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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While the BarOn EQ-i®, CPI™ (434 and 260), and MBTI® are self-report tools, Benchmarks® is a multi-rater tool that provides data on fourteen perspectives for success and five factors that lead to career derailment. These include such scales measuring perceived behavior related to Resourcefulness, Building a Team, and Doing Whatever It Takes and derailment dimensions such as Problems with Interpersonal Relationships and Difficulty in Adapting to Differences. Because the initial specific analysis of differences in perceived performance yielded significant differences on every scale, an aggregate score is reported later in this chapter to reflect leadership performance. There simply is not enough space to cover each of the Benchmarks® scales. For the purposes of this chapter, aggregate data are used to provide insight.
All assessment tools share common limits. Therefore, variability in scores must be taken into consideration when analyzing results and coming to conclusions. The primary value in the use of well-designed and tested tools like those discussed above is that these variations are usually smaller and the results provide trends for worthy pragmatic suggestions to emerge. These help individuals become more effective in their personal and professional lives.
The Method of Analysis
In order to get to the pragmatic strategies and to be efficient with space, a summary of research findings are provided below. The procedure was as follows:
Table 1.5 Comparison of the Low/High BarOn EQ-i® Scales
Low Vector 3 Sort 1,2,3 reflects the means for the types on Intrapersonal (Intra) and Interpersonal (Inter) Factors.
Note: The aggregate results are reported for the Overall EQ score and the Intrapersonal and Interpersonal scores for each of the types.
High Vector 3 Sort 5,6,7 reflects the means for the Types on Intrapersonal (Intra) and Interpersonal (Inter) Factors
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Implications for Emotional Intelligence, Leader Effectiveness and Coaching of Leaders
These results indicate that the measure of global functioning significantly sorts those who are likely to demonstrate emotional effective behavior and be effective in their management roles. In short, an individual's level of use of mental and interpersonal resources essentially "raises all boats" from a psychological and behavioral perspective. In addition, these differences occurred across the groupings of the sixteen types sorted by the MBTI® tool.
This finding is significant for a number of reasons. It is known that focusing on a given skill set or a cluster of behaviors is beneficial, and it is important to work on core dimensions like confidence, behavioral range, and use of personal psychological resources. The discerning leader or coach can see that enrichment can occur at a couple of levels-micro behavior (e.g. assertiveness) or global dimensions (e.g. confidence).
While the scales from tools like the BarOn EQ-i® and CPI™ yield useful information regarding specific behavior clusters that may need attention, these do not produce insights in arenas beyond their intended focus. For example, if you find that Empathy is a scale in which your scores suggest a developmental challenge, your enhancement of this skill is useful but not necessarily sufficient to generate a greater overall shift in emotional effectiveness. Further, the scales on complex tools like the BarOn EQ-i® or CPI™ provide focus on specific areas for fine-tuning one's interpersonal style and intrapersonal perspectives. These uses are laudatory for their specificity of focus; however, addressing core elements in development promises to have a significant overall effect on performance as measured by self-report tools and by observers.
Taking Action - Improving Emotional Intelligence?
The developmental suggestions provided by the EQ test reports (BarOn EQ-i®) give specific direction regarding various scales on the tool. These suggestions give guidance and practical action steps; however, little is available to provide guidance for exploring development of the global factors outlined earlier.
How can individuals affect aspects of global functioning, given the extraordinary power this quality has on experienced and perceived effectiveness? Is there a curriculum of study or range of experiences which can insure an individual's achievement of this level of functioning? In other words, what pill did the high performers take that the rest of us need?
A pragmatic answer was provided by Isabel Myers, the creator of the MBTI® measure of personality type. As early as the 1962 Manual of her instrument, Myers examined the role of three key elements to overall development. She found that confidence, resilience or stamina, and the ability to use a range of psychological resources without strain are hallmark qualities of a highly functioning individual. She looked at the performance of the sixteen types along these variables. Myers found that the more highly functioning individuals used a broader range of perceptual dimensions and decision strategies as measured by her instrument. In other words, those who were confident, persistent in the face of obstacles (resilience), and experienced less strain in being flexible had "clearer perceptions and sounder judgments."
Confidence is built on resilience which is based on flexibility. Therefore, enabling an individual to identify and learn to use his or her full range of mental resources has the effect of providing multiple strategies when dealing with daily problems. This, in turn, boosts confidence and self-esteem. Myers observed that the sixteen types approach learning in different ways, which meant the pathway to confident, resilience, and compensatory strength varied with the personality types. With more recent research, it is evident that working to develop the eight psychological processes of psychological type provide for constructive development for all types. Those activities that can be employed to clarify how to use all of the mental resources outlined by psychological type are more likely to promote learning about emotionally effective behaviors. We have labeled this emotional intelligence.
To further this proposition, if we dig further into the abilities model of emotional intelligence that Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso has provided, there is a parallel between the eight dimensions for which they have so compellingly provided layers of empirical evidence and the eight mental resources purported by psychological type. It is clearly no accident that the empirical findings in one arena of how mental processes are used have a similar structure and content to another model, about which there is also empirical support. This parallel framework is summarized below:
Table 1.7 Comparison of the Abilities of Emotional Intelligence and
Note: e=extraverting energy, i=introverting energy, S=sensing perception, N=Intuiting perception, T=Thinking judgment, F=Feeling judgment
Consequently, it is reasonable to argue that development work on the eight mental resources that make up the type patterns is likely to enrich the roots of emotional intelligence at the most basic level. So the challenge becomes how to effectively learn to use the full range of psychological processes, which promises to have a global affect on development. Psychological type is based on the proposition of the use of different modes of perception and judgment, which is fundamental in all systems of understanding human capabilities and differences.
Given the importance of enhancing your confidence, building resilience, and extending your use of all available mental resources, how can you utilize these very practical frameworks to guide your development?
Experience Matters-Linking Success and Significance in Leadership Coaching
Since the publication of Lessons of Experience (1988), talent management professionals and leader coaches have known that real learning is driven by experience. An individual can read about a host of theories and agree with them without ever making a change in behavior. Replicated in many studies in the field of psychology is this finding: if you are serious about development, then chose the experience that will provide the lesson. Data show that learning is not random and that specific experiences typically produce specific lessons.
From this perspective of development, experience drives learning, and as such we should select experiences that will expand our capabilities. Evidence suggests that relationships with coaches, mentors, and others who can provide feedback also boost learning. Finally, a small percentage of learning comes from reading a book or attending a class. All three strategies are important; however, the key driver is "hands-on" experience. So to achieve the desired development outlined by Myers, the consequence of which has a profound overall outcome on performance, development needs to be driven by experiences designed to enhance confidence, resilience, and behavioral range.