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Emotional Intelligence: Issues & Challenges

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  • 0:04 What Is Emotional…
  • 0:23 Benefits of EI
  • 1:03 Difficulties and…
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner
Emotional intelligence can have many advantages, but when used in the wrong situation or for the wrong purposes, it can be damaging to a business. This lesson discusses some of the issues and challenges of using emotional intelligence in the workplace.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Jan, the manager of a large sales firm, is a master leader with a powerful ability to connect with her staff. Her secret weapon is her excellent emotional intelligence (EI). This gives her the ability to recognize and identify her own feelings and the feelings of others around her.

Benefits of EI

EI is highly beneficial for jobs where you engage with people and need to understand their feelings. Some examples include:

  • Sales
  • Social work
  • Public service

Difficulties and Challenges of EI

As the leader of a sales team, good EI can have many great benefits for Jan. However, Jan has learned how to use this special ability to her own advantage, often at the expense of others. This means that Jan uses EI not as a skill to grow her company but as a weapon to control her staff and maintain her power.

When EI is abused, it can alter the balance of power within a company. Because Jan is a leader, her behaviors influence others. Thus, when EI is used incorrectly, it can be damaging to a company. As a leader Jan can use her EI to enhance her power and get others to do what she wants them to.

Let's first look at manipulation. Jan is very aware of her feelings as well as others' feelings, and she often uses this to manipulate or coerce her staff into doing what she wants them to do. Manipulation can be directed at a specific individual or the entire team.

For example, if Jan knows that one staff member is particularly sensitive to compliments, she will give them compliments in an effort to get them to work on a particular project. Imagine that Jan wants her team member John to work on cold calls, which means he would call a list of potential clients he has never spoken to. Jan knows that John hates cold calling, so to get him to agree to this task she might say something like, 'John, you are so good on the phone; you know how to make a sale every time. In fact, you're the best salesman on the team, I believe in you.' Jan has now used her ability to tune into John's emotions in an effort to coerce him into working on this task.

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