Nov 16

Three Powerful “IMPACTS” from Emotional Intelligence (EI) That Every Talent Developer Needs to Know

What is Emotional Intelligence? 

Before divulging the three impacts, let me first present a simple and generally accepted model of EI. The model starts in the lower left, quadrant #1 in the diagram below, and says we must first understand ourselves, if we are to be successful managing ourselves, which is quadrant #2. Then the model moves to quadrant #3, where we work to understand the emotions and actions of others, if we are to move to quadrant #4, where we develop healthy positive relationships and an ability to cope with the inevitable conflicts and issues that arise in the workplace and other social settings.

2) Self-Management
Develop the ability to control impulsive thoughts and behaviors, manage emotions, and adapt to life’s surprises
3) Social Awareness
Understand the emotions, thoughts, and actions of others in various social settings or group interactions
1) Self-Awareness
Build awareness of our strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, and behavior and develop a realistic but growth oriented outlook
4) Relationship Management
Develop positive relationships, communicate with others effectively, influence and contribute to your groups, and manage conflict

What are the three powerful IMPACTS from emotional intelligence that you, as a talent developer, can use to develop and improve your professional practice?

Impact #1 – on you as a talent developer

EI can have a profound impact on you, the central character in the classroom, or when you design, develop, or deliver training. EI is more than an “added training skill”, like using Powerpoint more effectively or developing better group exercises. EI can change you. It can create more connected communicators, able to manage themselves or a group through positive growth and in those situations where conflict and difficulties arise.

Impact #2 – within an existing course or a course you will create

You can add EI as a component to many existing programs or courses and achieve amazing results. I’ve provided three extremely successful course examples (below), from very different public and private sector entities, that have incorporated the lessons and strengths of EI into their courses.

Impact #3 – You can have an impact by adding an EI course to any of your existing course series or simply as a stand-alone course for your audience.

I’ll show you more than one way to do this below.

Impact #1 – When and how is EI useful to you as a talent developer?

In the talent development arena, you need to be able to persuade, influence, and motivate, in addition to training or coaching. EI can give you the fundamental tools and skills that you can take to every talent development task you engage in, including design, development, training, or coaching. The skills can be used as you work with others, including team members, colleagues, or with training participants.

  • Move from unthinking reaction to reflection, an increased ability to listen and more positive, thoughtful, and reasoned responses to situations.
    • EI can give you the awareness and the tools to move from unthinking reaction, which is often counterproductive and negative, to pause and reflection, which will result in a more positive and productive results. This is extremely useful when dealing with someone or a group you wish to influence, a negative participant, or an unruly or uncooperative group.
  • EI can provide relief from stress
    • We can either go into a training situation with a calm, mindful, and engaged state of mind or we can take all our stress and worries to the classroom. EI provides the tools for managing stress and freeing oneself to be positive, calm, and “in the training moment”.
  • EI can help in a number of other related areas including: putting us more in touch with nonverbal cues and how to use them for improved communication, recognizing our emotions and not allowing them to impede us, and an increased ability to diffuse conflict before it impedes learning and growth.

Impact #2 – Use the addition of EI components, principles, and lessons to strengthen existing courses.

You can add EI as a component to training programs and see results in the form of increased learning, acceptance, and application. Consider these three very different organizations that have effectively incorporated EI into a training program.

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS)

CALPERS conducts a program called The CORE Journey, delivered by Dr. Dianna Wright, the author of the book of the same name. The course provides a step-by-step guide for sustainable self-direction, professional growth, and personal development. The program effectively uses emotional intelligence as a key tool and technique for achieving this growth and change.


Google’s most popular course for the past three years has been a course entitled, “Search Inside Yourself”. The course was designed to help employees cope with the stress of work and find an acceptable work life balance. The two primary components of the course are emotional intelligence and mindfulness. A book and public workshop have also been developed, based on the success of the course.


The US Army has worked with Martin Seligman, often called the father of positive psychology, to create a training program to improve the resilience and psychological health of soldiers. Though the program has many components, emotional intelligence is deployed as a tool to help soldiers avoid immediate and negative reactions to events. The soldiers are taught to use EI’s tools of recognizing negative trigger emotions and then managing these internal emotions so they result in reasoned and thoughtful responses, versus negative or even violent reactions.

If these three diverse groups can effectively harness the power of EI, imagine what it could do for some of your programs. Note: If you are interested, you can find more about these three programs in this blog –

Impact # 3 – You can have an impact by adding an EI course to any of your existing course series or simply as a stand-alone course for your audience.

In my training practice, we use emotional intelligence as a cornerstone of our interpersonal relationship courses. EI provides an understandable structure and approach for participants and is based on the sort of empirical evidence (from cognitive psychology and related fields) demanded by the business and public sector today.

We also add a one- or two-day EI class to many of our problem solving, decision making, supervisory, and management series, which last from eight to fourteen days, delivered over a multi-week period. We find that ending a course series (especially a technical training series) with EI provides a beneficial way to close a series. The participants end their learning with a model for taking their newly learned skills back to the workplace, where the biggest challenge is often how to apply or use new skills. EI gives the participants tools and techniques for improved communication, working through conflict, and embracing change, which are all vital to implementing change and improvement.

If you want to create an EI course for your workplace, there are many examples of existing EI courses you can use as a model. There are so many resources available, that for a modest investment in time, you or a colleague should be able to develop a course of your own. Of course, you could also send your students to an already established and well-reviewed EI course. Finally, you could go to your trusted provider of in-house training and ask them to show or demonstrate their EI course options for you. Many training vendors are using EI in their communications classes, interpersonal skills courses, and to add value to technical course offerings.

Get Results From Training
Bruce Winner

Following are some resources, if you want to learn more about Emotional Intelligence…

“Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” Travis Bradberry, 2009.
An accessible introduction to EI if you are new to the subject and want an easy and low (time or cost) read.

“Put Emotional Intelligence to Work,” Jeff Feldman and Karl Mulle, 2007.
This book provides a more detailed look at EI, but it is well written and organized, and has more examples of using EI in the workplace.

“Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,” Daniel P Goleman, 1995.
Goleman has done as much or more than anyone else to popularize the notion that EQ often matters more than IQ. This is his first of many books on the subject and is a great read for someone who wants a good grounding in EI from one of the recognized experts in the field.

These books below provide further insight into the EI related programs I mentioned in this blog.

“The C.O.R.E Journey: Unleash Your Power to Thrive,” Dianna Wright, PhD, 2013.

“Master Resilience Training in the U.S. Army,” Reivich and Seligman, American Psychologist, January 2011.

“Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness, (and World Peace),” Chade-Meng Tan, 2012.

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