The Role of Management in Developing EI and Soft Skills

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The Role of Management in Developing EI and Soft Skills
Aries Musnandar, HR Consultant, Indonesia

Previously, IQ and/or knowledge was seen by many as the main factor determining individual success, however, this paradigm is shifting to EI and/or soft skills. An employee with good EI/soft skills is regarded as a valuable contributor to the sustainability of the business. Recruiting departments are now working with techniques to identify soft skills of prospective employees. And many soft skill trainings are conducted in companies for employees.

In his book "Working with Emotional Intelligence", Goleman said that management should avoid following conditions in order not to hinder the development of good soft skills of people:
  1. Work overload (many tasks and little support);
  2. Lack of autonomy (rigid regulation and new things are not accepted);
  3. Skimpy rewards (small amount of compensation but plenty of assignments);
  4. Loss of connection (employees work in a remote or isolated area);
  5. Unfairness (the management implements the "like and dislike" ways of treatment); and
  6. Conflict of values (a conflict which appears between personal interest and the demands of work).
Managers should keep the above in mind in order to nurture the soft skills in their department.

Internal Preparation and External Aid to Raise Engagement Levels
srinivas, Lecturer, India
If an employee is engaged and inspired to take initiative and experiment by taking risks, then even though the person doesn't have enough resources or skills, he may yet excel. On the other hand, if his initiatives are penalized and empathy is not shown wherever deserved, the engagement levels will go down, derailing all future initiatives and proactive participation.
So I think management needs to create an environment where people dare to take risks and are supported in case of failures.
Even without external aid a person can still be engaged by preparing at different levels of being such as the physical, intellectual, negative emotions, positive emotions, conscious, subconscious and guidance layers.
Obvously the combination of good preparation at internal level with a supportive environment and managerial policies as external aid are ideal for development of employee skills. 18-9-2017

Empathy is Key for Raising EI and Soft Skills
M P SINGH, CxO / Board, India
I believe to raise EI of an employee or for that matter any individual the key is empathy (listening) whether you are in agreement or not. Listening patiently to someone brings you more or less to the same wavelength and you earn the trust of the person and then you win him/her.
Now you can motivate and coach him to achieve his personal objectives and those of the organization. 19-9-2017

On #1: Work Overload of the Working Class
Dalhatu Zubairu, Director, Nigeria
Avoiding work overload may be somewhat difficult, especially if a worker doesn't earn a living wage and has to engage in a second job to make ends meet. This situation prevails in less developed countries.
As a solution, good management is extra important and the workers should be made conscious of their rights to put their supervisors at work on these issues that hinder their socio-economic development. 20-9-2017

Management by Objectives for Developing EI and Soft Skills
Paseka Ramokoatsi, Project Manager, Lesotho
I think MBO or management by objectives should be adhered to whereby employees are given the targets and indicators and resources are made available.
The nitty gritty of how to do it be best left with the employee. The majority of people especially in offices work best with minimal intervention of the boss. The opposite demotivates them. 20-9-2017

Manager can Reduce Work Overload of Employee by Delegating Authority
Kamohelo Seseane, Manager, South Africa
I agree with your statement @Paseka Ramokoatsi. Employees perform better when they are given authority to execute tasks and most of the time have the solution to problems, but lack the confidence when they're micro-managed.
This is a management solution to reduce work overload, not only of him/herself, but also of the employee. 21-9-2017

EI - Nature or Nurture?
Ivan Kohlinsky, Management Consultant, United Kingdom
Watching Sheldon in 'The Big Bang Theory' (not real, I know!) shows that the majority of EI comes from a person's nature, assisted by upbringing, etc.
However, small improvements can still be made. As far as nature/nurture are concerned, I would tend to put EI in the same bracket as Entrepreneurship. Some people do it/have it naturally, and they are normally the best at it, but other people can go on courses that may release some talent. I can't paint, nor play the piano, but I could learn to do both to some extent. Ultimately my output would still be stilted.
Editor: Indeed you can definitely improve your EI and managers can definitely assist or hinder you in achieving this. It's only the extent to which this is possible that is not so obvious. For more see the best practice "(How) Can I improve my Emotional Intelligence?" (Premium). 22-9-2017


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