Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

It is: "Intelligence comprises the mental abilities necessary for adaptation to, as well as shaping and selection of, any environmental context" (Quoted by Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138). Although Sternberg's concept notes that individuals act intelligently when they can adapt to their environment, but also when they can alter their environment to meet their needs; this was seen as consistent with a basis in a "common core of mental processes, irrespective of culture or environmental context" (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

Also identified were those core mental processes. They were:

Recognizing the existence of the problem

Defining the nature of the problem

Constructing a strategy to solve the problem

Mentally representing information about the problem

Allocating mental resources in solving the problem

Monitoring one's solution to the problem

Evaluating one's solution to the problem (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

These have a lot in common with the components proposed by Akers & Porter.

Pfeiffer also identified the existing EQ (EI) tests available. Goleman, he noted, constructed a set of ten EI questions he felt represented a situation in which "an emotionally intelligent response is quantifiable; he further suggested that one's response would provide an "estimate of a person's EQ" (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

Please see sample question in Appendix B.

Salovey and Mayer incorporated a number of self-report measures in order to quantify EI. Their testing scheme incorporates tests they have developed, as well as those borrowed from other researchers, including:

The BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (Bar-on, 1996; Bar-on & Parker, 2000); the Style on the Perception of Affect Scale (Bernet, 1996); the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (Taylor, Ryan & Bagby, 1985); the Emotional Control Questionnaire (Roger & Najarian, 1989) (Pfeiffer 2004, p. 138).

The BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version is a self-reported instrument designed to reveal abilities to understand self and others, relate to others, adapt to a changing environment and manage emotions (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138). It uses a four-point Likert scale format; it also includes items outside the core continuum of EI constructs, including asking for assessments of how well the respondents understand hard questions, how easily they can understand new information and so on (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

The Trait Meta-Mood Scale "is a 30-item self-report scale that measures attention to, and clarity of feelings, and mood repair" which these authors also believe relates to aspect of EI; this too uses a Likert scale for self-reporting (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

One of the few EI tests that is not a self-report instrument is the Emotion Perception Test. This test:

Purports to measure emotional perception in colors, musical vignettes, sound intervals, and faces. Subjects are presented with various stimuli (visual images, musical excerpts, etc.) and asked to rate, again on a 5-point scale, their experience of the amount of emotion present in each stimulus, across six different emotion scales. The six emotion scales are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

Despite these weavings together of various testing procedures already extant with some new ones testing limited facets of the enormous range that constitutes emotional intelligence, "At this time, there is no brief, objective, theoretically grounded measure of EI that enjoys acceptable reliability or validity" (Pfeiffer 2004 p. 138).

Obviously, there is a lag in theory and practice regarding EI, a factor that can have an impact on both education and work life. Sternberg & Kaufman (1998 p. 479+) suggest that, regardless of testing availability, "may wish to pay less attention to conventional notions of intelligence and more to what he terms successful intelligence, or the ability to adapt to, shape, and select environments to accomplish one's goals and those of one's society and culture" or arguably, one's career and organizational mission.


Because there is no single test or standardized battery of tests that can accurately measure emotional intelligence, as Pfeiffer noted, it is difficult to formulate recommendations. Nonetheless, training modules have been developed. Akers & Porter advise that organizations can help employees develop emotional competencies, even in the absence of measurement, by employing 'best practices' guidelines developed by the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, a group made up of researchers and practitioners from "business schools, the federal government, consulting firms and corporations, has developed guidelines for best practices in teaching emotional intelligence competencies" (Akers & Porter 2004, p. 95+).

Works Cited

Akers, Michael D., and Grover L. Porter. "Your EQ Skills: Got What it Takes? So You Thought the CPA Exam Was Your Last Test? Read on." Journal of Accountancy 195.3 (2003): 65+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Casse, Daniel. "IQ since "The Bell Curve." Commentary Aug. 1998: 33+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Chan, David W. "Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence and Their Relationships with Social Coping among Gifted Adolescents in Hong Kong." Journal of Youth and Adolescence 32.6 (2003): 409+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Chan, David W. "Leadership Skills Training for Chinese Secondary Students in Hong Kong: Does Training Make a Difference?" Journal of Secondary Gifted Education 14.3 (2003): 166+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Pfeiffer, Steven I. "Emotional Intelligence: Popular but Elusive Construct." Roeper Review 23.3 (2001): 138. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Segal, Nancy L. "New Twin Studies Show. The Career of Your Dreams May be the Career of Your Genes." Psychology Today Sept. 1999: 54. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Shepard, Richard, Daniel Jr. Fasko, and Francis H. Osborne. "Intrapersonal Intelligence: Affective Factors in Thinking." Education 119.4 (1999): 633. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Sternberg, Robert J., and Jaems C. Kaufman. "Human Abilities." Annual Review of Psychology (1998): 479+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

Swiercz, Paul Michael, and Souha R. Ezzedeen. "From Sorcery to Science: AHP, a Powerful New Tool for Executive Selection." Human Resource Planning 24.3 (2001): 15+. Questia. 3 Dec. 2004 http://www.questia.com/.

APPENDIX a Emotional Intelligence Test

1. Do you understand both your strengths and your weaknesses?

2. Can you be depended on to take care of every detail?

3. Are you comfortable with change and open to novel ideas?

4. Are you motivated by the satisfaction of meeting your own standards of excellence?

5. Do you stay optimistic when things go wrong?

6. Can you see things from another person's point-of-view and sense what matters most to him or her?

7. Do you let clients' needs determine how you serve them?

8. Do you enjoy helping colleagues develop their skills?

9. Can you read office politics accurately?

10. Are you able to find "win-win" solutions in negotiations and conflicts?

11. Are you the kind of person other people want on a team?

12. Are you usually persuasive?

If you answered "yes" to six or more of these questions and if people who know you well would agree with you, then you have a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Source: Working With Emotional Intelligence, Bantam Books, New York, 1998 ((Akers & Porter 2004, p. 95+).

Appendix B


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