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THE COMPONENTS OF A WORKPLACE ENVIRONEMNT THAT CULTIVATE

EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT EMPLOYEES

_______________________________
A Research Project Presented to the Faculty of
The George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management Pepperdine University
________________________________

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science
in
Organization Development
_______________________________

By Dima Koyfman
JUNE 2015

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Abstract
Companies all over the world are looking to develop the best employees. The
problem is identifying where to invest their time, money, and energy in order to achieve
that goal. If we accept that assumption that employees with high Emotional Intelligence
make for better employees and that Emotional Intelligence can increase in individuals
(Newman 2010) (Liautaud, J.P. 2010), employers would be wise to create a work
environment that cultivates Emotional Intelligence. When designing a work environment,
what components cultivate Emotionally Intelligent employees?
My approach to this problem was to focus on Emotional Intelligence as the
competency most aligned with effective employee. I used Daniel Goleman’s definition of
Emotional intelligence (Self-Awareness, Managing Your Emotions, Self-Motivation,
Empathy, and Social Skills). (Goleman, 2005) A mixed methodology was used in this
study. This study includes qualitative research in the form of interviews and quantitative
research in the form of the MHS EQi 2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment.
Nine individuals participated in this study. Each participant answered the same
17-question interview and the same 133 responses EQ assessment. The interview
questions were designed with 2-3 context-building questions and one “experience”
question for each of the five abilities that make up Emotional Intelligence. The final
interview question asked participants to design a workplace that cultivates emotionally
intelligent employees.
Each of the nine participants fully completed an interview an assessment. All data
was taken into account in data analysis. The EQi 2.0 assessment was used to make
connections between the participants’ responses and their level of Emotional Intelligence.
Many themes emerged in the data. There were two clear categories that emerged
when participants reflected on their past professional experiences. The workplace
environment was made up of physical and strategic components. Each category had
numerous responses with some responses having a higher frequency. The EQi 2.0
assessment generated a wide range of responses and scores.
In conclusion, employers can play a large role in designing their workplace with
the intention of increase Emotional Intelligence in their employees. Employees who have
experiences of adversity, challenge, and ambiguity have elevated Emotional Intelligence.
Designed experiences do not elevate Emotional Intelligence any more or less than
unintentional experiences. Before an employer can make any effort toward increasing
emotional intelligence, they must create a space for emotions to be accepted and
expected. In regards to increasing Emotional Intelligence, an experience will have
different results per individual. Employers can look at physical and strategic changes in
order to elevate Emotional Intelligence. Employers can look at Emotional Intelligence as
a while or each of the five domains as described by Daniel Goleman (Goleman 1995)

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Table of Contents
Page
Abstract

02

List of Tables

06

Chapter 1. Introduction

07

Introduction

07

Research Purpose

08

Importance and Significance of Research

09

Study Setting

09

Thesis Outline

09

Chapter 2. Literature Review

11

History of Emotional Intelligence

11

IQ and Job Performance

12

Emotional Intelligence and Job Performance

13

EI in the Field
15
Experiential Knowledge

14

Can Emotional Intelligence be Developed?

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Chapter 3. Methodology

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3

Research Design

18

Research Sample and Setting

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Assessment

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Protection of Human Subjects

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Summary

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Chapter 4. Results

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Quantitative Data – EQ-i 2.0

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Qualitative Data – Interviews

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Self-Awareness (Understanding your emotions)

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Managing Emotions (Monitoring your emotions)

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Motivation (Self-Motivation)

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Empathy (Relating well/understand the emotions of others)

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Social Skills (Managing relationships)

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Design the Workplace

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Findings

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Summary

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Chapter 5. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendation

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Conclusions

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Limitations

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Recommendations

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Suggestions for Further Research

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Summary

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References

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Appendix

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4

A.
B.
C.
D.

Interview Questions
Certificate of Protection of Human Subjects
Screenshots from EQi 2.0 Assessments
Letter sent to Participants

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List of Tables

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Table

Page
1. Table of Participants
2. Table showing frequency that participants scored in each category
of the EQi-2.0 Assessment
3. Standardized Total Scores of all Participants of the EQi-2.0
Assessment
4. Strategic Themes
5. Physical Themes
6. Additional keyword map of frequency

Chapter 1: Introduction
Introduction

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Hiring and developing an effective workforce is on the forefront of any
organization’s agenda. Accomplishing that is easier said than done. For a long time, IQ
was presented as a leading indicator in someone’s mental capacity and therefor an
important factor in hiring decisions. (Hunter 1984). Even very large organizations like the
US Military have utilized IQ tests and a score of 85 as a minimum for entry (Gottfredson,
L. S. (2006). What if IQ is not painting the entire picture? What if there is another set of
capabilities that are equally, if not more important that IQ in assessing the effectiveness
of an employee? As early as 1920, the ideas of “Social Intelligence” have been making
the case that cognitive ability only scratches the surface or measuring overall intelligence
(Thorndike 1920). Over the past 20-30 years, the idea of Emotional Intelligence has been
making its way into job performance conversations. In 1995, Daniel Goleman put
Emotional Intelligence in the spotlight like it had never been before. His is the definition
of Emotional Intelligence used in this study. In more recent history, researches have
proposed that Emotional Intelligence, especially in jobs that require more emotional
labor, is a better indicator of job performance than IQ (Newman 2010). Studies have also
shown that Emotional Intelligence has the capability to increase within individuals
through training and experiences (Liautaud, J.P. 2010). With more and more evidence
indicating a positive correlation between Emotional Intelligence and job performance,
employers are challenged to strategically think about their workplace environment.
Would removing cubicles help increase Emotional Intelligence? Would adding
collaboration to performance reviews help increase emotional intelligence? If Emotional
Intelligence can be increased, what are the component of a workplace environment that
cultivates emotionally intelligent employees?

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Research Purpose
This research project was an exploration into the components of a workplace that
foster and cultivate emotionally intelligent employees. This study addressed the question,
what are the components of a work environment that increase emotional intelligence?
This study used the definition of Emotional Intelligence developed by Daniel
Goleman (Goleman 1995). Emotional Intelligence is described as five domains:
1.) Self-Awareness (How well do you know your emotions?)
2.) Self-Management (How well can you manage your emotions? Both positive and
distressing emotions)
3.) Self-Motivation (How well can you tap into the triggers that make you strive
toward a goal)
4.) Empathy (How well do you relate to others? What is your level of empathy?)
5.) Social Skills (How well do you manage relationships? How do you handle
conflict?)
This study sought to answer to following questions:
1) What events or situations in your professional experience have positively 
affected each of the five domains of emotional intelligence?
2) If you had a magic paintbrush to design a work place designed to create
increase emotional intelligence, what are the components?

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Importance and Significance of Research
In the business world, often the “bottom line” occupies the majority of employer’s
agendas. Profitability can dictate whether a company continues to exist or fades into
oblivion. Task and relationship based approaches are important in creating profitability.
The relationship side can be a bit more difficult to define. By diving into workplace
design and how Emotional Intelligence can be infused into how a business runs,
organizations have the opportunity to unlock growth they never thought was possible. I
hope this research can provide recommendations that help organizations create more
Emotionally Intelligent employees and therefore a more effective and profitable future.
Study Setting
Nine members of retail leadership participated in this research. All currently work
for the same company but have varied backgrounds. Each participant was asked the same
questions based off of Daniel Goleman’s Mixed Model definition of Emotional
Intelligence. Each participant completed the EQi 2.0 assessment.
Thesis Outline
Chapter 1 explored the significance of designing a workplace that fosters an
emotionally intelligent work force. Evidence that emotionally intelligent employee are
more effective and emotional intelligence can be developed was generally presented. One
of the methods to help employers design work environments that increase emotionally
intelligence is to research employees’ experience and discover situations, events, people,
tools that helped them develop their ability in each domain of emotional intelligence.

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Chapter 2 provided a review of existing literature in several areas relating to the
importance emotional intelligence in work environments and the ability to develop the 5
domains that make up emotional intelligence. I reviewed the relationship between IQ and
job performance transitioning to the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and job
performance. I reviewed the application of Emotional Intelligence in the field, the theory
of experiential learning, and examples of Emotional Intelligence increasing through
exposure to training.
The literature review both supports and provides counter arguments to hoe
emotional intelligence relates to effective workplaces. This provides a context to
emotionally intelligence as a theory and provides the foundation for the research.
Chapter 3 is an overview of the research methodology. This chapter consists of an
outline of the research design, a description of the sample and research setting, an
explanation of the measurements employed, an overview of the data analysis process, and
a description of steps taken for the protection of human subjects.
Chapter 4 is a collection of findings from both qualitative (interviews) and
quantitative (assessment) research methods. The interview questions were consistent
amongst all participants and all participants completed the EQi 2.0 assessment. Several
key themes were identified related to specific workplace components that helped increase
emotional intelligence.
Chapter 5 presents a series of conclusions and what they may mean for
organizations and how they design their workplace. Recommendations are made in
regards to how employers can create or modify their work environment in order to foster
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more emotionally intelligent team members. Possible limitations are presented as well as
further research areas to explore.
Chapter 2: Review of Literature (Conceptual Framework)
History of Emotional Intelligence
Before Emotional Intelligence became a more common term, elements of the
theory trace back to as early as 1920. The idea od intelligence had always referred to
more of a mental capacity measure. As originally coined by E.L. Thorndike (1920), the
term intelligence referred to the person's ability to understand and manage other people,
and to engage in adaptive social interactions. Thorndike actually looked at intelligence as
three distinct categories. The ability to understand and manage ideas (abstract
intelligence), concrete objects (mechanical intelligence), and people (social intelligence).
The first use of the term "emotional intelligence" is usually attributed to Wayne
Payne’s doctoral thesis, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence from
1985. Emotional Intelligence began to gain some traction with the development of the
Ability Model (Mayer & Salovey 1997). In Mayer and Salovey’s research, Emotional
Intelligence was defined by four abilities:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Perceiving Emotions
Using Emotions
Understanding Emotions
Managing Emotions

A few years later, Konstantin Petrides introduced his own theory called the Trait
Model (Petrides 2000). Petrides’ main distinction between the Trait Model and the Ability
model was in how Emotional Intelligence was measured. The Trait Model emphasizes a
self-perception as opposed to actual abilities.

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The theory of Emotional Intelligence reached a more widespread level of exposure
with the release of the book, Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ by
Daniel Goleman. He introduced a Mixed Model that highlighted five abilities related to
Emotional Intelligence.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Knowing your emotions (self-awareness)
Managing your emotions (self-monitoring)
Motivating yourself (self-motivation)
Recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions (relating well)
Managing relationships (emotional mentoring)

Goleman plants his foot firmly in the idea that although we are all born with a general
emotional intelligence, we are not stuck at a particular level of competence. If we assume
this to be true, specific training and experiences can increase someone’s emotional
intelligence.
IQ and Job Performance
Employers are always striving for the most effective ways to assess current and
future employees. For several decades employers have looked to utilize IQ as a tool for
assessing employees. Even very large organizations like the US Military have utilized IQ
tests and a score of 85 as a minimum for entry (Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). In their 1986
study, Frank Schmidt and John Hunter have shown a significant positive relationship
between IQ scores and job performance (Hunter, 1986). In a chapter advocating the
principle that employers should “select on intelligence,” Schmidt and Hunter state:
“Intelligence is the major determinant of job performance, and therefore hiring people
based on intelligence leads to marked improvements in job performance – improvements
that have high economic value to the firm”. Anders Ericsson (1993) offers a counter 
argument.  His research shows a pretty significant disconnect between aptitude and job 

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performance. Here is an excerpt from this study,
The relation of IQ to exceptional performance is rather weak in many domains, 
including music (Shuter­Dyson, 1982) and chess (Doll & Mayr, 1987). For 
scientists, engineers, and medical doctors that complete the required education 
and training, the correlations between ability measures and occupational success 
are only around 0.2, accounting for only 4% of the variance (Baird, 1985). More 
generally, pre­ diction of occupational success from psychometric tests has not 
been very successful (Tyler, 1965). In a review of more than one hundred studies, 
Ghiselli (1966) found the average correlation between success­on­the­job 
measuring and aptitude test scores to be 0.19. Aptitude tests can predict 
performance immediately 
After training with an average correlation of 0.3, but the correlation between 
performance after training and final performance on the job is only about 0.2 
(Ghiselli, 1966). Reviews of subsequent research (Baird, 1985; Linn, 1982) have 
reported very similar correlation estimates. When corrections were made for the 
restriction of range of these samples and for unreliability of performance 
measures, Hunter and Hunter (1984) found that only cognitive ability emerged as 
a useful predictor with an average adjusted correlation of 0.5 with early job
performance. 
With research for and against the relationship between IQ and job performance, lets look 
at how it compares to the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and job 
performance.
Emotional Intelligence and Job Performance

Research of EI and job performance shows mixed results: a positive relation has
been found in some of the studies; in others there was no relation or an inconsistent one.
This led researchers Cote and Miners (2006) to offer a compensatory model between EI
and IQ, that posits that the association between EI and job performance becomes more
positive as cognitive intelligence decreases, an idea first proposed in the context of
academic performance (Petrides, Frederickson, & Furnham, 2004). The results of the

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former study supported the compensatory model: employees with low IQ get higher task
performance and organizational citizenship behavior directed at the organization, the
higher their EI.
A meta-analytic review by Joseph and Newman also revealed that both Ability EI and
Trait EI tend to predict job performance much better in jobs that require a high degree of
emotional labor (where 'emotional labor' was defined as jobs that require the effective
display of positive emotion). In contrast, EI shows little relationship to job performance
in jobs that do not require emotional labor. In other words, emotional intelligence tends to
predict job performance for emotional jobs only.
In their 2009 book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Bradberry and Greaves (2009)
conclude that emotional intelligence predicts 58% of job performance, but only 36% of
people are able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen. (Bradberry 2009)
In jobs with higher Managerial Work Demands (MWD) there was a significant
correlation between Emotional Intelligence and job performance (Fahr 2012)
Experiential Knowledge
Before I was aware of the theory of Emotional Intelligence, there are examples in
my experience where I leveraged aspects of the concept. Working at Apple, my reference
for defining my behaviors was the Lominger Competencies. Developing skill in a
certain competency is achieved through the 70/20/10 model of learning. Although the
specific design can vary, this would typically look like the following:
10: Some time spent reading more in depth about a particular competency. Each
competency had a description of skilled, unskilled, and overuse. In addition to the

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definition, the Lominger model also provided general recommendations on how to
improve skill. The recommendations varied from book recommendations to specific
experiences.
20: A series of conversations would be planned between a team member and their direct
supervisor. Those conversations were designed to deepen understanding of the
competency to work on. The supervisor will provide feedback around specific example of
when that team member demonstrated low skill in the competency. The supervisor would
also provide coaching and advice on how to improve in the competency by telling
personal stories or making recommendations.
70: The supervisor would help design a specific experience for the team member to have.
For example, if someone was working on approachability, they may practice open body
language and smiling when meeting people for the first time. That team member would
then reflect on how people reacted to the change and follow up to see how they came
across. My experience with this method of development has been validated through
performance reviews and seeing certain competencies move from being opportunities to
being strengths. I have found that the most effective learning happened when the
70/20/10 model was followed closely. When developing an activity or training module,
the intent will be to design it in such a way that takes the 70/20/10 model into account.
EI in the field
In a study done in 2012, Lucia Stretcher Sigmar, Geraldine Hynes, and Kathy Hill
developed a four activity lesson designed to achieve “deep learning” of the five EI
competencies in the Mixed Model. Below is a table with a brief description of each
activity. The appendix will have examples taken directly from the research.

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The researchers argue that designing exercises that are experiential like the ones
above are the most effective in developing neural pathways. A concern with these
activities is validity. This study did not incorporate an assessment to validate whether EI
was increased as a result of going through each exercise. If we consider the idea that
these types of skills are not learned over night, we have to be mindful of how quickly we
assess EI after an exercise like this. Is a four activity design enough to have an actual
impact on EI?
In addition to the workplace, EI has been a topic of discussion as it relates to
building curriculums for children as school. Teachers such as James Wade have built EI
lessons into his curriculum at Garfield Elementary in Oakland, CA. Wade does this by
role-playing with his students and helping them unpack their emotions. Marc Brackett, a
senior research scientist in psychology at Yale University said, “Something we know
now, from doing dozens of studies, is that emotions can either enhance or hinder your
ability to learn” Unfortunately, few studies have been done on which skills are actually
acquired through EI lessons and whether those lessons had a lasting effect on the
performance of the students. One of the more “sticky” programs is called Second Step.
One of the training modules in Second Step includes students watching a video about two
friends walking down the street. In the video, one friend give the other a necklace to
borrow and while the second friend is borrowing the necklace, it starts the rain and the
necklace becomes ruined. The students are asked to write an apology letter and pretend
that they are the friend who had the necklace when it was ruined. The result of the
exercise was a debate between the children and teacher. The teacher had to blatantly
describe the “point of the lesson” rather than having the students come to the conclusion

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on their own. If we still assume that EI can be taught, there is an opportunity to look at
how workplaces can be designed in a way that is conducive to increase the five abilities
that make up Emotional Intelligence.
Can Emotional Intelligence be developed?
In order to investigate the elements of a workplace design that increase Emotional
Intelligence, we must first establish that Emotional Intelligence can be increased at all. A 
study was done with 39 subjects from Brazilian and American decent showed that 
Emotional Intelligence, on average increased as a result of going through an Emotional 
Intelligence workshop (Sala 2002). Jim Liautaud, the creator of PDT (Process Design 
Training), proved to increase emotional intelligence, by using sequential ISO 
(International Organization for Standardization) training processes rather than teachers 
(Liautaud, J.P. 2010). Using the Six Seconds’ Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI)2,
a study of 405 American people showed that emotional intelligence (EQ) increased 
slightly with age. The relationship was r=.13 (p<.01) ­­ slight but significant. In a study 
around plasticity and Emotional Intelligence, participants in an intervention group 
underwent a specifically designed 15­hr intervention targeting the 5 core emotional 
competencies, complemented with a 4­week e­mail follow­up. Results revealed that the 
level of emotional competencies increased significantly in the intervention group in 
contrast with the control group (Kotsou 2011).

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Chapter 3: Methodology
This research project was an exploration into the components of a workplace that
foster and cultivate emotionally intelligent employees. This study addressed the question,
what are the components of a work environment that increase emotional intelligence?
This chapter consists of an outline of the research design, a description of the
sample and research setting, an explanation of the measurements employed, an overview
of the data analysis process, and a description of steps taken for the protection of human
subjects.
Research Design
In an effort to identify the components of a workplace that cultivate emotional
intelligence and legitimize those responses, a combination of qualitative and quantitative
research was conducted for this research. 17 Interview questions (Appendix ) were design
with a focus around past experiences, situations and events that increased ability in the
five domains of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, 1995). Once the interviews were
complete, each of the nine participants completed a 133 multiple-choice assessment
called the EQi 2.0, which assessed their Emotional Intelligence level.
Research Sample and Setting
The population for this study consisted of 9 employees in varying levels of
leadership in retail management. Eight employees work in one location and one works in
another location. Both locations are in the Seattle area. Each participant volunteered his
or her time outside of company time.
Name

Position

Location

Work

Previous

Experience

Company

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Travis Krant
Donna Jordan

Store Leader
Sr. Store

Bellevue Square
Bellevue Square

15 Years
20 Years

Independent
Restoration Hardware

Dave Harmon

Manager
Sr. Store

Bellevue Square

25 Years

Best Buy GM

Maria

Manager
Sr. Store

Bellevue Square

24 Years

Nordstrom Buyer

Connelly
Rich Trifeletti

Manager
Sr. Store

University

16 Years

American Eagle

Lindsay Ward

Manager
Sr. Store

Village
Bellevue Square

15 Years

Gap

Sam Alvarez
Joshua Hansen
Jim Kaiser

Manager
Store Manager
Store Manger
Store Manager

Bellevue Square
Bellevue Square
Bellevue Square

10 Years
10 Years
30 Years

N/A
Gym Manager
Home Depot GM

At the beginning of the study, the researcher contacted each team member asking
if they would volunteer in a thesis related to Emotional Intelligence in the workplace.
Each participant was told that there would be two parts to their participation, 1) An
interview and 2) an assessment. Below is an outline of interview process;
-

Each participant was positioned that the interview would take between

-

30 – 60 minutes.
Each participant was given a brief description of why the researcher was

-

conducting his thesis
Each participant was asked, “What do you currently know about

-

Emotional Intelligence?”
A 5-minute video narrated by Daniel Goleman was shown to build

-

consistent context and a definition of Emotional Intelligence. (Appendix)
At the completion of the video, the researcher told the participants to

-

answer all of the questions through a professional context.
Each participant was informed that his or her interview was going to be
recorded using the Transcribe app on an iPhone for the purpose of being
transcribed.

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Below is a copy of the interview questions used with each participant:
Pre- Questions:
How do you define self-awareness?
What does it mean to know your emotions?
What is the importance of self-awareness?
1. What events or situations in your professional experience have positively affected
your self-awareness?
Pre- Questions:
How do you define managing your emotions?
What is the importance of managing your emotions?
2. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability
to manage your emotions?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to motivate yourself?
What is the importance of motivating yourself?
3. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability
to motivate yourself?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to relate well to others?
What is the importance of relating well to others?
4. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability
to recognize and understand other people’s emotions?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to manage your relationships with others?
What is the importance of managing relationships?
5. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability
to manage relationships?
If you had a magic paint brush to design a work place designed to create increase
emotional intelligence, what are the components?

At the conclusion of each interview, each participant was informed that they
would complete an Emotional Intelligence assessment in the coming weeks.
Assessment

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Emotional intelligence drives satisfaction, health, and effectiveness at work and at
home. The EQ-i 2.0 is the most comprehensive assessment in Emotional Intelligence
available. Multi-Health Systems, Inc. of Toronto Canada extensively researched and
revised the assessment to make it a premier tool for exploring emotional intelligence
throughout the world.
The 1­5­15 factor structure: this is a particular structural set­up, based on the Bar­
On (1997) model of EI, that EQ­i users have always found easy to use and have become 
accustomed to. The EQ­i 2.0 features one overarching EI score, broken down into five 
composite scores which, in turn, are broken down into a total of 15 subscales. While, in 
the earlier version, individual items loaded on multiple subscales, in the new EQ­i 2.0, 
items only load on one subscale.
The EQ-i2.0 is a 133 question self-assessment that explores the frequency of and
role that sixteen different elements of emotional well-being play in your life. Through
extensive research, the areas of self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision
making, and stress management related behaviors make up the key dimensions of this
assessment.
Protection of Human Subjects
Approval to conduct the proposed research study will not be necessary from the
Pepperdine University Institutional Review Board before conducting the research due to
participants all working within researcher’s organization. The researcher has worked with
his Human Resources department and Business Conduct team to ensure permission is
granted to conduct the proposed research. Attached are the Student Project Questionnaire
and Letter of Intent from Pepperdine University clearly stating the purpose of the

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research, how the data will be protected, and Pepperdine’s intent regarding intellectual
property. (In Appendix) The researcher was permitted to a private thesis. Therefore, the
research will not be published. The researcher also completed the training course,
“Protecting Human Research Participants,” offered by he National Institutes of Health
Office of Extramural Research on December 6th, 2013. (In Appendix)
Summary
This chapter provided an overview of the research methodology consisting of the
research design, the research sample and setting, the measurements, the EQi 2.0
assessment, the interview questions, the data analysis, and a description of steps taken for
the protection of human subjects. Chapter 4 provides an analysis of the collected data.
Chapter 4: Results
This research project was an exploration of the workplace environment
components that cultivate emotionally intelligent employees. This study attempted to
answer the question: What are the components of a workplace environment that cultivate
emotionally intelligent employees?
This chapter presents findings of the study and describes the data collection
results. The first section presents only the quantitative survey data collected using the
EQ-i 2.0 assessment from MHS. The second section presents only the qualitative data
gathered during face-to-face interviews with the research participants. The third section
consists of findings relating to the participants’ experiences and the impact of those
experiences on the five domains of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman 1995)
Quantitative Data – EQ-i 2.0
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In order to draw a connection between the participants’ responses to the interview
question and their current state of Emotional Intelligence, each participant was asked to
complete the EQ-i 2.0 assessment. The raw data provided scores on 23 different
components of Emotional Intelligence as defined by the assessment. Complete results can
be found in the appendix. For the purposes of this research, the primary data I pulled
from the EQ-i 2.0 assessment were the Standardized Total Score results (TOT_T). The
assessments generated a range of standardized scores between 88-116 with a Mean=101.6
and a STD DEV=7.76 with an N=10. The EQ-i 2.0 divides scores into a low, medium,
and high range. For total standardized scores, the low range is 90 and below, medium
range is 90-110, and high is 110 or above. Based on these criteria, the sample has the
following distribution:
Score Range

Number of Participants

High

1

Medium

8

Low

1

23

TOT_T
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0

95

95

100

116

108

99

100

107

108

88
TOT_T

Qualitative Data – Interviews
The interview was designed with 17 total questions. 6 questions directly related to
the research question and 11 questions to establish context. The interview questions were
organized based on the five domains of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman 1995). 5
questions were designed in the format, “What experiences or events in your professional
experience have positively affected your ability to [domain of Emotional Intelligence].
The final question of the interview asked the participants to design a workplace with the
intention of building capacity in Emotional Intelligence and provide specific examples of
the physical and strategic components they would include.
The results are accounted below organized by the five domains of Emotional
Intelligence (Goleman 1995).
Self-Awareness (Understanding your emotions)
The first set of questions explored the domain of self-awareness.

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Context: How do you define self-awareness?
Context: What does it mean to know your emotions?
Context: What is the importance of self-awareness?
Research Question: What events or situations in your professional experience have
positively affected your self-awareness?
In regards to the research question in this grouping, six themes emerged in the examples
given:
-Verbal affirmation/Feedback
The most common situation/event/experience shared regarding self-awareness
spoke to the theme of verbal affirmation or feedback. Of the nine participants, five
referred to an example related to this theme. One of the participants spoke to a specific
example during a mid-year review where a supervisor provided feedback regarding “the
places you need to develop to be excellent in your role” the participant says that it was “a
jumping off point” in regards to their self awareness and development. The terms
“feedback” was mentioned 28 times across all interviews.
-Self Reflection
The second most common situation/event/experience shared regarding selfawareness spoke to the theme of Self-Reflection. Of the nine participants, four referred to
an example related to this theme. One of the participants shared an experience of moving
for a promotion and said, “there was a lot of need for self-reflection and building that
confidence on my own”. There was a relatively high variety in the vocabulary used to
describe self-reflection. The term reflection appeared four times across all interviews.
-Great Bosses/Mentors

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The third most common situation/event/experience shared regarding selfawareness spoke to the theme of Great Bosses/Mentors. One participant said, “coaches or
mentors to be able to not tell you but lead you to that place”. In addition to making
mention of great bosses or mentors, this theme was often connected to feedback that the
boss or mentor shared that impacted their Self-Awareness. There was a relatively high
variety in the vocabulary used to describe Great Bosses/Mentors. There are eight
mentions of “bosses” or “mentors” across all interviews.
The themes of “A strong culture that incorporates emotion”, ‘New experiences”
and “Interviews” came up two or less times. One participant said, “It’s driven on emotion
rather than results” when speaking about their current organization.
Managing Emotions (Monitoring your emotions)
The second set of questions explored the domain of managing emotions.

Context: How do you define managing your emotions?
Context: What is the importance of managing your emotions?
Research Question: What situations in your professional experience have positively
affected your ability to manage your emotions?

In regards to the research question in this grouping, seven themes emerged in the
examples given:
- Feedback
The most common situation/event/experience shared regarding self-awareness
spoke to the theme of feedback. Of the nine participants, three referred to an example
related to this theme. One participant said, “For several years now, that’s [composure]
26

been the thing I’ve been given positive feedback around” One thing of note is the term
“composure”. Composure is mentioned 17 times in all interviews and five out of nine
participants as it relates to their responses regarding managing their emotions.
The theme of “adversity”, “perseverance” and “designed chaos” were the second
most common themes. Although there were distinct differences between these themed,
they also shared many attributes. When considering these three ideas under into one
bucket, it becomes tied with “Feedback” as the most common theme. When speaking to
the idea of adversity, three participants shared examples of being turned down for a
promotion and how that experience increased their ability to manage their emotions. Two
participants shared examples of especially ambiguous or stressful situations that helped
their ability to manage their emotions.
The remaining themes that were mentioned in regards to managing emotions were
“Self-Reflection”, “Mentors”, and “Being able to vent”. Three separate participants
mentioned each theme one time. It should be noted the connection between “Mentors”
and “Feedback” in this domain.
Motivation (Self-Motivation)
The third set of questions explored the domain of motivation.

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Context: What does it mean to motivate yourself?
Context: What is the importance of motivating yourself?
Research Question: What situations in your professional experience have positively
affected your ability to motivate yourself?

In regards to the research question in this grouping, five themes emerged in the examples
given:
- Results/Performance
The theme of “Results/Performance” was tied for the most common theme in
regards to Motivation. Four out of nine participants spoke to this theme is their responses.
One participant wrote, “To see the team win, to see the team get excited on an emotional
high. That take me even higher because I know we can go to the next step”. Although the
term “goals” showed up across multiple domains, the term “results” only came up in the
Motivation responses. When speaking to “results”, there was no clear distinction between
individual results versus team results.
- Adversity
The theme of “Adversity” was tied for the most common theme in regards to
Motivation. Four out of nine participants spoke to this theme is their responses. One
participant wrote, “The first [interview] was confusing and challenging and very
motivating at the end”. Not getting a promotion as well as tough feedback were specific
situations that were connected to the theme of “adversity”. The terms “failure” and
“challenge” were mentioned a combined 14 times across al interviews.
-Feedback

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The next most common theme was Feedback as it relates to Motivation. Three out
of nine participants spoke to Feedback in their responses. One participant said, “This is
what we’d like to see but this is what you are doing. And so then I’m motivated to want
to do it differently or be better.” It should be noted that with two participants, their
examples had elements of “Feedback” and “Results/Performance. For one participant,
their response had element of “Feedback” and “Adversity”
Two additional themes, “Accolades” and “Respected Leaders/Peers” were
mentioned once respectively.
Empathy (Relating well/understand the emotions of others)
The 4th set of questions explored the domain of empathy.

Context: What does it mean to relate well to others?
Context: What is the importance of relating well to others?
Research Question: What situations in your professional experience have positively
affected your ability to recognize and understand other people’s emotions?

In regards to the research question in this grouping, six themes emerged in the examples
given:
-Trial and Error
The theme of “Trial and Error” was the most common theme in regards to Empathy.
Three out of nine participants spoke to this theme is their responses. One participant said,
“Trial and error. Like having a situation where a team member is breaking down…you
start to talk to this person and understand why they reacted emotionally”. Each of the
times the theme of Trail and Error was mentioned, it referred specifically to examples of
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not reading or understanding someone’s emotions correctly and learning through that
error.
Additionally, the themes of “Body Language”, Working in Small Groups’,
“Formal Training” and “Common Goals” all came up in regards to situations where
someone’s ability to relate well to others increase. In this question, “Trail and Error” was
clearly the most popular theme.
Social Skills (Managing relationships)
The last set of questions explored the domain of social skills.

Context: What does it mean to manage your relationships with others?
Context: What is the importance of managing relationships?
Research Question: What situations in your professional experience have positively
affected your ability to manage relationships?

In regards to the research question in this grouping, five themes emerged in the examples
given. A unique difference with this set of themes was the distribution of participants that
spoke to a particular theme. There was no clear theme that showed up more than the
others. In fact all five themes had two participant mentions per theme:
- Reciprocity
In regards to reciprocity, both mentions spoke to idea that a healthy relationship
gives and receives. The participants were able to grow their ability to manage
relationships by practicing reciprocity.
-Leadership Opportunities

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In regards to leadership opportunities, both mention spoke to the idea of being in
a situation where you are a leader and are in charge of people. Participants spoke to the
idea that if you are leading a team of people, one of the responsibilities of that leader is to
manage your relationship with the team and to manage the relationships between various
team member.
-Forced Collaboration with Opposites
In regards to forced collaboration with opposites, both mentions spoke to the idea
that in most cases you cannot pick the people you work with. Often times, there will be at
least one team member that you do not see eye to eye with. Being faced with a
challenging relationship became a way to strengthen the ability to manage relationships.
-Adversity
In regards to adversity, the participants mentioned challenging work environments
(new location, new team, virtual or long distance relationships), By being forced into
those difficult stations, their ability to manage relationships increased.
-Feedback
In regards to feedback, both mentions spoke more specifically to performance
feedback as a way to strengthen relationships. By setting clear expectations are goals and
performance, the relationship was able to maintain at a productive level.

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Design the Workplace
The very last question of the interview asked:
If you had a magic paint brush to design a work place designed to create increase
emotional intelligence, what are the components?
The responses had a clear separation in terms of strategic components and physical
components.
Strategic
17 themes emerged in the strategic category. Below is a table that shows each
theme and their frequency:
Theme
Being able to vent emotions
Working in small groups
Feedback culture
Free food/social events
Leader has one on one meetings with each team member
Team gets to know each others
Play to peoples strengths
Have a vision/goals
Off sites
Ongoing personal development time
Self Reflection time
Reward collaboration
High team members with high Emotional Intelligence
Start meeting with personal shares
Flat organization
Pay well and have complete benefits

Frequency
4
1
1
3
2
1
1
2
2
1
1
2
2
1
2
1

Physical
There were not as many examples in the physical realm but 6 themes did emerge:
Theme
Classical Music
Open floor plan
Soft floors and glass walls
Cafeteria style eating area

Frequency
1
5
2
1
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Space for interviews/training/to meet privately/unwind/vent
One floor

1
1

Here we can see a clear common theme with open floor plan. Some of the more
specific ideas related to this theme were being able to see what each employee is doing,
removing offices/cubicles, and removing obstacles to collaborate.
Findings
When first looking at the five research questions related to the five domains of
Emotional Intelligence, (Goleman 1995) certain themes were shared while others were
unique. The theme of Feedback was mentioned in all five research questions with a total
of 13 mentions. The theme of Adversity came up in a few different forms but was
mentioned in all five research questions with a total on 12 mentions. A few additional
themes spanned across at least two research questions: Mentors/Great Bosses, a strong
vision or goal, self-reflection, and performance.
There were a number of key words that were mentioned more frequently when I
looked at the interview holistically. These were not terms specifically related to the
research question but more common in the context building questions. The larger the
bubble, the more frequently the term appeared in the interviews:

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Summary
The most common themes varied within each of the five domains of Emotional
Intelligence (Goleman 1995) while two themes spanned across all the domains. Feedback
and Adversity were the two most common themes when participants were reflecting on
professional situations or events that helped them increase their capability in the five
difference domains of Emotional Intelligence.
When designing a workplace intended to cultivate emotionally intelligence team
members, two categories surfaced: strategic and physical components. Within the
examples given in the strategic category, 17 themes emerged. Allowing for team
members to be able to vent their emotions was the most common theme. Within the
examples given in the physical category, an open work space was the most common
theme out of six themes.

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The terms “goals”, “triggers”, “composure”, and “appropriate” were some of the
most common terms used when participants where answering the context questions.
Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
This research project was an exploration into the components of a workplace
environment that cultivates emotionally intelligent employees. This study attempted to
answer the question: What are the components of a workplace environment that cultivate
emotionally intelligent employees?
The remainder of chapter 5 is divided into six sections. The first section presents a
discussion of the conclusions derived from the research study and how they relate to the
existing literature. That is followed by a discussion of the answer to the primary research
question. Limitations of this study are identified in the next section. The fourth section
contains recommendations as to how employers can influence the design of their
workplace from a strategic and physical perspective to cultivate more emotionally
intelligent employees. The fifth section is a listing of future research possibilities, and the
chapter concludes with a summary.
Conclusions
A review of the research data and an examination of the study’s key findings led
to the drawing of four conclusions. First, employees who have experiences of adversity,
challenge, and ambiguity have elevated Emotional Intelligence. At some point in every
response, there was a reference to an experience that created discomfort, adversity or
difficulties. These experiences were all associated with growth in either one specific
capability of Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Intelligence as a whole. This

35

conclusion is supported by Liautaud’s research (Liautaud 2010).
Second, designed experiences do not elevate Emotional Intelligence any more or
less than unintentional experiences. Landy and Joesph (Landy 2005, Joeseph 2010)
support this conclusion in their research. An employer can make efforts to increase
Emotional Intelligence through physical and strategic changes but they must recognize
that they cannot completely control someone’s development in Emotional Intelligence.
There are events that will happen as a result of coincidence or circumstance that will
impact Emotional Intelligence.
Third, before an employer can make any effort toward increasing emotional
intelligence, they must create a space for emotions to be accepted and expected. From a
strategic perspective, the desire for a place to vent and discuss emotions was the most
popular theme from the participants in the research. Daniel Goleman supports this in his
description on Self-Awareness as the first ability of Emotional Intelligence (Goleman
1995). Many participants spoke to previous work experiences where emotions were not
discussed. By creating an expectation for emotion, it can create the environment that is
safe for emotions.
Fourth, in regards to increasing Emotional Intelligence, an experience will have
different results per individual. This conclusion is supported by many researchers (Hunter
1984, Liautaud 2010, Fariselli 2006) In all the research intended to measure Emotional
Intelligence, there was an incredibly wide range of results. Although a single experience
can be shared by more than one individual, each individual will be impacted by the
experience in a unique and personal way.

36

Limitations
This study had four main limitations. First was the sample. I only had an N=9 and
although each participant had a different personal and professional background, they all
currently work for the same organization. It is possible that the findings are limited based
on the range of work experience of the participants.
The second was the interpretation of the quantitative data from the EQi-2.0
assessment. I opted to only purchase the raw data from the assessment company rather
than purchase a professional analysis of each data set. It is possible that my interpretation
of the data was not completely aligned with the professional analysis. Thirdly, in addition
to the diversity of my sample size, a larger sample size may have yielded better results.
Finally, there was not a control set up for taking the assessment. Some
participants took the assessment at home, some at work, some on a lunch break. It is
possible that the environment for each participant impacted his or her scores.
Recommendations
Based on the five research questions based on the five domains of Emotional
Intelligence and the final research question related to the components of a workplace that
cultivate emotional intelligence, the researcher presents the following recommendations:
Self-Awareness and Managing Emotions
In order to boost self-awareness and management of emotions employers should
ensure there is a robust culture of feedback in the organization. Employers should look at

37

how Feedback is integrates into the company culture. Is it defined? Is there training on
feedback? Is there an expectation to give and receive feedback in term of job
responsibilities? Is feedback rewarded or recognized. By ensuring that feedback is a core
part of day-to-day interactions, organizations can support growth in self-awareness
Motivation
In order to boost self-motivation, employers should ensure there are clear goals
and clear expectations around performance. People want to win so organizations need to
ensure they design their performance expectations that not only give each team member
an opportunity to achieve great results but that those efforts are rewarded and recognized.
Employers should look into designed experiences that challenge their employees.
Employers should highlight adversity as an opportunity to grow and encourage their team
that failure is not the end-all be-all.
Empathy
In order to boost empathy, employers should support their employees to not be
afraid of failing. Encourage people to think and act outside of their comfort zone. Look
for opportunities to let your team fail in a controlled and safe way. Encourage open and
authentic dialogue to help team members gain understand and get to know each other on
a more personal level.
Managing Relationships
In order to boost a team member’s ability to effectively manage relationships,
employers should look for opportunities to create the following experiences: Look for

38

opportunities to encourage reciprocity. Have dialogue about the value of reciprocity to
relationships and to the business. Look for opportunities to educate about reciprocity and
recognize those who demonstrate skill in reciprocity. Look for opportunities to put team
members in designed leadership opportunities. These situation will help team members
experience the value to peer-boss relationships as well as how to manage relationships
within the team. Look for opportunities to challenge your team. Great obstacles to
emphasize the importance in maintain strong relationships. Look for opportunities to pair
up team member with opposing traits in order to see the impact of managing
relationships. Encourage feedback across all levels of the organization and in any
direction
Strategic and Physical design components
In order to boost Emotional Intelligence in employees, I’d suggest organizations
make both strategic and physical changes the their work environment.
Strategically, organizations need to ensure employees have a safe place to
vent there emotions. Employers should invest in social activates that help team members
learn more about each other on a personal level. Schedule offsite meetings dedicated to
elevating Emotional Intelligence and ensure that leaders have an opportunity to have a
personal connection with each team member. Ensure there is a clear vision/goals and
make sure collaboration is recognized and rewarded.
Physically, organizations would benefit from creating an open workplace.
That could meet removing offices and cubicles. Ensure that each team member has a
direct line of sight to the other team members available. Dedicate quiet, confortable areas
39

for training, interviews, and one-on-one meetings.
Suggestions for Further Research
If additional research were to be done, one suggestion would be to adjust the
make up of the sample. In this study, there was one low scoring participant, eight medium
scoring, and one high scoring participant. Rather than using a random assortment, it could
be useful to create three distinct groups with equal sample sizes. Based on the level of
Emotional Intelligence that the participants possess, more significant connection could be
drawn between the qualitative data and the quantitative data.
Another suggestion would be to adjust the methodology so that the quantitative
data is collected before the qualitative data. Because the interviews were conducted
before the assessments, it is possible that the answers were not as accurate.
A final suggestion if further research is done would be to layer more specific
questions related to the strategic and physical components of a workplace. For example,
“How could a performance review be designed to cultivate emotional intelligence in
employees?” It is possible that the researcher drew conclusions without enough specific
data.
Summary
This chapter presented a summary of the research findings, conclusions drawn
from the research, and comments on how they relate to the literature of the field.
Limitations of the study and recommendations for organizations, , and future research
projects were also provided.

40

References
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
This is the primary book from which I base my definition of Emotional Intelligence.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Sitarenios, G. (2001). Emotional intelligence
as a standard intelligence.
This is the Ability Model definition of Emotional Intelligence

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Petrides, K.V. & Furnham, A. (2000a). On the dimensional structure of emotional
intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 29, 313-320
The Trait model challenged the Ability model
Thorndike, E.L. (1920). Intelligence and its use. Harper's Magazine, 140, 227-235.,
First time the idea of “social intelligence” was introduced.
"Bradberry, T. and Su, L. (2003). Ability-versus skill-based assessment of emotional
intelligence, Psicothema, Vol. 18, supl., pp. 59-66."
Challenges the validity of the Ability EI model in the workplace
Landy, F.J. (2005). Some historical and scientific issues related to research on emotional
intelligence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 411-424.
Challenges the validity that EI increases workplace performance
Joseph, D. L.; Newman, D. A. (2010). "Emotional Intelligence: An Integrative MetaAnalysis and Cascading Model". Journal of Applied Psychology 95 (1): 54–78.
doi:10.1037/a0017286
Supporting research that shows higher performance in emotional labor with team
members that have higher EI
Barbey, Aron K.; Colom, Roberto; Grafman, Jordan (2012). "Distributed neural system
for emotional intelligence revealed by lesion mapping". Social Cognitive and Affective
Neuroscience 9 (3): 265–272. doi:10.1093/scan/nss124. PMID 23171618
Supporting research #1
Yates, Diana. "Researchers Map Emotional Intelligence in the Brain". University of
Illinois News Bureau. University of Illinois.
Supporting research #2
"Scientists Complete 1st Map of 'Emotional Intelligence' in the Brain". US News and
World Report. 2013-01-28.
Supporting research #3
Hunter, John E.; Hunter, Ronda F. (1984). "Validity and utility of alternative predictors of
job performance". Psychological Bulletin 96 (1): 72–98. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.96.1.72.
The validity of IQ as a measure of job performance.

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Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). Social consequences of group differences in cognitive ability
(Consequencias sociais das diferencas de grupo em habilidade cognitiva). In C. E. FloresMendoza & R. Colom (Eds.), Introducau a psicologia das diferencas individuais (pp. 433456). Porto Allegre, Brazil: ArtMed Publishers.
US Military uses IQ as a measure to admit new recruits
Cherniss, C., Grimm, L.G., & Liautaud, J.P. (2010). Process-designed training: A new
approach for helping leaders develop emotional and social competence. Journal of
Management Development, 29(5), 413-431
Proof that EI can be increased
Sala, F. (2002). DO PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO INCREASE EMOTIONAL
INTELLIGENCE AT WORK-WORK? Hay Group. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
Proof that EI can be increased
Fariselli, L., Ghini, M., & Freedman, J. (2006). Age and Emotional Intelligence. White
Pages. Retrieved from https://www.6seconds.org/sei/media/WP_EQ_and_Age.pdf
Proof that EI can be increased
Kotsou, I., Nelis, D., Grégoire, J., & Mikolajczak, M. (2011). Emotional Plasticity:
Conditions and Effects of Improving Emotional Competence in Adulthood. Journal Of
Applied Psychology, 96(4), 827-839.
Farh, C. C., Seo, M., & Tesluk, P. E. (2012). Emotional intelligence, teamwork
effectiveness, and job performance: The moderating role of job context. Journal Of
Applied Psychology, 97(4), 890-900. doi:10.1037/a0027377
Proof that Emotional intelligence helps job performance in work that involves a lot of
managerial decisions.

Appendix

43

Appendix A: Interview Questions
EQ Thesis Questions Draft
Pre- Questions:
How do you define self-awareness?
What does it mean to know your emotions?
What is the importance of self-awareness?
1. What events or situations in your professional experience have positively affected your
self-awareness?

44

Pre- Questions:
How do you define managing your emotions?
What is the importance of managing your emotions?
2. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability to
manage your emotions?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to motivate yourself?
What is the importance of motivating yourself?
3. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability to
motivate yourself?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to relate well to others?
What is the importance of relating well to others?
4. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability to
recognize and understand other people’s emotions?
Pre- Questions:
What does it mean to manage your relationships with others?
What is the importance of managing relationships?
5. What situations in your professional experience have positively affected your ability to
manage relationships?
If you had a magic paint brush to design a work place designed to create increase
emotional intelligence, what are the components?

Appendix B: Certificate of Protection of Human Subjects

45

Appendix C: Screenshots from EQi 2.0 Assessment

46

Appendix D: Letter sent to Participants
Dear [Participant Name],
Emotional Intelligence (EI) refers to a distinct combination of emotional and social
skills and competencies that influence our overall capability to cope effectively
with the demands and pressures of work and life. In conjunction with the
interview we had prior, I would like you to complete an online emotional
intelligence assessment instrument, the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i).
Incorporating more than 20 years’ research and development, the EQ-i is a
psychometrically sound, validated assessment instrument that is applied to EI
assessment and development at individual, team, and organizational levels. The

47

EQ-i is one of the most respected and recognized EI assessment instruments
worldwide and it will provide us with a robust and intuitive framework to address
questions related to leadership.
Your assessment answers and results will be held in the strictest confidence.
In order for the results to reflect your behaviors and feelings as accurately as
possible and for you to get the most out of this assessment process and course,
please take approximately 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to complete the
instrument. As we will discuss, EI involves the most effective engagement of a
combination of skills and competencies that best match the context of your
unique situations. Therefore, there are no right or wrong answers.
In order to access the EQ-i, click http://s.mhs.com/e5ZJo. You must complete the
questions in one sitting or the system will not save your answers and you will
need to start over from the beginning.
Your participation in this means the absolute word to me, and in the meantime,
please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the EQ-i.
Thank you,
Dima

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