Why Emotional Intelligence is a Career Superpower, Part 3


EQ-savvy businesses and institutions are using a number of high EQ tools and programs to make better hires, improve employee engagement, raise productivity, and reduce unwanted staff turnover. Here are a few of their stories.

In Part 1 of Why Emotional Intelligence is a Career Superpower we explored the basics of emotional intelligence, why EQ is a critical career super power, and its necessity in almost every role in an organization. In Part 2 we looked at what individuals and organizations can do to raise their levels of emotional intelligence, plus some tools that will aid this process. In this concluding Part 3 we’ll look at some case studies of how leading organizations are using high-EQ assessments, developmental programs, and coaching to raise and sustain exceptional performance across the board.

Author disclosure: The following case studies are real. I’m not revealing the employer and individual names to protect their competitive advantage. I have hundreds more examples just like them.


Case Study 1: Why are My Best Promoted People Failing?

Mark Y. is the COO of a marketing company tasked with selling high tech services through multiple sales channels. Mark hires sales staff into entry-level sales roles and when they perform well for a period of time, they are moved into an account executive role. After performing well in that role the best account executives are placed into the most critical sales role, that of senior sales director.

Mark’s first two senior sales directors did well with their new assignment. The problem began when the third and fourth sales staffers were placed into the senior role and underperformed. Several steps were taken over a nine month period, including changing account assignments, co-visitation to clients with Mark, and additional training, but nothing seemed to work. Mark contacted me to help him figure out why his “best, promoted people were failing” in their new roles.

I suggested to Mark that we benchmark the senior sales director position in order to understand the ideal behavioral and driving forces makeup of the two individuals who were performing well, and to incorporate his expectations for the position. I used the TTI Behaviors and Driving Forces Job Benchmarking toolkit to create the ideal profile for a senior sales director. Armed with the position’s ideal profile, I ran a gap report between all four incumbents and discovered that the successful incumbents had a distinctly different profile than did the two struggling directors. Fundamentally they were not a good behavioral and driving forces fit. So Mark moved them into a new sales role where they would be a good fit. We then identified three internal candidates in the account executive pool whose profiles better fit the benchmark and placed them into the senior sales role. Result after five months? Problem solved…the new senior directors are producing results consistent with the two successful incumbents.


Case Study 2: The Top Technical Leader Has People Problems

Joan H. is a senior HR leader in one of my Fortune 500 clients. Her division employed LaVinia as one of its senior technical leaders, overseeing a staff of 29. LaVinia was tops in her field, but had a history of being seen by her technical staff as distant and someone that was not easy to relate to. During the last quarter of the year Lavinia lost several key people who resigned. In January the company’s annual engagement study revealed lower engagement levels in LaVinia’s department coupled with a steep decline in employee retention indicators. In conversations with Joan, LaVinia admitted that she was frustrated with her inability to engage her team and wanted help to identify what she should do differently.



Joan had LaVinia complete a TTI EQ3 assessment and used its results coach LaVinia using BMG’s coaching toolkit. Several months later, as a second step, LaVinia’s entire team completed a TTI EQ-360 survey about her management approach using the same question set as her EQ3 assessment. Joan used the survey results and BMG coaching toolkit and worked with LaVinia for an additional eight months. Joan noticed a steady improvement in the level of engagement and teamwork in LaVinia’s group. When the company ran its annual employee engagement study the following January, it found that LaVinia’s team scored in the top quartile of the organization. Problem solved!


Case Study 3: How Can We Cut One-Third Off Our Onboarding Times?

Sunwise Telecom Solutions had a brilliant idea for disrupting an existing 9-state US marketplace and take sizeable market share from several entrenched and well-financed competitors.  In order for Sunwise to rapidly scale in its identified markets, it had to fill nearly 1,500 positions during its first two years.  The estimated time to get most positions fully trained and self-sufficient was 30 weeks, based on its first two markets.  Sunwise wanted to cut that time to 20 weeks.

I trained the Sunwise HR department in how to use a DISC behavioral assessment to make better hires as well as using the assessment results to assist each new hire’s manager in onboarding each new hire.  The assessment provided guidance on the methods and approaches that worked most effectively with the new hire’s behavioral style.  We also enrolled all new hires and their managers in a BMG training program customized for Sunwise, Unlocking the Power of Our Team with DISC

All managers were put through portions of BMG’s Leading Through People program on EQ and performance management, which included a number of essential skills such as setting expectations, teaching, coaching, feedback, and assigning work. 


By the end of the first year Sunwise had improved its new hire retention by 42% and stated that new hires were now being fully onboarded by the end of their 18th week.  Problem solved!


Case Study 4: How Will My Sales Team Keep Ahead of the Competition?

Paula P is Sr. VP of Sales in a highly competitive marketplace, providing products and services customers use in the manufacturing and marketing of the customers’ products.  Several years ago her sales staff underwent a six-month training program using a program called B2B Sales Essentials (B2BSE).  Paula did a great job coaching the B2BSE skill set and saw strong results.



Her new challenge came in the form of some aggressive moves by two competitors targeting her best customers.  She was ready to use some advanced B2BSE modules to give her team a competitive edge.

Among the B2BSE modules she implemented were B2BSE-15: Selling With Emotional Intelligence and B2BSE-19: PeopleSmart Selling.  We used the TTI TriMetrix EQ assessment which measures DISC Behaviors, Driving Forces, and EQ.  It took several months to assess, then teach, and then coach the new skill sets.  The sales team noticed almost immediately a shift in their prospects and customer’s levels of trust whenever they used a high EQ approach they learned in training.  Greater trust allowed them to work with each person in a way that felt very comfortable for each client.  As a result they gained greater inside access to their customers’ planning.  Over the course of the year Paula’s company became the go-to strategic partner for their clients.  Problem solved!


Bottom Line

Emotional intelligence is as much a practical way to improve performance as it is a career superpower.  Today’s organizations and businesses have a wide variety of tools and best practice programs that can help them solve significant problems in areas such as hiring, onboarding, managing, and generating sales and profits. Leaders need to challenge themselves and their teams to apply high EQ solutions to today’s most challenging problems rather than approaches that fail to leverage this career superpower.

This article is excerpted in part from BMG’s best-selling training programs, Unlocking the Power of Our Team, Leading More Effectively With Emotional Intelligence and Selling With Emotional Intelligence.

I love working with people and organizations who want to improve their effectiveness!  Here are several outstanding resources that can help you and your organization to go to the next level:

I help job seekers, higher ed, and employment services connect people to better jobs faster. My company’s acclaimed career development tools help people navigate the ever-changing landscape of conducting a successful job search.  I also work with some of the world’s top employers by helping them get the most out of their talented people. My company’s extensive leadership development course catalog provides effective skills-building for everyone in the organization, from the new / developing leader to the seasoned C-level executive. My company’s coaching programs produce significant results in compressed periods of time. To find out more, please visit us at www.boyermanagement.com, email us at info@boyermanagement.com, or call us at 215-942-0982.


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