Is Emotional Intelligence the Missing Link?

October 27, 2019 | Posted in Healthcare Consulting

I read with great interest an article in the September/October 2014 Journal of Healthcare Management titled Good to Great: Using 360-Degree Feedback to Improve Physician Emotional Intelligence.  This article makes a compelling case for the use of emotional intelligence (EI) assessment and training tools to enhance physician effectiveness, address and reduce disruptive behavior, improve teamwork and  favorably impact clinical, financial and organizational success.  Can it be that physicians can use their IQ to effectively develop their EQ?  It appears so.
The article defines EI as “effectively understanding oneself and others, relating well to people, and adapting to and coping with the immediate surroundings to be more successful in dealing with environmental demands.”  If only we could all be highly emotionally intelligent!  But if we think about it, the effects of a lack of EI become obvious.  I have long wondered about the correlation between EI and less than healthy behaviors.  Now there seems to be plenty of evidence.  Lower EI does correlate with a myriad of adverse and costly impacts.

What’s really great about this article is that it explains the studies behind one of its key conclusions—that, unlike IQ, EI can be developed with the right education!  What many healthcare leaders assume are unchangeable behaviors can now appreciate that unhealthy behaviors and their impacts are changeable, to the benefit of everyone, including the physician.  It’s worth exploring whether or not the real root cause of disruptive behavior and unhealthy relationships is measurable and learnable emotional intelligence.

– Jon Moses, President & CEO