It is over ten years ago that Kandidata Asia introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence and launched the EQi in Singapore. There were many articles in the press at the time and we organized a big conference together with Singapore Civil service that drew over 400 people.
Over the years Emotional Intelligence has become an accepted and valuable concept used in the public sector, the educational system and by many local and international companies in Singapore. But it takes time for new ideas to settle and get accpeted and it is vital that some companies are willing to pave the way and be innovative enough to try something ”new” when it comes to selecting and developing their people.
One person who is willing to try new things and who sees the need for Emotional Intelligence in organizations is Kang, Kok Hua who represent a large US Multinational Corporation.
Kang is a certified EQI 2.0 user and he recently was very generous and answered my questions and shared some of his experince from working with a very interesting and forward looking EQ program in a large multinational company.
1. How well known and how accepted do you feel that EI is in large corporations in Singapore?
Not very well known and even for those that have heard it before, their reactions tend to be skeptical. I suspect part of the skepticism stems from this being a somewhat personally sensitive matter like age, weight or body fat that makes people in general uncomfortable to discuss openly.
2. Are organizations in your country ready to incorporate EI in their assessments and /or leadership development?
Yes, but likely at a gradual and cautious pace
3. What are the challenges?
Empirical evidence notwithstanding, concerns especially for big companies tend to center on scalability or application scope without jeopardizing employee fair treatment. Funding the assessment has not been the issue, at least for my company. The implicit behavioural modification after assessment requires some degree of coaching support and guidance.
Keeping a balance between high touch approach for a select portion of employees and more scalable self-directed improvement will be required
4. What is your experience from using the EQi 2.0?
My experience in using EQi 2.0 has been generally very positive. For about 20% of people I assessed, their diligence in applying chosen action plans have yielded discernible positive results and impact. In short, it is a methodology that works but it requires commitment and focus by the user, just like any goodness in life. There’s no free lunch.
5. Please describe how you are using the EQi?
I launched an EQ pilot program in my company, involving almost 50 persons from 2 business groups. This pilot included self assessment using EQi 2.0 results and debrief and monthly coaching for each participant over a 4-month period.
Participation is entirely self voluntary but validated for profile representation of business group involved e.g. having both managers and individual contributors; different job roles, etc.
6. What can Kandidata Asia do to support you and your EI activities in Singapore?
No support required for me within my company but public awareness is one area that can benefit from Kandidata’s thought leadership. Presenting at appropriate symposiums or talks e.g. Learning & Development or HRM conferences, industry association, etc might be helpful. Select targeting of companies, both local and MNCs will be helpful as well.