You Need to Behave

Current Issue
read current issue of pease strategic edge
Previous Issue
read previous issues of pease strategic edge

March 2015

You Need to Behave!
As the discussion on Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman et. al.) has broadened since the mid 1990’s, have you ever wondered about your own EQ? How emotionally intelligent are you anyway? One of the tenets of EI is the foundational ability of the emotionally intelligent executive or professional to be able to get his/her needs met while also seeing to it that others are able to get their needs met as well. Seems simple enough.

According to behavioral scientists Dr. Roger Birkman (The Birkman Method), Dr. Thomas Gordon (L.E.T.) and others, 80-90% of the behavior you witness from others in your work environment is directly related to need(s) gratification. People behave to meet their needs. Statistically speaking, there is almost always a purpose for your behavior as well as the behavior of others. Hmm.

Alfred Adler (1870-1937), Austrian personality researcher and Freudian model refugee calls this dynamic the, purposive nature of the behavior. Behavior is driven by a purpose. If we choose to believe this theory then technically speaking, there is no such thing as “misbehaving”. Wait a minute, then you haven’t seen my teenagers. Misbehaving surely is alive and well (they’re great guys – just human).

So really the question is more about how good you are at viewing your leadership through the lens of needs. In other words, are you proficient at identifying the needs of others and yourself? Does a portion of your communication with others include the discussion of needs? When you problem-solve is it needs focused? If your answer is, “yes” to any of the preceding questions you are probably enjoying above average success in your work environment with many mutually satisfying and effective relationship(s).

People do not want to say goodbye to emotionally intelligent executives and cultures where they tend to get their needs met with reasonable regularity. Emotionally intelligent executives and leaders in organizations are top talent magnets. As Goleman states, “emotionally intelligent leaders attract talented people – for the pleasure of working in their presence.” Developing EQ throughout leadership is a sound productivity and retention strategy.


Receive usable observations, commentary, methods and research directly related to organizational and individual development by signing up to receive PSP’s bi-monthly e-mail communique, the Pease Strategic Edge