What is emotional intelligence? The Harvard Business School states that emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey but was later popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman. More than a decade ago, Goleman highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, telling the Harvard Business Review,
“The most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It is not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.”
Emotional intelligence is so important to our mission and the work that we do at Challenge Unlimited. Providing our clients, staff, and residents with the services they need and creating a culture where everyone can thrive requires empathy, time, and commitment; to foster this culture, fifty-four managers at Challenge Unlimited, and affiliate companies, participated in the BlueEQ Leading with Emotional Intelligence training program. This is an applicable, comprehensive, and powerful emotional intelligence self-assessment for business impact. The content was designed by a team of industry experts, social and behavioral scientists. The training program launched in the fall of 2021 and managers participated in workshops, coaching, and consulting activity for 12 months. We are happy to say that on November 5th all 54 managers completed their emotional intelligence training.
Michelle Matsche, Director of Training and Development, and Erin Sutton, Learning Specialist, are certified BlueEQ facilitators who helped to guide participants through the whole methodology of assessing their current state of emotional intelligence and identified areas of improvement. Participants created, and executed a personal development plan, participated in monthly development opportunities, and then took a re-assessment to measure progress made during the program. Matsche said she is “so proud of our managerial team who made a concerted effort to increase their own emotional intelligence over the last year, with the goal of creating a safer, more inclusive culture for the teams they lead. This type of influence doesn’t happen overnight, and our team is in it for the long haul.”
BlueEQ workshops are designed with rigorous skill-building exercises to increase self-awareness, self-regard, self-control, social perception, and social effectiveness. The highly interactive workshops provide leaders and managers with the interpersonal tools they need to create a psychologically safe zone in the workplace — and the innovation that comes with it.
Specifically, graduates of this program:
- Radically improve their emotional intelligence.
- Foster psychological safety with leaders and teams.
- Expand self-awareness and social effectiveness.
- Create sustainable behavioral change.
- Become more promotable and drive business impact.
We are glad that our managers chose to participate in this program and proud of their dedicated commitment to improving their leadership skills. It required a lot of self-reflection, vulnerable conversation, collaboration, and time!
Here’s to increasing emotional intelligence, and intentionally creating psychologically safe work environments!