Managing with Emotional Intelligence: Developing Empathy

The business community has embraced the concept of emotional intelligence and
its importance ever since Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book, Working with
Emotional Intelligence (1998). But the challenge is to demonstrate that such
competencies can be acquired and when they are, that they significantly impact
employee performance.

Up to 90% of the difference between outstanding and average leaders is linked to
emotional intelligence. “EI” is two times as important as IQ and technical
expertise combined, and is four times as important in terms of overall success.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your own feelings and those
of others, and the ability to motivate yourself and others, as well as to manage
your own emotions and those of others.

One of the foundation skills that contributes to a manager’s or leader’s success
is the skill of empathy.

Lack of empathy is a primary cause of interpersonal difficulties that lead to
poor performance, executive derailment, and problems with customer
relationships.

Empathy as a competency skill is poorly understood by those who need it most,
and it is even more difficult to train and acquire.

Without an adequate capacity to understand the other’s point of view, some
managers lack sufficient flexibility for change, cannot work well with team
collaboration, and cannot relate well with the very people that affect the
results they are trying to achieve.

Like all the emotional competencies, it is better to practice with an
experienced coach who can monitor and give effective feedback. Empathy skills
must be learned experientially, that is, practiced in the field in real-time.
Using the coaching relationship is an effective way to explore and develop
executive empathy.

Here are some of the concepts explored in the full, 2,000-word article:

What is Emotional Intelligence?
What is Empathy?
Empathy and Business Reality
Responding to Negative Feedback
Empathy and Keeping the Focus on Results
The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence
Recommended Reading and Resources

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