In 1954 Abraham Maslow presented his hierarchy of needs model. He basically said that  one must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs.  The needs, that we all have, can be divided into basic needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (cognitive, aesthetics and self-actualization).

Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization.  The rapid economic development in China where more and more people have fullfilled the basic materialistic needs, opens up a a great potential for introducing a concept like Emotional Intelligence. I spoke with Cathleen Wu who is one of our certified EQi 2.0 users living and working as an independent consultant in Shanghai.

Cathleen:  I do believe that China will be a very big market for EI, not only beacuse we have a huge base of population, but also because more and more Chinese are pondering what should be the higher level things to pursue, after they have accumulated some kind of material wealth.

On the corporate front, they are facing very similar challenges in talent market – attraction, retention and engagement – and they will gradually find that EI is something missing in the solution puzzle.

  1. How well known and how accepted do you feel that EI is in China?  – The term “EI” or “EQ” is well known by  people and organizations, but few can tell exactly what it is and how it helps in workplace and life.
  2. Are organizations in China ready to incorporate EI in their assessments and /or leadership development? – A very common questions they have is “what’s the difference between EQ-i and MBTI/DISC/Hogan/… assessment?” . You will see from this that we really need to articulate what EI is and what isn’t, and how it interacts with other human features, such as personality and IQ.
  3. What are the challenges? – To promote something new to the market by individuals is not easy, especially something that is perceived as “low key”
  4. What is your experience from using the EQi 2.0? – The assessment is easy to handle and the reports are very useful, especailly the part on unbalanced pairs in coach’s report.  As a new practioner, it took me about 1 hour to get prepared for each debriefing session – a kind of time consuming activity at this stage. One thing I like very much is that myself was inspired also when my clients found it so helpful.

Please describe how you are using the EQi? – The most recent project is with Mars Petcare China.  They are promoting a coaching culture and we use EQ-i to help the leaders increase self awareness, to pairing up the leaders on 1-year peer coaching partnership and to identify possible peer coaching goal areas.

I also mapped EQ-i 15 subscales onto their 37 leadership competencies and identified the EQ-i subscales that underpin each of their competency.  The EQ-i report and debreifing session was highly recommended by their China Sales VP.  “the EQ-i shed the most related and insightful light on my EI”, he said.  Due to his and other leaders’s support and promotion, the participants number increased from 20 to 24, to 28 and 31 in the end.

Thank you Cathleen for your valuable and very interesting comments. I will get back shortly on the important issues that you bring up:

We really need to articulate what EI is and what it isn’t, and how it interacts with other human features, such as personality and IQ”.