Hot issue: It’s just emotion, taking HR over

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When we published a piece about emotional intelligence recently, it seems we hit a sore spot for some readers.
Leadership coach Jimmy Daniel laid out three key points in successful emotional intelligence training:
  • Forget about the poor performers
  • Follow up after training
  • Expect resistance from older staff
And it was with his last point that two readers had a gripe. While baby boomers remain in the workforce, Daniel expects that there will still be people who misunderstand emotional intelligence and the value it creates. “The people that resist emotional intelligence the most are the baby boomers because it has a negative connotation,” he says, “but your younger work group wants nice people in the room.”
Our readers let their opinions loose in the comments:
I object to the comment that the most resistance to discussions on the value of emotional intelligence come from the "baby boomers" in the workforce. Authentic emotional intelligence comes with life experience and maturity, personal insight and the ability to reflect on one's own behaviour. Understanding the impact of our behaviour on others is certainly not the preserve of the young. – Wendy Hodson

…attributing scepticism - the heart of science - to old age, does nothing for your cause. Considering the literature, I am yet to be convinced that the term 'emotional intelligence' adds anything but marketing grist to our understanding of human performance at work. At this stage it has no part in selection of employees, as employee performance has multitudinous antecedent factors. I need to see a lot more experimental work across cultures and comparisons with a whole plethora of interpersonal, networking, influencing, judgmental, decision making skills before supporting training in this 'new' skill. – Alan Harrison

Do you agree that opposition to emotional intelligence training has no correlation with age? Tell us below.

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  • Will Mosely on 3/3/2014 5:57:45 PM

    Carol did an excellent job of presenting a succinct and accurate response. As I thought about the first point (Forget about the poor performers), I asked, "a poor performer" in emotional intelligence training - or any training - would seem to be the target audience - so why should you forget them? It is the "rude" or "not so nice" that need to be worked with to either turn around or somehow improve their behavior. To paraphrase Alan, I "question his cause". . .

  • Carol Brendle on 3/3/2014 2:12:21 PM

    I agree with both Wendy Hodson and Alan Harrison. Emotion intellience has no correlation with age. I know young people who are emotionally wise for their age and baby boomers who just can't emotionally connect to anyone but themselves and vice versa.
    Emotional intelligence has nothing to do with having nice people in the room....that is called good manners and the younger generations who ignore their peers and their elders in favor of their electronic devices are behind in emotional intelligence if is equates to good manners.

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