I am grateful to be featured in the reputable broadsheet of Gulf News, Education Section on July 28, 2013 after presenting a research paper at Harvard University. The article synthesized a chunk of data on emotional intelligence (EI) – an indicator that matters most in the workplace today (link: http://gulfnews.com/life-style/education/higher-emotional-intelligence-makes-you-a-better-leader-1.1213707 ).

Let me share some thoughts to ponder for 2014.

The quest for leadership remains a battlefield since the primordial earth, claiming that its essence is plainly limited to the idea that one needs to influence others to take initiative and seek defined objectives. In today’s world, the new leadership concept is intertwined with sharing commitment by challenging opportunities with the entire team to foster essential growth and development.

There is a greater call to challenge the process, especially in the Middle East populace. Challenging the process, for instance, is to feel that every job is something to look forward to. We likewise challenge the process by welcoming possible adversities along the way, thereby making things happen. Let us remember that inasmuch as trees make up the forest, challenges create tough leaders.  Shortcomings need to be confronted, not to be avoided or ignored.

Having the courage to face adversities points the two distinct competencies under EI – conflict management and initiative. As I have cited in my article in Gulf News in 2013, even if EI is regarded as a relatively new concept in the Middle East (not really in the western side of the world), EI education and testing have been customary. Currently, many explorations are being partaken to magnify the veracity of the established measurement tools and structured programs in GCC/UAE. For example, the survey instruments provide feedback about employees’ competencies related to customer service. This can indeed block customer traffic. When one is reflective of his day-to-day activities and has been given the opportunity to be exposed to constant interaction in groups, the higher EI one can possibly have. Being exposed to structured EI training programs can indeed help a person to bring out the best in him.

Moreover, there are survey instruments that can measure EI and job performance of employees that can be used in the GCC/UAE corporate settings. I have once written that the survey instruments are valid across culture and can generate specific data that can lead to the creation of structured EI training programs. Once the soft skills training programs are in place, employees can better discover their strengths and can unveil their opportunities for further growth. Imagine, if these structured programs that can enhance EI of people at work are in place, management can be at its peak.

Lastly, the requisite of being a leader does not only call for academic excellence or high IQ (intelligence quotient). Trustworthiness as part of EI Self Management dimension points to an important value at work – ethics. If managers are ethical, it will be easy to manage work as people comply according to set of rules.

Now, it is your turn to unleash your leadership potential. Turn that potent force into a powerful icon of resiliency and effectiveness. Try to go beyond your functions as a follower and as a leader – as you succeed – you have challenged the process by becoming an emotionally intelligent leader as you can be.

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Rommel Sergio

MBA and Undergraduate Associate Professor in the Human Resource Management Program, School of Business Administration at Canadian University of Dubai, UAE, Dr. Rommel Pilapil Sergio holds a Post-Doctoral Bridge to Business in Management at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.