The power of emotional intelligence

Godfrey Kakembo, a Management Consultant, was driving down Acacia Avenue just after fixing the troublesome gearbox on his red Mitsubishi RVR when he received a call on his cell phone. He noticed the number was one of his clients, Stephen Kadaga, the head of APEX Microfinance Uganda Ltd. He pulled over to the side and took the call.

“Hello, Stephen,” he greeted. “How is the office?”

“Well, I have got a huge problem here,” answered Stephen. “A few days ago we hired a new Operations manager but I am almost having a revolt from the team. I need your help urgently to see what we can do.”

Godfrey quickly run through his diary and promised to drive by the APEX office the following day at about 2:30 pm. Once he got there Stephen quickly brought him up to date with the issues. “I can’t believe the guy we just hired is not working out with his team. He emerged as the best in the interviews, scoring very high on the psychometric test. He has a B.Com (Upper Class Honors); a Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management and has just completed his ACCA. Besides, he has also attended numerous short courses in East and Southern Africa. He holds a Banking Certificate. He was highly recommended by a multinational bank he had been working with and we checked all his referees. They were clean. But things are just not working out. Since he joined two team members have resigned, morale has plunged to an all time low and I expect more quitting!”

“ You said he scored best on the psychometric test,” asked Godfrey.

“Oh, yes,” answered Stephen. “I thought he is a very bright fellow.”

“ Did you use any other tool to determine his strength and weakness?”

“ We asked him a few of those questions and he was without a blemish,” replied Stephen. “ He has always been at the top and won a lot of awards. There was no shortcomings in his track record he could isolate and as for personal weakness he mentioned none, which was good.”

“ Well, may be that is the problem,” Godfrey said, “But I need to first investigate why other team members are not warming up to the new guy before I come to a conclusion. Can I carry out a brief employee survey?”

“Of course you can!” said Stephen. “Please, let’s get a way of tackling this situation before it escalates.”

The next week Godfrey executed an employee survey. The comments he received were quite revealing. His new staff described the new Operations Manager in these sweeping terms:

“ A task master! Once I told him I was not feeling well and he said I was just lazy.”

“ Always boisterous of his qualifications and great organizations he has worked for! He loves pointing to his successes.”

“ I wonder if he expects ladies to kneel down while greeting him!”

“He tore my work in front others calling it rubbish.”

“ Never gets out of his office to socialise with staff and keeps all day to his grand office.”

“We hardly have meetings with him because he says there is no need.”

“For him work is war. You are tense around him. If you make a mistake you’re dead meat. He says he has no time to suffer fools.”

“ All he wants are clients, but he has no time to go out and meet those we bring over.”

“ He gave me work and then took it away a couple of days later saying he knew better.”

“ I think he enjoys only hearing his melodious voice.”

“Sometime he makes such sweeping sexist comments like “These funny broad women here!”

After receiving these comments Godfrey summarized them in an Evaluation Report of the New Operations Manager at APEX LTD and reported back to Stephen.

“My findings leave me with the conclusion that you have a classic case of manager who has a high IQ but a low EQ.”

“EQ! I have never heard of that.”

“Emotional Intelligence,” answered Godfrey. “Such a person needs coaching in people skills and Emotional Intelligence otherwise it is just not going to work out. I can offer to coach him and thereafter we can evaluate to see if there is any improvement.”

When in 1995 American psychologist, Daniel Goleman, released his bestselling book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter more than IQ!” his emphasis was that when managing people there are other skills other than analytical and sharp memory that matter more. For example, in this case, while the new Operation Manager meets all the academic qualifications, he lacks social skills critical for his job success. The coaching he needs is to learn to be sensitive to other people’s needs, be a good listener and ultimately motivator of people. This will enable him realise all the results he craves to get through others without stirring up a revolt!

1 Comment

  1. Great article. The client survey comments by colleagues drove the point home.

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