Emotional Intelligence Questioned!

We accepted Emotional Intelligence Theory as valid without question, just like we accept anything that is printed without a question!

For all those who talked and delivered seminars on EQ, here is a rebuff from Po Bronson. He writes in his blog on Newsweek ‘Is Emotional Intelligence Real?’:

“As we noted in NurtureShock, emotional intelligence is having a family feud. The field is commonly described as having its commercial wing and its academic wing; on the commercial side is bestselling author Daniel Goleman, and on the academic side are scholars like the Yale dean Peter Salovey, whose team conceptualized one of the first theoretical models of emotional intelligence. A year ago, Salovey publicly slammed Goleman at the American Psychological Association conference for making unrealistic and misleading promises about EI. Salovey said the research data on EI do not yet support Goleman’s hype.”

In her blog [Oct 9, 2009] ‘Emotional Intelligence – Mano-A-Mano?’ Ashley Merryman says:

“Po and I have written, in both our book and the Newsweek Blog about how the evidence we’ve seen shows that emotional intelligence has failed to live up to the hype: it doesn’t predict academic achievement, career success, or better life choices.

Well, Daniel Goleman – author of the hugely successful book Emotional Intelligence – has now contacted us, and, after a couple rounds of emails, we’ve all agreed to a sort of on-line debate in our Newsweek blog. I believe the fun should start Tues. (or Weds, if Tues. doesn’t work out).”

While theories keep evolving, sometimes they also shake confidence of HR Professionals when such contradictions come out in open. I suppose testing these theories on the anvil of one’s experience is the real solution.