The EQ-i 2.0 (Emotional Intelligence assessment) is an OKA favorite for developing established or aspiring members of the Senior Executive Service (SES). We like the EQ-i 2.0 because of the underpinning science of the assessment and the way in which the data and framework nicely support growth and development in many of the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).
The SES / Emotional Intelligence Connection
The five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)1 and underlying competencies describe the leadership skills needed to succeed within the Senior Executive Service. These competencies include some technical skills such as Technology Management or Financial Management, but most ECQs are rooted in the “soft skills”. These soft skills are often the differentiating factor among successful Senior Executives or SES candidates and a contributing factor in career missteps— making these soft skills a nice place to focus training and development efforts.
When developing these soft skills for the SES corps, OKA likes to take an EQ approach because of the way it nicely supports the ECQs. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a collection of emotional and social functioning skills and behaviors that impact how we:
- Perceive and express ourselves
- Develop and maintain relationships
- Cope with challenges and conflict
- Make decisions
- Manage stress
The EQ-i 2.0 model contains 15 behaviors— all of which support at least one of the ECQs. Let’s take a look at Empathy as an example. Empathy is your ability and willingness to take notice of and be sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings. People that are low in Empathy likely receive feedback they are inattentive, uncompassionate, distant, selfish or self-centered. People that are high in Empathy likely receive feedback they show genuine concern for others and are good listeners. Empathy impacts a Senior Executive’s ability to excel in the Conflict Management, Developing Others, Customer Service, Partnering and Influencing ECQs.
Flipping the framework, we can also take a look at the different ECQ competencies and see how they are supported by Emotional Intelligence. Some EQ-i 2.0 elements that support selected ECQs are shared below.
- Flexibility (Flexibility)
- Resilience (Self-Regard, Interpersonal Relationships, Optimism)
- Conflict Management (Empathy, Assertiveness)
- Developing Others (Empathy, Social Responsibility)
- Team Building (Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy)
- Accountability (Self-Actualization, Reality Testing)
- Customer Service (Empathy)
- Decisiveness (Assertiveness, Independence)
- Entrepreneurship (Optimism, Independence)
- Problem Solving (Problem Solving, Reality Testing)
- Human Capital Management (Developing EI in the workforce)
- Partnering (Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy)
- Political Savvy (Emotional Self-Awareness, Impulse Control)
- Influencing/Negotiating’ (Assertiveness, Empathy)
- Interpersonal Skills (Interpersonal Relationships)
- Continual Learning (Emotional Self-Awareness)
- Public Service Motivation (Social Responsibility)
SES Development In Action – An Emotional Intelligence Approach
Cross-walking SES competencies with Emotional Intelligence behaviors can provide executives with a fresh development lens and offers the benefit of additional insight from these popular and powerful assessments. SES development can be done in group workshops or as part of an individual development plan with executive coaching or focused training. The approach can also be tailored to provide a deep dive into any of these competencies or a broader approach that helps improve Emotional Intelligence awareness and development within the framework of this set of competencies. At OKA, we like an approach that leverages the power of group learning in a workshop, the EQ-i or EQ360 assessment to gain self-awareness insights, and individual executive coaching to support focused personal development.
If you would like to take a closer look at examples of how the EQ-i framework can be used to develop specific ECQ competencies, check out this post Flexibility, Resilience and the Senior Executive Service.
Food for Thought
How is your Emotional Intelligence and that of your team?
If you are aspiring to join the Senior Executive Service or already serving in this challenging role, could you benefit from taking some time to assess and develop your Emotional Intelligence?
If you are responsible for developing and leading our Nation’s leaders, could an Emotional Intelligence approach benefit your next cadre of SESers?
Do you have a success story you’d like to share?
OKA Resources for Developing Senior Executives
OKA can help by:
- Certifying your team to use the EQ-i 2.0. EQ-i 2.0 / EQ360 certificaton
- Delivering highly engaging Emotional Intelligence development workshops
- Providing individual Emotional Intelligence coaching and 360 Assessments
- Providing support materials like our leading Emotional Intelligence EQ Workbook
If you would you like to learn more about OKA’s SES development programs or our competency model development approach, we would be excited to hear from you. Contact Aaron Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.