31: Emotional Intelligence – An Interview with Henry Deneen

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You know about IQ.? But are you aware of how important your EQ is for working well with others?

I confess, during my years as a CEO, I was not in touch with my EQ like I should have been and it got me in some rough waters.? I realize now how important it is for all of us leaders to get the feedback we need from our peers to find our blind spots.? That is the road toward emotional intelligence (EQ).

I am so thankful that my good friend Henry Deneen is on my show this week to share the results of his research into EQ. Henry, a lawyer and President and CEO of GEM, has a lot of practical tips to share with you that will help you this week in your leadership. – Hans


Thoughts from Henry Deneen:

In determining fitness for hiring, or incompetency once hired, many employers focus on the so-called hard skills, including indicators such as aggressiveness, follow-through, speed, being fast and persistent.? While these are important issues in hiring, training, and equipping employees, they are by no means the only or even the most important factors. Incorporation of so-called soft skills may be of equal importance in determining the types of people to seek to represent an organization. These skills are defined as creativity, listening skills, team skills, being open to criticism, and being team players? as well as areas of ?Personal Competence? (self-awareness, self-management) and ?Social Competence? (Social Awareness, Relationship Management)? and constitute an individual?s emotional intelligence (EI).? It is possible that ?people can improve their EI and make lasting gains that have a profoundly positive impact upon their lives.

emotional-intelligence.jpgEI is a key part of soft-skills, which are vital to personnel in any organization. People’s shortcomings or deficiencies often relate to the soft-skills arena, rather than something they are trying to accomplish with their hard skills. Leaders and workers would be well-served to follow the example of Christ in His knowledge of himself and others. We need to exhibit knowledge of finesse, subtlety, appreciation of our own blind spots, dynamics in a room, and profound awareness of ourselves and others. When trying to accomplish a goal, being aware of people, process, and product, and not just the final product, is of vital importance. Getting to a final goal, while ignoring processes or running over people in the course of seeking an objective, does not produce the best result.

That is why soft skills are so important and why their use is mandatory. Research on soft skills, and especially EI, comes primarily from the secular world with few writings coming from or applying to the Christian world. ?At the very least, Christian organizations should be on a par with secular organizations in this arena. Christ is our example.


EI skills must be developed in leaders and, in fact, all workers, ?if Christian organizations are to remain vital in the years ahead. Appealing to the next generation of workers, prayer partners, investors, current Staff, churches, and those outside our organizations will require devoted commitment to development and continual enhancement of these skills. The 21st-century will be a century in which companies which focus on soft skills such as EI will have the upper hand in all of these arenas.? That has always been the strength of God?s people as they grow to be like Him.

The three books Henry recommends are:

Emotional Intelligence 2.0?by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

Immunity To Change?by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

Fearless Leadership: How to Overcome Behavioral Blind Spots and Transform Your Organization?by Loretta A. Malandro

The instrument mentioned to use for testing Ei is the MSCEIT:

The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is an ability-based test designed to measure the four branches of the EI model of Mayer and Salovey.






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  1. I’ve never commented on a podcast BEFORE listening to it, but just wanted to say I heard you on Jared Easley’s podcast, am now subscribed to yours, and am fond of the subject of Emotional IQ. Being a musician and high on the emotional scale as a male, I used to be bothered by that. It was only about four years ago, at the age of 43 or so, that I finally looked at it as a gift from God!

    Look forward to hearing more of your teaching. We are practically neighbors (I live in Colorado Springs). The Front Range has got to be the best place to live short of heaven! (Heck, we’re a mile closer to heaven).


    1. Hi James. Welcome to my podcast. And hi neighbor. I get down to the Springs a lot…great place! It is great to meet you this way and to get that great feedback from you. Let me know what you think of my podcasts. I think you will find a number of topics that would interest you in my podcast directory on the podcast page.