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Clearer Perceptions and Sounder Judgments: The Core Elements of Emotional Effectiveness by Roger Pearman
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Understanding Emotional Intelligence & Personality Type

Clearer Perceptions and Sounder Judgments: The Core Elements of Emotional Effectiveness - Roger Pearman

Topics covered: Emotional Intelligence - EI, emotional effectiveness, interpersonal relationships, BarOn EQ-i ®, CPI 260 ®, MBTI ®, Human Resource Development, Emotional Quotient - EQ, EQ Test

Over a span of twenty-five years Dr. Roger R. Pearman has researched, written about, and coached for leader and managerial effectiveness. His focus is on the learning tactics leaders and managers can employ to become more effective in their relationships. Grounded from positions as Director of the Learning Center at Wake Forest University, as a Vice President for a financial services company, and as a Senior Adjunct Trainer and Coach for the Center for Creative Leadership, Dr. Pearman has sought to provide informed, scientifically based, and pragmatic strategies to facilitate development. With eight publications widely available, he has been honored with the Myers Research Award and McCaulley Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Psychological Type International.

This article will report on the use of the MSCEIT® and BarOn EQ-i ® emotional intelligence inventories, the MBTI ® Personality Type instrument, and other tools and underlying frameworks as a way to explore key factors in emotional intelligence. While evidence will be summarized and presented, the overall goal is to provide best practice suggestions for the EQ & EI practitioner. We will explore in this content the core elements of emotional intelligence and follow the evidence to the range of strategies to employ as a coach and facilitator related to enhancing emotional and social behavior. This chapter suggests three levels of intervention: experience-driven learning, relationship-driven learning, and resource-driven learning.

Introduction: Interpersonal Necessities or Why should we know about emotional intelligence

The role of constructive interpersonal relationships is without doubt among the most important dimensions of effective leadership. In every dimension of leader or manager effectiveness, from decision-making to strategic execution, the role of stable, resilient relationships is paramount. Given the plethora of business literature on the cost of toxic managers or employees at all levels who lack "social intelligence" or "emotional intelligence", we have problems achieving the quality of relationships we know are so essential to effectiveness.

When leaders, executives, and managers of organizations fail, it is not because they lack intelligence, business acumen, experience on the job, or understanding job expectations. They fail because their interpersonal behavior is at odds with the social expectations of the organization where they work. As will be explored extensively in this chapter, the dimensions of interpersonal behavior that correlate with success are well known; further, the demonstration of poor interpersonal savvy contributes more to the reasons for derailment and dismissal than any other variable. Conversely, interpersonal competence magnifies success and effectiveness.

Fundamental to building constructive relationships is reading the emotional needs of those important to your success and being able to manage your own emotional energies when working with them. Whether you are a self-directed learner or a coach of leaders, the strategies presented in this chapter outline key steps to become more emotionally effective. The reasons for these strategies are provided on the pages that follow.

Emotional Roots

Darwin's (1872) insights into the role of the expression of emotions have immediate application for leaders and coaches of leaders regarding concepts in emotional intelligence. He wrote:

"The power of communication between the members of the same tribe by means of language has been of paramount importance in the development of man; and the force of language is much aided by the expressive movements of the face and body (Darwin, 1872, p. 1469)...We have seen that the expression in itself, or the language of the emotions, as it has sometimes been called, is certainly of importance for the welfare of mankind (p.1477)."

As he suggests, in the final analysis, emotions are of paramount interest because they are so integral to understanding how individuals adapt, or fail to do so, in their environment. One hundred and twenty years later, Dr. Reuven Bar-On would provide additional evidence that the management of emotions, especially under stressful circumstances, is essential to individual effectiveness.

Dr. Bar-On consistently produces studies that identify how our management of stress, use of strategies to deal with challenges, orientation toward optimism, and self-acceptance can enhance an array of skills and perspectives that lead to overall success. Using his emotional intelligence (EI) instrument, the BarOn EQ-i®, Reuven Bar-On researched the relationship of various behaviors to individual effectiveness. He proposes that overall emotional effectiveness is within our grasp if we pursue development of a specific set of behaviors. Fortunately, with the overlay of learning strategies as applied to these behaviors, individuals and leader coaches have access to Bar-On's insights.

Reuven Bar-On's work is parallel to efforts by other researchers who have been working to further understanding about the nature and application of emotional intelligence. Most notable in this research arena, Mayer, Salvoey, and Caruso have produced a framework for measuring the abilities that make up individual emotional intelligence. From their view, any proposition about intelligence must meet the academic standards for its measurement that have emerged over decades of research. While the assessment tool they have created uses an ability measurement methodology rather than a self-report inventory, the framework they have developed is the standard for understanding the basic capacities of emotional intelligence (and will be reviewed in more detail later).

The MSCEIT (Mayer Salovey Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test) data are not explicitly used in this article; the framework, however, is essential to the overall exploration of emotional intelligence. The MSCEIT EI model, like all other valid models of mental functioning, has an architecture based on channels of perception and judgment. You will see that the most useful models have the same architecture, which also provides learning strategies to aid learning emotionally intelligent behavior. The frameworks explored in this article provide an efficient way to approach exploring emotional intelligence with leaders and managers.

The evolution of research about emotional intelligence since the 1980's is matched by empirical studies of the physiological, neurological and biological nature of emotional reactions. It is now apparent that emotions have their roots in the nature of human behavior. Anger produces the same physiological and psychological experience whether you live in Europe, North America, or Asia. What is intriguing to our understanding of individual differences is that triggers for anger, disgust, frustration, and joy vary across individuals. Fortunately, the same model alluded to earlier enriches our understanding of appropriate learning strategies and provides an accessible framework for understanding emotionally intelligent abilities. This leads to understanding patterns in the triggers for emotional responses.

As explored later, a unifying set of variables affect known dimensions of emotional intelligence or emotional effectiveness. These are manageable and learnable for the individual who wishes to leverage the knowledge collected to date on leadership effectiveness.

Emotional Intelligence Measures & the Personality Assessments in the Studies

To understand the basis of the pragmatic recommendations in this article, you need an orientation to the tools and methods used to produce developmental suggestions. The studies on which this chapter is based uses data from the BarOn EQ-i®, MBTI® Step II, CPI™, and Benchmarks® 360 assessments. In all cases, the data are from groups of managers and executives, some attending leadership development programs and others who were part of studies of performance inside of organizations. Collectively, there are more than 4,000 managers whose results are used in the studies outlined below. For those unfamiliar with these models, the following short introduction is provided.

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The Bar-On EQ-i® is a self-report tool with five composite Emotional Quotient scales which provides results across fifteen sub-scales. The scales are grouped into clusters as outlined in the table below:

Table 1.1 Scale Definitions of the BarOn EQ-i® Assessment Tool
(M refers to higher scores and L refers to lower scores on the scales)

Scale Implications of Reporting More (M) & Less (L) than Most
Self Regard M: self-assured, confident, poised, good opinion of self
L: unsure, self-doubting, sees others as "better"
Emotional Self-Aware M: easily identifies and expresses emotional feelings
L: denying of emotions, can't verbalize feelings
Assertiveness M: forthright, candid, seeks "win-win", defends rights
L: passive, shy, over-controlled, self-denying
Independence M: self-sufficient, resourceful, detached, relies on own ideas
L: relies on others to make decisions, follower, "clings"
Self-actualization M: energized, passionate in efforts, involved, active
L: unsure, directionless, disinterested, appears bored
Empathy M: sensitive to others' feelings, understands others' reactions
L: insensitive, unable to identify feelings or reactions
Social Responsibility M: reasonable, takes roles seriously, helps others
L: careless, lazy, unresponsive to others' needs
Interpersonal Relationship M: spontaneous, easy talker, sociable, comfortable with emotions
L: uncomfortable with others, hesitant, cautious, difficult to be with
Stress Management
Stress Tolerance M: resilient, tackles challenges with confidence, calm
L: anxious, distressed, upset when things change
Impulse Control M: self-disciplined, controls energy toward constructive ends
L: impulsive, often angry and annoyed, impatient, quick temper
Reality Testing M: pragmatic, realistic, attuned to specifics, focused, grounded
L: dreamy, exaggerates, unfocused, unaware
Flexibility M: enjoys change, variety; easily adjusts to new situations, open
L: stubborn, prefers consistency and routine, uncomfortable with change
Problem Solving M: takes perspective, systematic and methodical, problem-focused
L: short term thinking, scattered approaches, "stuck"
General Mood
Optimism M: positive, confident, resourceful, self-assured, motivated
L: pessimistic, catastrophizing, often fearful, unsure of choices
Happiness M: content, enjoys others, actively engaged with interests
L: negative, dissatisfied with life, bored, avoids others, disengaged

EQ test results are reported using a standard scoring format with 100 representing the average and a 15 point standard deviation. Thus, a score on any one scale between 85 and 115 would be considered within "typical" range of adult behavior. As noted earlier, Bar-On studied the role of behavior on individual effectiveness and health. He pursued an examination of the kinds of behaviors that produce emotional effectiveness, and as he noted:

"The findings presented have shown that emotional-social intelligence, as conceptualized by the Bar-On model, is a multi-factorial array of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that influence one's ability to recognize, understand and manage emotions, to relate with others, to adapt to change and solve problems of a personal and interpersonal nature, and to efficiently cope with daily demands, challenges and pressures.

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California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI)*

A contrasting tool used in these studies, the CPI™ (434 and 260) reports results on twenty-seven scales with a scoring system in which 50 is the mean with a 10 point standard deviation, with exception to the global functioning scales. One specific global scale is critical to these studies. On the CPI™ 434, the scale is labeled "Vector 3: Ego Integration" and on the CPI 260™ it is labeled "Level of Satisfaction." This is a seven-point scale and has the following characteristics:

Table 1.2 Global Functioning Scale on the CPI™ Tools


The Level of Satisfaction scale of the CPI 260™ is a seven point continuum intended as an index of the degree that an individual reports confidence, feels he or she is using potentials, is resilient, and accepts responsibility for behavior.


The Level of Satisfaction scale is based on Vector 3 of the CPI™ 434 and CPI™ 462. This vector is an index of self-realization and ego integration which covers qualities associated with positive emotions, trust, confidence, problem-solving, and taking positive action to address daily challenges.


Below are items from the Level of Satisfaction scale.

Satisfaction or Ego Integration

  • "I am sometimes cross and grouchy without good reason."
  • "I often lose my temper."
  • "People pretend to care more than they really do."


Below are score trends and suggestions based on clinical observation and research reports:

Score Behavioral Descriptor
1 Frustrated, feels cheated, resentful, uninsightful about behavior, confused about choices and consequences.
2 Impatient, over reactive, self-doubting, self-pitying.
3 Uncomfortable about choices, has doubts about abilities, has limited coping resources.
4 Feels capable, uses a range of coping strategies, has some self-doubts
5 Confident, enjoys learning, insightful about behavior, goal directed.
6 Resilient, uses multiple coping strategies, perseveres, and reports inner harmony.
7 Confident, use many talents, insightful, responsible for choices, learning agile

Harrison Gough, the developer of the California Psychological Inventory™ (CPI), was interested in producing an instrument to help understand normal personality factors that play out in the interpersonal aspects of daily life. Unlike many other tools in the measurement of personality, the CPI™ is intended to look at those behaviors and internal drivers that have consequences in our daily choices. For example, Gough looks at the role of Dominance and Self-control in personality. Due to the size limits of this chapter, reporting all of the data findings from the analyses of the twenty-seven scales is impractical. Suffice it to say that the performance results are elevated for all of those who were identified as effective - either based on the sorting of the measure of global functioning on the CPI™ as outlined above or results from the Benchmarks® multi-rater described later.

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Personality Type as measured by the MBTI ®

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® is a self-report tool based on the proposition that individuals have preferences in the kinds of information and strategies in decision-making they like to use. The instrument produces a four-letter code intended to suggest the use of the following eight processes - four related to perception and four related to decision-making:

Table 1.3 Processes that Make Up Psychological Type

Process Labels Typical expressions of the eight mental functions of psychological type.
External Focus
  • Immediate awareness of situation, individual facts
  • Focus on present, concrete, practical elements
  • Demonstrates a sense of urgency
Internal Rehearsal
  • Rehearses and reviews information for clarity
  • Awareness of personal reactions, physical sensations
  • Specific and realistic memory
Expressive of Ideas, Associations
  • Sees links, associations
  • Generates possibilities, ideas, concepts
  • Looks for context and "big picture"
Imagining future
  • Imagines future outcomes
  • Anticipates next steps
  • Makes interconnections of ideas, feelings, concepts
Critiquing, Logical
  • Critiques to make things better
  • Responds to order, structure, logic of a situation
  • Questions assumptions, outcomes, long-term action
Precise Analysis
  • Analyzes to find the best framework
  • Precise about information
  • Sees logical weaknesses quickly
Empathy, Connection
  • Actively seeks connections with others
  • Demonstrates empathy quickly
  • Shows concern with congruence of action with values
Evaluation of merit
  • Acts out of mission and value orientation
  • Seeks interrelated meaning of ideas, actions, purposes
  • Evaluates the "worth" and "merit" of a situation

While all eight of these processes are used by each person, psychological type (aka personality type) theorizes that four of these are used with such persistence that a pattern of "typical" behavior will emerge, thus the label "type." The four-letter codes generated by the instrument are a shorthand indication of how these eight are used. They are organized into a table of sixteen patterns and have embedded in their description the way in which the individual uses the preferred data and decision-strategy:

Table 1.4 Brief Descriptions of the Sixteen Types

Realistic, matter-of-fact, fastidious and orderly, loyal. Enjoy finding concrete solutions to problems.
Pragmatic, hands-on individuals who are conscientious. Enjoy finding helpful and immediate personal actions.
Sees inter-relationships and seeks to serve common good. Pursue ideas that serve trusted values.
Independent minded, prefers dealing with ideas, driven to be competent. Enjoy finding systems-related solutions.
Tackles practical problems, takes quick action, driven for efficiency.
Friendly and values oriented, sensitive to the needs of others. Loyal and very private.
Driven toward ideals, seeks congruence between values and external life.
Analytical, driven to find underlying logic in situations, often theoretical. Driven to be precise.
Have an action oriented, "here and now" approach, uses pragmatic strategies.
Energetic in approaching others, accepting, likes to find specific, constructive solutions.
Spontaneous and imaginative, seeks connections and patterns, often will find synthesis.
Enjoys complex problems, often resourceful with making ideas useful, often critical.
Likes to take action, organize, analyze, systematically implement plans, often seen as driven.
Seen as cooperative and conscientious, like working with teams, attends to basic interpersonal needs.
Often social and warm, seen as "attuned" to others, responsive and thoughtful toward others' needs.
Likes to think long-term, tackles comprehensive approaches to problems, decisive and forceful.

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* The California Psychological Inventory or CPI is also sometimes known as the California Personality Inventory

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the MBTI Trust, Inc., in the United States and other countries.

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