Book Report-People Profit Connection by Bret Darnell
The writer of People Profit Connection, Bret Darnell focused on the importance of emotional intelligence in the construction sector. Even though he only chose to focus on the construction sector, the knowledge gained from his work is applicable in any type of industry including catering or business industries (Darnell, 2011). Emotional intelligence can be defined as the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions. It also entails being able to discriminate different feelings, which people exhibit appropriately and apply emotional information to guide behavior and thinking.
The application of emotional intelligence over the past years has risen in popularity especially in the corporate society, with managers from different sectors incorporating it in their daily activities. Studies indicate that individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence have greater job performance, mental health, leadership skills and better interpersonal relationships. So what is the concept behind the success of emotional intelligence?
According to Darnell, our decision always base on our emotional responses. The different choices that individuals make are often triggered by their emotional impulses. Emotional impulses play a very important role in the daily functioning of individuals. Without the connection between thinking and emotions, various cognitive processes such as decision-making are always impossible. Bar-On, et al., (2004) defined emotional intelligence as the extent to which an individual effectively or unsuccessfully apply reasoning to situations in the process of determining feeling or emotional responses to those situations. These scholars assert that it would comprise then the incorporation of cognitive intelligence to put up with the emotions. In this case, it encompasses both negative and positive emotions. Thus, in this case it would be the degree to which the emotional responses were rationally based. An individual having a high degree of EI responds to a feeling that it makes sense. When feelings are generated appropriately, individuals get the motivation to pursue a reasonable action and behavior thus the connection between emotional intelligence and cognitive functions. Rational emotions often generate rational behavior and desires.
The connection between emotional intelligence, cognitive functions and critical thinking can also be established. Cote & Miners, (2006) claim that critical thinking is the rational reflective thinking that is concerned with what to believe or do. This clearly insinuates that the capacity of individuals to bear on emotions is that they are deeply involved with their beliefs and actions. If for instance, one feels fear, it is because they are being threatened and thus their likeliness to flee or attack. However, in most cases individuals under these circumstances act on impulses.
Darnell however notes that some individuals have learnt to identify their emotions accurately and use them to influence their thinking, understanding of the emotional causes and manage them through integrating wisdom into them. Thus, people who excel are the ones who possess high levels of emotional intelligence. The author claims that in most cases technical ability is often of less important in the ongoing success of an individual in the construction sector. Technical ability only assist and individual during the entry, however for one to be successful, emotional intelligence has to be in place.
The latter can be looked at in different ways. Work places are made up of teams, which need to operate in synchrony for the overall success. The construction sector is one of the areas where teamwork is fundamental to the overall success of different projects. The author calls for importance of emotional intelligence owing to the following facts. The industry attracts individuals who are characterized by aggressiveness, lack of self-awareness, high levels of independence, high levels of self-regard, low empathy, low levels of understanding, low interpersonal skills and low social responsibility; all these factors impact negatively the functioning of this sector. The author highlights the importance of collaboration, good relations, teamwork, communication and flexibility as essential factors to the success of the various endeavors. All these aspects form some of the basic factors in the scope of emotional intelligence. As aforementioned emotional intelligence, entails being aware of the emotions of others and yours and integrating them in your daily functioning. The integration of the emotions when carrying out different activities makes the individuals to be self aware of their actions, moreover be accommodative to others (George, 2000).
The author however highlights that technically educated individuals in the construction sector receive little training about interpersonal skills. Few courses train on communication and interpersonal skills among others. Emotional intelligence is crucial for the success of any project thus should form a very crucial aspect during the hiring of individuals. The author highlights several aspects including independence, self-regard and assertiveness among others. For instance, as highlighted, individuals having low assertiveness, self regard and independence may have trouble during negotiations since they find it hand establishing their own grounds and thus they would problematic in supervisory roles. However, these individuals perform well as team members. This can form an important basis when hiring.
The author also highlights the importance of emotional intelligence during the ongoing functions of an organization. In the construction sector especially in industries characterized by hard work, workers tend to experience much stress than others do. They dedicate much energy into their work, which gradually turns into stress. The author claims that when individuals are emotionally self aware, they will tend to discern whether they are stressed or not and then leave the work when deemed necessary. On the other hand, emotional intelligence in this context assist the manager to empathize with the workers thus relieves them of their duty. The author claims that when people make emotional connections, they look out for each other, which results to a safer working environment. Consequently, this leads to higher performance since stressed employees or poor working conditions slow down productivity. Employees tend to develop stress related complications, which leads to absenteeism.
The author goes ahead to highlight characteristics of stressed employees including low impulse control, high assertiveness and low flexibility. When employees behave in such manners, managers who have high levels of emotional intelligence will know how to control the angry outburst and work with the worker towards developing adequate behavior.
Application of emotional intelligence in my practice
Basing on the above concept, emotional intelligence is fundamental to the overall performance of a project. As a project manager integrating the concepts of emotional intelligence in my daily practice will facilitate high levels of success. To begin with, I will evaluate the emotional competencies of my workers under the project. This will entail identifying their characteristics and areas that need development. The identification of these characteristics will help in allocation of responsibilities. For instance, as aforementioned, individuals who empathize a lot and lack independence will be denied supervisory roles in some instances.
I will also look for areas that need development. The author mentioned some aspects that deter the success of the construction sector and make it gain a bad reputation. Even though most schools are currently integrating emotional intelligence courses in their curricular, I will expect to find in my team individuals characterized by absence of these skills, thus; the need for their development. The author lists that emotional intelligence can be taught. Hypothetically, however it seems impossible, for instance training individuals to empathize. The author however notes that different skills can be developed gradually.
I will then work on my emotional intelligence. This will entail assessing different areas of my emotional make up and working to improve them. I would work on empathy skills, better communication and relationship skills. This will enable me to build teams and carry out the different projects with much cooperation from the team members. In addition, these skills will enable me to create a safe working environment for the workers since I will be able to empathize with them. Moreover, the skills will enable me to solve some of the arising conflicts within the workplace and deal with workers who suffer from emotional outbursts in a good way. The author highlights the importance of emotional intelligence in this ever competitive world for survival and prosperity, thus; the correct integration of this concept will ensure the success of my future projects.
Bar-On, R., Tranel, D., Denburg, N. L., & Bechara, A. (2004). Emotional and social intelligence. Social neuroscience: key readings, 223.
Cote, S., & Miners, C. T. (2006). Emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, and job performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51(1), 1-28.
Darnell, G. (2011). The people-profit connection : how emotional intelligence can maximize people skills and maximize your profits. Atlanta, Ga: BDI Publishers
George, J.M., 2000. Emotions and leadership: The role of emotional intelligence. Human relations, 53(8), pp.1027-1055.