Psychodiagnosis and management of feelings in the organisation

Psychodiagnosis and management of feelings in the organisation

I obtained approval from the person involved before sharing this post.

A few months ago, I carried out a personality assessment and competency analysis for a company on a candidate who was applying for a management position within that company. The person in particular had already been selected, but the company wanted to confirm their decision with this evaluation process.

The results detected areas in need of improvement in the candidates’ perception and understanding of both their own and other people’s emotions. The scores on both scales were low and significant enough to have a negative impact on their leadership style.

Emotional perception is the most basic emotional intelligence skill. It involves correctly recognising and identifying emotions in others and in our environment. The better the ‘emotional reading’ of a situation, i.e. the more accurately we perceive and identify emotions present in certain situations, the more appropriate our responses will be.

Emotional understanding refers to the ability accurately describe, perceive, interpret and identify emotions. It implies being able to comprehend the existing connections between situations and certain emotions to anticipate consequences when making decisions and carry out effective actions with that information.

Aware of the urgent need to improve those skills, we created and put forward a plan to develop the candidate’s leadership abilities, aimed at perfecting both these dimensions of emotional intelligence.

It is well-known that any intervention for change starts with ‘a comprehensive diagnosis’. However, alleging a “lack of time” the candidate decided to postpone this training and eventually cancel it altogether (he had already been accepted for the job).

Six months later, the company CEO requested a meeting with me. He told me his team completely lacked motivation and did not trust their new manager.
“This man neither sees nor understands!” were the CEO’s words verbatim.

And I was not in the slightest bit surprised, as this situation was entirely consistent with the results of the tests.

Three months after our meeting, the new manager had been fired and replaced.

Astonished by this, the candidate contacted me and asked for a review of his results. By analysing his assessment, the candidate was able to finally see what his leadership style lacked and begun a training course in emotion management that would allow him to develop the skills and emotional intelligence he needed to successfully exercise his responsibility as a committed and effective leader, interested in managing teams and maximising his ability to achieve goals, which in turn increased his motivation, cooperation and adherence to the corporate culture in a world where new challenges and changes are constant.

After an 8-week intervention that included counselling, reflections, debates and practical exercises, the manager passed a post-evaluation test which specifically contained an emotional regulation questionnaire and two emotional interregulation scales. The changes observed were considerable, and his leadership profile saw significant improvements at both experiential and strategic levels.

The emotional state of a leader and their team is contagious and exponential, so ‘empirically’ understanding how emotions are managed is key to the entire leadership process.

We can only start the change and transformation processes after we realise that we are not doing something correctly.