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Why Emotional Intelligence is important when setting goals

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3 Questions To Answer When Setting Goals

What is your business new year resolution for 2019?

Is it to be a better manager/leader (fill in the appropriate job role) or do you plan to be less angry, have a better life/work balance, move the office, focus on that promotion, or perhaps you decided you are going to encourage and motivate your team members to reach their potential?  

Whatever your goals, how will you ensure you stay motivated to do what you say you will do?

In other words, how will you make sure you "walk the talk" while focusing on your goals and what will happen if you don't? 

Whatever your business new year resolutions are, this research may be of interest. 

Researchers Rebecca Greenbaum, Mary Mawritz and Ronald Piccolo, looked at what happens when managers do not do what they set out to do.

Not what happens to them, but what the effect is on others around them.

How do employees react when their leaders and managers don’t "walk the talk”

In a survey involving over 300 participants from different industries, they sought to examine employees’ perception of being undermined by their managers when they think their managers don’t practice what they preach and the level of interpersonal justice they experience in the workplace.

The researchers then examined the relationship of these factors to the employees’ future-plans to leave the organisation, the level of trust they had in their leaders and their perception of promises being broken.

Greenbaum and her team found out that the more the employees thought of their leaders as a hypocrite (i.e., not walking the talk), the greater their intention to leave the company. Their feelings of being undermined by their supervisors also led them to entertain thoughts of quitting, but only when there was a high expectation of interpersonal justice.

In other words, when the manager or leader expects employees to show care, respect and just treatment to each other, but don’t exhibit these behaviours themselves, the more employees are driven to leave.

Importantly, it is not just unfair treatment which lowers motivation and increases staff turnover; it’s the leaders’ perceived hypocrisy that drives the staff away.   

The EBW View

Perhaps, not surprisingly, the main takeaway of Greenbaum and her team’s study is that leaders and managers must show consistency in their words and action.  

And at this time of year it is not a bad idea to think about what we say we are going to do, what we really do and importantly, how others may perceive our actions.

How are we going to "walk the talk"?

So, if you are making a New Year's resolution, perhaps it should be to be more Emotionally Intelligent in 2019? 

Emotional Intelligence is not just about being self-aware and managing our emotional impact on our behaviours, it is also about being socially aware; considering how we understand others, as well as considering how others perceive us and then reacting accordingly. 

In other words, being consistent in our emotions, words and actions.

Over the last 20 years Emotional Intelligence, has been shown to be the vital ingredient when building successful leaders, managers and teams in sports and business. 

So, as you make your New Year's resolutions and goals for 2019, here are 3 Emotional Intelligent questions to consider:

  1. How will you ensure you "walk the talk" and keep emotionally focused (motivated) on your goals (Self-Management)?

  2. How will others perceive your behaviour and goals and how will you know (Self-Awareness)?

  3. How will you ensure others support you in your goals (Relationship Management)?

We strongly believe in goal setting and self‐reflection because it encourages us to grow as unique individuals. 

There is power and confidence in accomplishing the milestones we set for ourselves.

But while you’re taking the time to reflect on your goal(s), remember to plan for consistency in your emotions, words and actions and how others may perceive your behaviour. 

Otherwise the impact your goals and behaviour has on others may be greater than you realise.

Finally, set emotional and behavioural goals that are achievable, measurable and have clear metrics to track.

Have a great 2019.


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The EBW Global Emotional Intelligence System is a unique assessment and development tool for Managers, Executive Coaches, HR experts and Psychologists.

Based on over 20 years of worldwide use and research, it enables you to get leaders and teams to understand why they behave the way they do and use a highly effective 10 step framework to improve their occupational performance.

With a practitioner's network based on 6 continents, all of whom are licensed to use the EBW System, we guarantee the EBW Emotional Intelligence approach empowers leaders and teams to transform themselves and their organisations. 


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