIT®, or the Emotional Effectiveness Indicator™ to assess interpersonal behavior and self-management can boost your understanding of and challenge your perceptions about yourself3. There simply is no substitute for greater personal insight and awareness of the impact of your behavior on others to magnify learning.
The role of feedback from trusted leadership coaches and friends cannot be over stated as a path toward greater effectiveness. A dear friend of mine who is a surgeon invited me to dinner to tell me about a situation at work. He outlined his behavior, described with surgical detail how he behaved and what he felt. When he was through he asked me for my feedback. And I said, "I understand what you have shared is from your perspective and that I don't have any other data, but to your question, dear friend, from what you have reported, you have abused your staff, belittled your colleagues, and behaved in a way that might end our relationship if you behaved the way you described toward me." He was shocked, and to his credit, he was not defensive. He said, "Tell me more." I shared what I would have felt if someone behaved toward me as he had described. At one point he said, "But people need to know that when they screw up in our office, it costs people's lives.""Yes, and is it going to cost more lives if people don't learn from what is happening, if they feel less competent and unsure of themselves, and if they are terrified to ask." "Got your point," he said with surgical incisiveness. We talked for hours about how to approach and rebuild relationships. He earnestly tried out what we discussed and actively solicited observations from me about what he was doing. A month later he said, "Thanks. No one else could have really knocked me into my senses about my behavior. Your feedback has altered my behavior, and I can already see the differences with the staff." And, in a moment of utter surprise, he said: "I love you, dear friend. Thanks for the honesty."
Of course, a trained leadership coach brings a great deal to the table in a learning scenario, but the point is the same - feedback from someone you can count on can wake you up to more appropriate behavior. When it comes to getting feedback about your behavior from a lens of emotional intelligence, you want to make sure to cover these bases:
In addition to giving feedback, a good coach can steer you to assignments (as noted in Tables 1.8 and 1.9) and learning opportunities that will enable you learn how to be more emotionally effective in self-management and relationships.
Leadership Development Strategy # 3 - Resource-Driven Learning
Some people learn best when they start with a book and then seek experiences. In the table below, you will find resource suggestions for each of the BarOn EQ-i® scales. Managers and leaders have consistently found these resources useful and helpful. In addition, for those who want to approach their effectiveness with their psychological type in mind, some additional recommendations are provided.
For a practical overall view of these dimensions, see:
Stein, S. & Book, H. (2000). The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success. Toronto: MHS, Inc.
To approach your development with personality type in mind, be sure to read:
Arguably the goal of all adult development is clearer perceptions and sounder judgments. The link between extending the range of our perceptions and the strategies of our decision-making is clearly tied to our confidence, resilience, and ability to use a range of behaviors in order to adjust appropriately to our challenges. All of these domains are enriched through having experiences that extend our personal mental resources. We need the insights from tools like the BarOn EQ-i® and the more global development efforts of stretching our perceptive and judgment processes (as outlined above) to achieve greater emotional effectiveness.
Myers, I.B. (1962), Myers, I.B., McCaulley, M (1985), Myers, I.B., McCaulley, M., Quenk, N. and Hammer, A. (1998) and the Carskadan, T. (1979-2007) Editor, Journal of Psychological Type; Golden, J. (2005). Manual: Golden Personality Type Profiler. San Antonio: Harcourt, Inc.; Major, J. (2007). Majors Pti: Professional Users Manual. Huntingbeach, CA: Telos Publications.
Comments made during a special seminar on leadership development at the Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina.
The BarOn EQ-i® and MSCEIT® are published by Multi-Health Systems, Inc. of Toronto, Canada, and the Emotional Effectiveness Indicator™ is published by Leadership Performance Systems, Inc. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.