Emotional Intelligence: Soft Skill or Critical Competency?

Emotional Intelligence Podcast with Sarah Scala

Understanding Emotional Intelligence and its role in your organization can create better hiring decisions, stronger teams, higher retention rates and more authentic companies. When the idea of emotional intelligence was first brought to business 25 years ago, it was thought to be something that was nice to have, Today, leaders with high EQ's are vital to the growth and performance of every company. On this episode of ProjectHR, Consultant Sarah Scala, tells us how she helps organizations and people evolve, grow and thrive:

  • Assessing and improving emotional intelligence
  • The four components of emotional intelligence;
  • How to develop emotional intelligence in your team; 
  • How to hire for emotional intelligence; and
  • Creating a culture of high emotional intelligence
Sarah Scala

Sarah Scala

Emotional Intelligence

“What was once considered an intangible determinant of success can now be accurately measured. Emotional Intelligence can be strengthened!


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Emotional Intelligence: Soft Skill or Critical Competency?

  • Emotional Intelligence has been valuable in measuring and predicting  business success for more than 25 years
  • EQ is critical - accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs
  • Emotional intelligence is twice as predictive as performance as IQ
  • 90% of High Performers have a high EQ. People who manage emotions can manage stress, overcome obstacles and inspire others, and are better decision-makers. 
  • High levels of EQ in leaders generates higher retention
  • Those with lower EQ tend to have more of a ‘victim mentality,” show more signs of passive-aggression, and are more critical of others.


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Four Components of Emotional Intelligence

Personal and social competencies:

  • Self-awareness - ability to perceive our own emotions
  • Self-management - ability to manage our emotions
  • Social awareness - ability to perceive others’ emotions
  • Relationship management - use our awareness to manage interactions 

How We Can Measure and Improve Emotional Intelligence?

How We Develop  Emotional Intelligence

  • Partner with a coach or do a workshop
  • Go through an assessment
  • Meet with a coach or mentor on what comes next
  • Recognizing and name emotions, asking for feedback
  • Be emotionally literate, keep in mind there are no “bad” emotions
  • Write down how you’re feeling during the day - the act of writing down feelings during the day makes you more aware

Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

  • How To Hire for Emotional Intelligence Annie McKee, 2016
  • Don’t use a measurement tool
  • Ask for examples of how the candidate treats others
  • Use behavioral interviewing to really go deep
  • Both IQ and EQ are important - look at social and emotional abilities, they need to work together

Creating A Culture of High Emotional Intelligence

  • Leaders must model emotionally intelligent behavior, set the norm for communication and how the organization supports disagreement
  • Celebrate those who exhibit emotional intelligence, make heroes out of those that help others
  • Incorporate assessments to know where you are and where you want to be
  • Start a book group to talk about the language and information around Emotional Intelligence
  • Team programs & executive coaching within a 3-12 month timeframe

Sarah’s Recommended Books

About Sarah Scala

  • Sarah Scala holds a Masters in Organization Development and Adult Education, as well as Bachelors degrees in Business Management and Adventure Recreation. She is both an International Coach Federation Certified Executive coach and Gestalt certified coach. 
  • Sarah works one-on-one with CEOs and HR leaders, coaching individuals who are moving into management or leadership positions, and collaborating with larger parts of the organization to develop strategies. 
  • Sarah’s approach integrates honesty, high energy interactions, experiential learning, development of interpersonal dynamics, and collaborative strategy design – all of which are necessary to help people learn how to lead, manage, and work with other people. 
  • Sarah helps people to develop grit, resilience, and a growth mindset. She is often the trusted partner that supports the many phases of talent management and development.


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