Part of the ASPIRE Talent Management series

This series looks at the key elements and philosophies around the Talent Management lifecycle of ASPIRE: Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement, Retention and Engagement, and some of the key aspects which support these elements. You’ll find links throughout to our previous articles if you want to explore certain elements in more detail.

To underpin any robust talent management strategy it is important to consider emotional intelligence as a foundation on which to build.

Emotional Intelligence (EI), or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is a term that first seemed to appear in the 1960’s. It was then incorporated into various models including one created by Peter Salovey and John Mayer and subsequently gained popularity in Daniel Goleman’s New York Times bestseller, Emotional Intelligence… Why it can matter more than IQ. Since this ground-breaking book was written in the mid-90’s, EQ has enjoyed peaks and troughs of popularity, and is currently enjoying a resurgence.

EQ or EI can be defined as the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions and to recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others.

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. People will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou

As humans, our emotions result from the filters through which we see the world. Our senses deliver events and experiences to us constantly throughout the day, which we then process through these filters influenced by values, beliefs, culture, the environment, family, experience, etc. This can happen consciously, but more predominantly through our unconscious mind to create a personal map of the situation which then affects our emotional state, behaviours and the results that we get.

Emotions can drive and affect people in many ways; for example the entire consumer industry is based on marketing and advertising and ultimately selling products to consumers by influencing their emotions. It is often said that you do not buy a product, rather the way it makes you feel. This is one indication of how powerful the impact of our emotions can be in daily life, and on our decision making process and behaviours.

Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence… Why it can matter more than IQ,  estimates that up to 80% of success is down to EQ – your emotional competence – leaving just 20% attributable to IQ or knowledge and skills. This is why, in order to be successful, it is important for leaders to develop their emotional intelligence. According to a study by Swinburne University, high EQ was a predictor for effective leadership. In another study published by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in the US found that emotional incompetence was the primary contributor to executive derailments.

The biggest constraint in your business? You…

Tony Robbins, master business and life coach, says that the biggest constraint in a business is the psychology of the leader.

We can all think of previous leaders or managers in our own experiences and how they have made us feel – both good and bad. Research shows that the relationship with your manager accounts for 70% of the variance in engagement, and this is a feeling that will tend to last.

We’ve spoken in a previous article about what we term as the ‘Power of 95’; where line managers or anyone looking after team make up approximately 5% of the organisational headcount, yet are trying to influence the other 95%. Leaders and managers with poor EQ skills will draw low engagement from their teams, whereas those with good EQ levels will be able to affect more positive outcomes.

Ray Dalio, hedgefund manager, states that there are two moving parts in any business; people and culture. Leaders need to be able to manage and influence the culture, or the culture will manage them. Leaders with higher levels of emotional intelligence will be able to design and develop a better culture for their business. It is encouraging to see that more and more companies who are running leadership development programmes are now frequently including specific modules on EQ.

Those of you familiar with Gary Vaynerchuck, entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, speaker and internet personality, may know that he recruits based on EQ rather than IQ, which shows the importance he places on EQ. You can recruit for EQ, knowing that a candidate will be more likely to succeed in their given role because they have the emotional competence and behaviours needed to work for their own success and skills development for a particular role can be done through training – a good way of looking at this can be ‘IQ can mean that you can do the job, EQ can determine whether you will do the job.’

What is EQ?

“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy” – Aristotle, Greek Philosopher

Daniel Goleman identified or categorised 5 components of Emotional Intelligence (EQ):

Self-awareness: Recognise and understand your own moods and motivations and their effect on others. To achieve this, you need to be able to monitor your own emotional state and identify your own emotions.

Self-Regulation: Controlling your impulses-instead of being quick to react rashly, you can reign in your emotions and think before responding and express yourself appropriately.

Internal Motivation: Internal motivation is marked by an interest in learning. It is also self-improvement and development vs. a pursuit of wealth and status (as the pursuit of wealth and status is an external motivator).

Empathy: The ability to understand another person’s emotional reaction. This is only possible when one has achieved self-awareness-as one cannot understand others until they understand themselves.

Social Skills: Identifying social cues to establish common ground, manage relationships and build networks.

Emotional intelligence is the key to improving personal effectiveness. It’s the foundation for dealing with impulses, dealing with stress, and actually responding and reacting in a way that you would want. As a leader or manager, developing these five intrinsic components will better improve your chance of building successful relationships with peers and team members and leading your teams to achieve business results.

Many of us will look through this list and be able to gauge how we think we perform in each area. There will be elements where we feel we’re stronger than others, but how can we measure this and know for sure which areas we will get the most benefit from developing?

Measuring for EQ success

By using predictive analytics we can make it easy to understand and measure the success factors and fit, or competency, from an EQ perspective.

As outlined in our last article, we use Harrison Assessments as our preferred choice of predictive talent analytics tool, and it’s no exception when looking at developing EQ.

Harrison have simplified Goleman’s five elements of EQ and have produced four customised behavioural competencies, which enables the objective measurement of an individual in each of the four key areas:



  • Knowing Oneself
  • Relationship Leadership
  • Self-Motivation and Self-Management
  • Social Awareness and Service Orientation

[A Harrison behavioural competency is a collection of required behavioural traits and success factors which you can measure against. A full definition of the key areas and the relevant behavioural traits measured in each can be found in the sample reports linked below]

Using powerful algorithms to process the individual’s data will give you an overall emotional intelligence score for that individual. It then looks at the granular level of all the necessary traits across each of the four elements, and gives a breakdown and score for each of those individual traits. This enables the individual to explore their own strengths and identify areas for development to improve their EQ which can then be built in to a talent management strategy.

Our top tips for developing EQ in your business:

  1. Look for emotional intelligence competency and success factors in your leaders and managers – this can help you to predict the level of success by using benchmarking and predictive analytics.
  2. Use EQ as one of the fundamental pillars upon which to build your talent management strategy – remember that leaders define the culture of a business
  3. Remember the ‘Power of 95’ – focus on the 5% made up of your key influencers – those front line leaders and managers who influence the other 95% of your people and help them to improve their EQ as this will have a knock on effect on rest of your business

What is your EQ score?

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can measure emotional intelligence and success factors using Harrison Assessments we have 3 options for you:



Option 1: FREE sample report

Get access to the FREE 19 page Harrison Assessment Emotional Intelligence sample report. This gives you:

  • The overall percentage emotional intelligence score for the sample individual, Andrew Jones
  • The high level score for the 4 key areas
  • A detailed breakdown and score against each individual trait for Andrew Jones


Option 2: Free sample report plus your own personal FREE EQ score and score in each of the 4 key areas

  • Download the free Harrison Assessment sample EQ report for Andrew Jones
  • Complete the 20-minute online SmartQuestionnaire
  • We will send you your FREE 1 page report with your own personal overall percentage emotional intelligence score and your own high level score for each of the 4 key areas


Option 3:

Your own personal EQ report

Email us directly at to receive your own personal EQ report for just £99+VAT with:

  • YOUR EQ score
  • YOUR high level score across the 4 key areas
  • YOUR detailed breakdown and score against each individual trait

Complete the 20 minute online SmartQuestionnaireTM and get all the information you see in the sample report generated with YOUR UNIQUE DATA



Thanks for reading!

Our Talent Wheel provides an overview of Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement, Retention and Engagement – those 4 key elements of ASPIRE which gives you the power to make confident people choices. We use talent analytics and our tool of choice, Harrison Assessments and emotional intelligence data, to underpin each of these elements, and turbo boost your talent management strategy.

If you would like to find out more you can get in touch with us, visit the 3P Harrison Assessment site or visit our website.

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Peak Performance Partnership Ltd (3P) is a Business Performance Consultancy specialising in Talent Management. ASPIRE by 3P is our talent management solution which supports the talent life cycle of Acquisition, Succession Planning, Improvement and Retention & Engagement.


Co-authored by Lindsay McGhie, Trevor Norman and Michelle Manning