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Why CEOs Score Low in Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area  Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

 

Why CEOs Score Low in Emotional Intelligence (EI)

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company’s CEO. The VP of HR asked some very insightful questions to determine whether we were a good fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating behavior change. She was very interested in my executive coaching work with helping CEO’s improve their emotional intelligence and the link to leadership.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to work with a management consultant to help their company create a culture where creativity and innovation thrives.

The VP of Human Resources is interested in partnering with me in helping their CEO become more emotionally intelligent and inspirational. We further discussed how other company executives could benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

CEOs Score Low EI

Measures of EI in half a million senior executives, managers and employees across industries, on six continents, reveal some interesting data. Scores climb with titles, from the bottom of the ladder upward toward middle management, where EI peaks. Mid-managers have the highest EI scores in the workforce. After that, EI scores plummet.

Because leaders achieve organizational goals through others, you may assume they have the best people skills. Wrong! CEOs, on average, have the lowest workplace EI scores.

Too many leaders are promoted for their technical knowledge, discrete achievements and seniority, rather than for their skills in managing and influencing others. Once they reach the top, they actually spend less time interacting with staff.

But achieving goals—and high performance—is only part of the formula for leadership success. Great leaders excel at relationship management, influencing people because they’re skilled in forming alliances and persuading others.

EI has a direct bearing on corporate reputation. Boards of directors recognize how it affects stock prices, media coverage, public opinion and a leader’s viability. Look at any corporate disaster or scandal. If leaders cannot genuinely express empathy, it’s that much harder for them to garner trust and support.

A 2001 study by Dr. Fabio Sala (www.eiconsortium.org) demonstrates that senior-level employees are more likely to have inflated views of their EI competencies and less congruence with others’ perceptions.

Sala proposes two explanations for these findings:

1. It’s lonely at the top. Senior executives have fewer opportunities for feedback.

2. People are less inclined to give constructive feedback to more senior colleagues.

Nonetheless, EI’s effect on business performance and senior employees’ grandiosity highlight the need for well-executed performance management systems that measure emotional competencies.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to develop emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to increase their emotional intelligence and social intelligence? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How emotional intelligent is our CEO?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can leaders develop their emotional intelligence. You can become a leader who models emotionalintelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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