2015 January

Interesting…Dark Side of EI

“I just received the following note from one of our Inner Circle members.  Below the note is my response.”


Counterpoint example to the BS view that EI is always good, better, best.

Alicia Parr


However, in jobs that involved fewer emotional demands, the results reversed. The more emotionally intelligent employees were, the lower their job performance. For mechanics, scientists, and accountants, emotional intelligence was a liability rather than an asset. Although more research is needed to unpack these results, one promising explanation is that these employees were paying attention to emotions when they should have been focusing on their tasks.

Instead of assuming that emotional intelligence is always useful, we need to think more carefully about where and when it matters. In a recent study at a healthcare company, I asked employees to complete a test about managing and regulating emotions, and then asked managers to evaluate how much time employees spent helping their colleagues and customers. There was no relationship whatsoever between emotional intelligence and helping: Helping is driven by our motivations and values, not by our abilities to understand and manage emotions. However, emotional intelligence was consequential when examining a different behavior: challenging the status quo by speaking up with ideas and suggestions for improvement.


“Mike’s response…”

Yes back in 1999 when I was certifiably emotionally intelligent, I realized that it was a double-edged sword…

I also realized that they had to HIDE part of the model in order to swallow it…

A little seen caveat is that managers in general seem to need around 110 IQ to begin to use the principles of EI

Further noting that skills without Self-Awareness were like putting gasoline in an air conditioner…