Can Emotional Intelligence be Increased Through Training?: An Experimental Study
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The training of emotional intelligence in organizations continues to be the subject of much academic discussion. Since the emotional intelligence construct first began to gain attention in the early 1990's academics and practitioners alike have debated whether the skills and abilities associated with emotional intelligence can be learned. As the debate continues, organizations maintain their investment in emotional intelligence training programs that propose to increase the emotional intelligence of individuals, and also increase their overall workplace performance. In this paper we identify specific emotional intelligence skills and abilities that can be trained, and compare these skills to current emotional intelligence training interventions that are available to organizations. We then empirically compare the effect of two differing training programs on the emotional intelligence of participants. These data are then compared to a control group. The first training program comprises interpersonal skills, whereas the second includes interventions focused on specific behavioral, relational emotional skills and abilities. The results indicate that interpersonal skills training did not improve the overall emotional intelligence of participants, whereas interventions that specifically focus on behavioral, relational and emotional skills and abilities did increase the emotional intelligence of participants. The implications for the construction and development of emotional intelligence training interventions within organizations are also discussed.
The Sixty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management Conference Proceedings