You often hear about people being right-brained or left-brained, meaning that they tend to excel at creative and artistic endeavors or that their strengths lie in using logic and analysis, for example in math and science. These are examples of cognitive intelligence, which is often thought of as a key metric in considering how successful someone will be at a given job. But there is another type of intelligence that can determine who has the capacity to be a successful leader in the business world.
Psychologists call it emotional intelligence: the ability to recognize and control your emotions and those of others. The use of emotional intelligence to resolve challenges in the business world is the topic of a new book, “Leading with Feeling,” by Cary Cherniss and Cornelia Roche.
The authors appear in conversation with Amanda Rose, a Princeton-based leadership consultant, in a free virtual event sponsored by Princeton Public Library on Wednesday, September 16, at 7 p.m. For more information or to register visit www.princetonlibrary.org.
Cherniss, professor emeritus of applied psychology at Rutgers, and Roche, a corporate management consultant, explain in the introduction to their book how they went about identifying the “nine strategies of emotionally intelligent leadership” that they describe.
“We interviewed 25 mid-level and senior leaders from different kinds of organizations, including large corporations, smaller family-owned businesses, and private nonprofit social service agencies. The leaders also came from public human service agencies, health care organizations, and educational settings ranging from nursery schools to a university. There were 12 men and 13 women.
“… If we had given these leaders a test to determine how emotionally intelligent they were, they probably would have scored high. But we believed it would be more interesting and useful to learn how the leaders used their emotional intelligence to deal with challenging situations. Although it is possible, with concerted effort, to increase our emotional intelligence over time, it is usually easier for us to learn how to use the EI we already have. So we asked the leaders to describe some incidents in which they had ‘managed or used emotion … to deal with a problem or achieve a goal.’ The leaders talked about 126 such situations. We recorded and transcribed the interviews, and after studying them closely, some intriguing themes began to emerge. These themes pointed to nine strategies that can help leaders or potential leaders to be more successful – both at work and in their personal lives.
“In this book we present those strategies along with many examples demonstrating how the leaders used them in actual situations. We believe that these lessons and case examples can help anyone in a leadership position to use their emotional intelligence more strategically and effectively.”
They label the nine strategies as follows:
1. Monitor the emotional climate
2. Express your feelings to motivate others
3. Consider how your own behavior influences others’ emotions
4. Put yourself in others’ shoes
5. Decipher the underlying emotional dynamics of a situation
6. Reframe how you think about the situation
7. Create optimal interpersonal boundaries
8. Seek out others for help in managing emotions
9. Help others develop their emotional intelligence abilities
Cary Cherniss earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1969, and earned his PhD from Yale in 1972. After stints at the University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Chicago Medical School, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, he joined the Rutgers faculty in 1983. There he helped create the program in organizational psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology.
Cornelia Roche earned a bachelor’s in fine arts at Kenyon College in 1987 and received her PhD in organizational psychology at Rutgers in 2005.
Amanda Rose, in addition to serving as a coach with EngagedLeadership, a provider of executive training and coaching services, is affiliated with the Wharton School’s Executive Development Program’s Leadership Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and a master’s from Columbia and PhD from Rutgers, both in organizational psychology.