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Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Labour

Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Labour: A Comparison Study Using the Emotional Capital Report (ECR) by Martyn Newman & Kenneth H. Smith

Education and Society
Vol. 32, No. 1, 2014


This study examined the relationship of emotional intelligence (EI) to jobs requiring emotional labour in a sample of 6,874 participants from eleven countries or geographical regions. In particular, the current study examined the relationship of a mixed model of EI, as measured by the Emotional Capital Report (ECR), to emotional labour identified in recent literature as performed by workers in three types of service occupations, customer service, social control and caring. Previous research had reported that individuals high in EI may be more likely to perform well in jobs requiring emotional labour and, as such, emotional labour was an important moderator of the EI-performance relationship.

Results of this study supported the existence of a moderate relationship between a mixed model of EI and emotional labour and thus provided further support for this claim. The findings suggest that where jobs require high emotional labour, EI is likely to assist individuals to know both when to perform emotional labour and how to alter emotional behavior to meet organizational goals. Furthermore, when service occupations were examined for the type of emotional labour performed, those in customer service occupations produced significantly higher scores on 8 out of 10 ECR subscales. Taken together, the findings suggest that when considering the EI-performance link it is important toconsider both the occupational context as well as the emotional intelligence of individuals. Limitations of the study and future directions are discussed, along with practical implications for both researchers and human resource personnel seeking to improve the job related performance of employees.

Read the full article here: Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Labour- A Comparison Study Using the ECR

Intuitive Decision Making

When to trust your gut

Business leaders are involved in a daily regime of decision making, how then do they quickly make decisions effectively? How do they instinctively know what the right decision is? How does one hone this ability and does it always work? Hayashi tries to explain this phenomenon in the Harvard Business Review. After interviewing many top executives he found that they had difficulty explaining how they made important decisions which were seemingly counterintuitive, but were in fact the essence of intuition. Words which were used to try to explain how they knew instinctively what to do included “professional judgement”, “gut instinct”, and “hunch”, but that was as deep as the explanations became.

What Is Your “Gut”?

The left brain and right brain terms were adopted to distinguish between rational, conscious and logical thought processes (left brain) and subconscious, emotional and intuitive thought processes (right brain). The mind is continuously processing information that you are not necessarily aware of, both during sleep and while you are awake.  A sense of revelation occurs when your conscious mind learns something which your subconscious mind has already known – the “aha” feeling.  The brain is also linked to other parts of your body through the central nervous system, explaining why intuitive feelings are often compounded by a physical reaction.

Top executive tap into their right brain by engaging in activities such as:

  • Jogging
  • Daydreaming
  • Listening to music
  • Meditating


The X Factor

The ability to make effective decisions in this way becomes more important as one moves up the ranks in an organisation. At middle management levels, decision making can be more of a quantitative process, but when problems become more complex and ambiguous, intuition is required to an increasing degree. While it may be an elusive concept in many ways, top CEOs such as Larsen, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson and Abdoo, the CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corporation agree that to ignore your gut leads to bad decisions. While the available data might support a proposal, there are times when intuition will lead them to know, if it is a good or a bad deal.

The Importance of Emotions

Damasio, a leading neuroscientist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine found that patients with damage to a specific area in their prefrontal cortex not only had trouble experiencing certain emotions, but also with making even very simple decisions. Damasio believes that this adds weight to the notion that emotion is inextricably linked to decision making and not always the cold, detached process that some believe it to be. According to Damasio, “our emotions and feelings play a crucial role by helping us filter various possibilities quickly, even though our conscious mind might not be aware of the screening. Our intuitive feelings thus guide our decision making to the point at which our conscious mind is able to make good choices.”

A Pattern in Patterns

The ability to see a pattern or make sense of market data is compared to doing a jigsaw. Those with more diverse experience, both in life and the workplace, will have a greater wealth of analogies to draw from, so, while they may not have seen that exact pattern before, they may have seen one similar in a different context, and therefore, they will be better equipped to deal with the pattern or problem and know “instinctively” how to what to do. Grand masters in chess for example, can remember up to 50,000 significant patterns of the ways in which the chess pieces can be arranged on the board. Other useful information is linked to these patterns, such as possible defensive or offensive moves that the clusters might lead to.  Therefore, they are able to make decisions “intuitively” but the process is not as magical as it may appear, they are simply drawing from previous knowledge, without a conscious awareness of the process their brains are going through to come to this conclusion.



According to Hayashi, the ability to apply principles learned in one field to problems in another, is the key to truly excellent intuitive decision making. The power of this increases with the variety and diversity of a person’s background as they will have had more exposure to, and therefore have the ability to recognise more patterns.

When Instincts are Wrong

Sometimes of course our instincts can be blurred and as a result we make poor intuitive decisions. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Taking unnecessary risks to recover a loss
  • The self-fulfilling prophecy – doing our best to make a decision work – resulting in it being a good one
  • Overconfidence – research has shown that we tend to overestimate our ability in most areas – decision making included


Self-checking seems to be the way that top executives avoid these pitfalls. they take time to reflect on and rehash the decisions they have made – particularly the bad ones, frequently learning something new about the decision which helps them in future decision making.


Finally, perhaps the most useful aspect of intuitive decision making is that it can be used for rapid responses. Even if the wrong decision is made, intuitive decision makers find that they can quickly change it to take a different route, leading, over time to more right decisions than wrong ones.


From HBR Summer 2014

Managing Organisational Time

Time is an often little managed, but scare resource in an organisation. As the old adage goes, “time is money” and never has this been more true than in today’s world, where organisations and their people are facing an hourly onslaught of emails, instant messaging, phone calls and video conferences. Time spent on these interactions limits the amount of available time with customers and slows down an organisation, with financial performance suffering as a result.

On average, 15% of an organisation’s collective time is spent in meetings.

Time should be treated as a scare resource, and like any scare resource, it should be invested carefully. Organisations who budget their time as carefully as their capital have lowered their overhead expenses and liberated countless hours of previously unproductive time for its employees.

How organisational time is squandered:

Email – some executives receive 200 emails a day – 30,000 per year

Meeting time – senior executives devote more than 2 days a week on average attending meetings; 15% of an organisations collective time is spent in meetings.

Dysfunctional meeting behaviour emailing within meetings and double booking meetings knowingly and later deciding which to attend.

Weekly department meetings which are attended by all members of that department are often time consuming and costly with an hourly meeting, attended by eight members of staff representing one full day’s work. A one hour meeting beginning five minutes late represents 8% wastage in terms of time.


Six Practices for Managing Organisational Time:

  1. Make the agenda clear and selective – separate the urgent from the important
  2. Create a zero-based time budget – assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your company’s regular meetings and eliminate unnecessary ones and shorten those that are too long
  3. Clearly delegate authority for time investments – ensure the correct person is requesting the meetings and that there is just cause for the meeting.
  4. Require business cases for all new projects – to ensure that they are viable and worthwhile
  5. Establish organisation-wide time discipline – have agendas with clear objectives, prepare in advance by distributing all materials before the meeting, thus reducing time devoted to information sharing during the meeting. Begin on time, an hour long meeting 5 minutes late costs the company 8% of its meeting time. Early ending if the meeting is going nowhere or if participants are unprepared
  6. Provide feedback to manage organisational load


Taken from Harvard Business Review May 2014

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Intro to Dr. Martyn Newman speaking – Seminar & Workshop in Radisson Blu Cork on 9th & 10th April

DavittCP and RocheMartin are very proud to bring one of the world’s leading experts on Emotional Intelligence & Leadership back to Ireland.

Martyn will be hosting a 1-hour breakfast seminar on Wednesday 9th April and 3-hour workshop on the morning of Thursday 10th April.

Both events are being held in the Radisson Blu hotel in Little Island on the outskirts of Cork City.

Places are limited for both events.

Please contact Jayne Lee for further details – jayne@davittcp.com or 01-66 888 91

Click below to see a short video of Martyn speaking at an EQ Summit in London.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Expert – Dr Martyn Newman


The Focused Leader – from Goleman’s article in HBR December 2013

Good leadership is a key component of organisational progression.

In Goleman’s study of leadership he states that “attention is at the basis of the most essential of leadership skills – emotional, organisational and strategic intelligence”. By accurately directing one’s attention to where it is necessary at a given time, a leader will have focus and thus be an asset to his organisation.

Focus is a key ability in a Leader, namely in three core areas:

  1. On oneself
  2. On others
  3. On the outside world


The ability to focus on the self:

Self awareness is essential in a leader.  Whilst listening to your gut is important, it is equally important to acknowledge your full range of emotions, including negative emotions such as anxiety when making an important decision.  A successful leader will be able to focus on his or her full range of emotions and thus make a more educated decision.

Good self control allows people to recover from setbacks and remain calm in a crisis. Those who have the ability to focus on their feelings and eliminate outside distraction should have good leadership potential.


The ability to focus on others:

Those who can focus on others tend to be natural leaders. The ‘empathy triad’ focuses on:

  • Cognitive empathy
  • Emotional empathy
  • Empathic concern


The first is the ability to understand something from another’s point of view, the second is to feel what another feels and the third is an ability to understand what the other person needs from you. The danger with empathic concern is getting the balance right, too much empathic concern can lead to empathic fatigue – when one ‘feels’ another’s pain too deeply and becomes overwhelmed by it.

The ability to build relationships and behave in a socially sensitive way is key in a leader. Those who are socially sensitive are better at building relationships, as they are able to take their cues from those around them and act appropriately. This aids in determining how to navigate within a network and influence the more influential individuals amongst that network.


The ability to focus on the outside world:

Focus on the wider world is also essential in a leader, those who have the ability to see the impact of their actions and decisions on the wider world and also focus on strategy – namely to make the most of your current position, whilst simultaneously looking for new advantages. Leaders also have the ability to see the same information as others but find more advantageous uses for it. This requires the ability to remove oneself from a situation, to allow your mind to ‘switch off’ and come back to the information with a different outlook.


When selecting a leader – the attributes listed above should be taken into careful consideration – this could be done by personality testing and even simply by observing employees in their current roles and interactions with others in the organisation. Leaders can increase self awareness through personality profiling and 360 analysis and can also develop increased focus by engaging in self development through coaching.

Helping in Organisations – from Harvard Business Review January – February 2014

A study conducted on the successful design company IDEO, found that a culture of helpfulness amongst the employees greatly improved the companies creativity.

“In the top performing companies it is a norm that colleagues support one another’s efforts to do the best work possible.” However, helpfulness is not something that always naturally occurs as some people may be too busy to help or more inclined to compete. Additionally, people may be reluctant to accept help for fear of looking incompetent or they may simply be distrustful of the helpers’ motives. Helping is not a rare skill but one which becomes common in the right environment.

Leadership conviction – when leaders become involved in the helping it gives it more weight. In IDEO status does not create a helping barrier. Leaders both ask for and give help – making it an acceptable norm.

Two sides of the helping coin – it’s necessary to get help from others in the company and would at times be irresponsible not to ask for it from those who are more knowledgeable about certain aspects of a project.

Slack in the organisation – perhaps somewhat counterintuitively; IDEO attributes its efficiency to allowing “slack” in the organisation. By not imposing strict schedules on its employees, they are given the opportunity to engage in helping by enabling them to engage with each other’s work in unplanned ways.

The study at IDEO found that trust and accessibility mattered much more to people when asking others for help than competence. Therefore, if someone is available and is trusted by the employee they are more likely to ask that person for help.

Omissions: IDEO managers take note in an interview when people repeatedly use the word “I” rather than “we” it implies that they are not willing to give credit for help received when involved in team projects.

Adam Grant, in his book “Give and Take” mentions a practise used by a company allowing employees to post “love notes” to people who had helped them which was found to be extremely rewarding to the helpers. This sort of reward gives rise to more altruistic helping than a financial reward which may lead to what the writer terms “competitive helping” where perhaps one is only helping to look good in front of superiors.

How to encourage helping in your organisation?

  • Make it clear that helpfulness is more beneficial than competition. Model this by asking for and giving help yourself.
  • Show appreciation for the help given by actually making use of the help.
  • Give feedback – encourage helpers by acknowledging their help and demonstrate appreciation for their time and effort.
  • Work towards high levels of trust amongst employees – trust is key when it comes to both giving and receiving help
  • Avoid blame or punishment when someone looks for help or gives it.
  • Don’t overload the helpers! Ensure that they still have time to do their own work whilst helping others.


Abraham Maslow’s Life History-Infographic

Abraham Maslow’s Life History-Infographic