In 2001 Kandidata did one of the very first leadership development programs based  on Emotional Intelligence. The client was a large, worldwide construction company.

This was one of the very first programs of its kind and I now realize how courageous the CEO was in putting his reputation and confidence in a small company like Kandidata, with the focus on Emotional Intelligence which was a very foreign concept within the construction industry at the time.

The program and the follow up study was one of the very first attempts at measuring the effects of a program based on EI and has become a classic; frequently presented at EI conferences. A description of the program will follow on my next blog.

Brent Darnell, my colleague and friend, worked with me on that project and Brent has since made a very successful career focusing on EI in the construction business. He has written books and many articles on the topic.

I recommend his book The People-Profit Connection –How Emotional Intelligence Can Maximize People Skills and Maximize Your profits.

So how come that an industry that has a reputation of a macho culture is investing in EI? The old image of a construction manager as one to kick ass, not take crap from anybody and get the job done to any prize without any consideration to people issues, is quickly disappearing. When construction managers were asked where they spend the majority of their time they answered, just like people in most industries do today, “Dealing with people problems”.

Teamwork, communication and effective project teams where people are encouraged to thrive and the projects are completed ahead of schedule and within the budget is vital for all companies today. By addressing these people issues, organizations can change, become less problematic and add more to their bottom lines. That is what is happening all over the world in all kinds of industries. I feel that it is a great privilege to be a part of this virtual EQ –explosion but it is also up to us to prove to  all these engineers, technical people and people from traditional construction and manufacturing companies that EQ is here to stay and has indeed moved from something “nice to have to necessary to have”.