Human Resources: How is Your Employee's Emotional Intelligence?

A central part of a disciplined hiring process is testing to determine of the candidate is a good fit for the position. Certainly that includes on-equipment testing for skilled trades, but I believe it is essential that the hiring managers also conduct intelligence and behavioral testing. We strongly recommend the use of the Wonderlic for Intelligence and the Thomas International Personality Profile results before making a hiring decision.

However, for key positions there is a need for one more assessment—the state of one’s emotional intelligence. We are moving into an era where the call for people to mutually understand each other in the workplace has never been so essential. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence accounts for 27 to 45 percent of job performance.


What Does It Mean?

Emotional Intelligence is a set of competencies that describe your ability to read the environment and adapt accordingly. High levels of emotional intelligence result in managers and employees who are able to relate well to each other, and are therefore able to accomplish more. The managers do better at inspiring, guiding, and leading others. The employees tend to be flexible, adaptive, self-motivated, and confident.

It is often assumed that if a person is a rather intelligent individual, he or she will be successful. However, the secret of success is not what you learned in school, your IQ, the degree you acquired, or your technical expertise. Research has shown that the single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence, your EQ, which is, “the ability to use your emotions in a positive and constructive way in relationships with others.”

Emotionally intelligent people:

• Are aware of how they feel, what motivates and de-motivates them, and how they affect others. They also have an accurate self-assessment of their strengths and limitations.

• Are optimistic. They have a positive outlook on life. They have high levels of happiness and energy and they are continuously striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence. Emotionally optimistic people feel that they are important and the work they do is valuable.

• Are able to inspire and guide individuals and groups by initiating or managing change effectively. They also work with others toward shared goals and create group synergy and create group synergy in pursuing collective goals.

• Are aware of others’ feelings, needs and concerns. They are able to adapt their emotional expression to the situations in which they find themselves.

• Handle stress calmly. They deal with others’ feelings and perspectives and take an active interest in their concerns.

• Adapt to changes. During the course of any business day, all kinds of changes can happen.

• Emotionally intelligent people use problem-solving techniques to develop options and they continuously look for ways to improve.

Learning to Grow

The good news is that EQ is not permanently fixed. Unlike IQ and even our core personality traits, which are pretty much set early in life, emotional intelligence is not. Anyone who wants to improve their self-awareness and build mutually satisfying relationships can definitely do so by means of training, coaching, experience, and practice.

The first step in improving emotional intelligence is knowing the starting point. Now I am happy to announce a new assessment mechanism from Thomas International, the TEIQue. The Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) is a personality assessment that measures an individual’s Emotional Intelligence potential. It tells you how well your people understand and manage their emotions, how well they interpret and deal with the emotions of others, and how they use this knowledge to manage relationships. The assessment takes only 20 minutes to complete and results in a lengthy report that defines the potential for an individual in terms of four main factors embodying 15 distinct facets.

Each factor and facet is thoroughly analyzed and scored. The report explains the impact of each and provides strategies to manage and develop those facets that are scored low. The other good news is that this assessment costs only $100.

Improving emotional intelligence will help build better interpersonal relationships. Oftentimes, this is the area that will make all the difference in an individual’s success in the workplace.


Debra Thompson is president of TG & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in “The Human Side of Business” specifically for the graphic industry. Learn more at or contact Debra at 877-842-7762 or