While popular opinion has held out that where IQ is fixed, emotional intelligence – the capacity to use emotions effectively – can be developed. A new study shows that a highly effective 2-day training can increase scores even in a highly technical workplace. Since emotional intelligence (EQ) is such an important factor in performance the study offers important value for human capital strategy and workforce planning.

Today even IT professionals need to get out from behind their boxes.

The caricature of the IT professional is a “super geek” who hides behind his linux box. However, now that most business units depend on IT, it’s time to shatter the stereotype. Sure these “left brain” techies are great the machine interface, but can they learn about “human-to-human peer networking” and become truly cross platform?

Emotional intelligence is a critical competence for workplace performance — associated with enhanced performance, productivity, and customer loyalty[1]. In today’s “human capital” oriented businesses, emotional intelligence is an essential ingredient for competitive advantage — but can these assets be developed? New research shows that even a short-term training program has significant benefits.

What does it take to maintain connectivity in the “human network” (aka your team)?

A team of 60 computer engineers at Svimservice, Italy’s top IT company, received a two-day training on emotional intelligence (or “EQ”). A month later their EQ scores had increased by a statistically significant average of 7%. As shown in the graph below, scores increased in all domains with the highest increases shown in Consequential Thinking (making careful decisions) and Recognizing Patterns (being aware of reactions). A report on the Svimservice study is online, “White Paper: Increasing Emotional Intelligence[2].

This finding adds credence to what innovative leaders have long realized: Emotional Intelligence can be developed. The study is a reminder that human capital strategy should include training in this important arena maximizing workforce efficacy. While corporate America annually spends around $54B on training, few programs include a practical measure of ROI[3]. This study demonstrates a simple and effective way to measure the benefits of “soft skills” training[4].

The research was conducted using the “Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment” (SEI), which rigorously measures eight core competencies of emotional intelligence[5]. Because of it’s in-depth reports and sophisticated scoring algorithm, SEI is the best-in-class tool for assessing and developing emotional intelligence.

This study was conducted by Six Seconds, an international nonprofit organization helping businesses, schools, and communities solve critical problems by developing emotional intelligence. With offices in the US, Italy, Singapore, China,UAE, Jordan, Australia, Tokyo, and Mumbai — and over 14 years of proven experience, Six Seconds is a world leader in emotional intelligence consulting (www.6seconds.org).

Figure 1: Gains in Emotional Intelligence

Graph shows increases in all areas of EQ between pretest and posttest.

Scales: EQ = total emotional intelligence; KY = Know Yourself (Self Awareness); CY = Choose Yourself (Self Management); GY = Give Yourself (Self Direction).
EL = Emotional Literacy; RP = Recognize Patterns; CT = Consequential Thinking; NE = Navigate Emotions; IM = Intrinsic Motivation; EO = Exercise Optimism; EM = Empathy; NG = Noble Goals.


[1] See Freedman, Everett, Wojick, “The Heart of Performance: The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence” (www.6seconds.org/case)

[2] Fariselli, Freedman, Ghini, “White Paper: Increasing Emotional Intelligence” (http://prodimages.6seconds.org/media/WP_Increase_EQ.pdf)

[3] International Data Corp.

[4] The study demonstrates the effectiveness of using the SEI assessment prior to and after training. A SEI Group Report will show changes between the two administrations.

[5] Freedman, Ghini, Jensen, Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI), Six Seconds, 2004

Six Seconds

Six Seconds supports people to create positive change - everywhere... all the time. Founded in 1997, the organization now has offices in 11+ countries and certified practitioners in over 100, and is the world's preeminent resource for putting emotional intelligence into action.

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