Last month's Trusted
Advisor on eliminating bonuses struck a chord with many readers,
and more than a few asked how they could recognize candidates
who are more motivated by purpose rather than a paycheck.
One resource that came immediately to mind is “The
EQ Interview – Finding Employees with High Emotional
Intelligence,” by Adele Lynn, an authority
on the subject of emotional intelligence. Briefly, Lynn takes
the behavioral interviewing model one step further by showing
readers how to uncover the motivation behind one’s accomplishments.
I had the distinct pleasure to interview Lynn, founder of The
Adele Lynn Leadership Group based in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania,
and ask her about Wall Street, EQ and Purpose:
GN: Despite the promise of huge bonus payments,
many on Wall Street performed miserably last year. Do you believe
this had anything to do with hiring the wrong people to begin
AL: Not necessarily. I think the problems may
be more related to the focus and direction set by the leaders
of the firms. The individual performers may have delivered quite
different outcomes if they were directed differently. Performance
follows what is measured, observed, and rewarded. I'm more inclined
to believe these firms directed people to take the risks that
they took. The problem seems to me to be more related to a flawed
strategy rather than individual performance.
GN: Those working in professional services must
be able to build rapport and trust with clients in order to be
successful. However, most people are hired because of their IQ
and fall short when it comes to relationship building skills (EQ).
How would you suggest firms rethink their hiring criteria?
AL: Extensive evidence exists to build the case
for hiring professionals with EQ or relationship building skills.*
Most firms should include relationship building as part of their
performance competencies and then include interviewing questions
that factor in a candidate's skill at relationship building. Assessing
candidates for this competency will separate the average performers
from the great performers. And, it's the competitive advantage
that firms will need to survive in the future.
GN: You speak a lot about having purpose and
passion for one's work. How might someone go about finding his
or her purpose if it's not clear to them?
AL: Pay attention. It's a matter of self-awareness.
When is time just flying? When are you in the state sometimes
called “flow?” How do you choose to spend your discretionary
time? What kinds of things come easily for you? Typically, our
strengths are good indicators that we're working in a realm that
is near our passions. Also, ask, What about my current (or past)
job duties do I love to do? What do I dislike? When you are most
willing to get out of bed in the morning? This kind of self-analysis
will give you an indication of what your life is drawn toward.
True purpose feels like a calling.
Take advantage of the lull (you know it’s just
temporary) in your hiring activity and reassess the interview
process at your organization. Because relationship building skills
are so critical to a professional’s future success, may
I suggest going forward you look for people who:
- Enjoy meeting new people and trying new things
- Have strong verbal and written language skills
- Are generally in a good mood, optimistic, and help others
- Have high levels of self awareness and self control (the foundation
*In complex jobs, a top performer is 127%
more productive than an average performer (Hunter, Schmidt, and
Judiesch, 1990). One-third of this difference is due to technical
skill and cognitive ability, while two-thirds is due to emotional
competence (Goleman, 1998).
Neels & Company, Inc. - All Rights Reserved
the leading provider of soft skills training to professional services
firms, covering all areas of business communication.
Company, Inc. – Strategic Business Communication
P. O. Box 623, Boston, MA 02117
800-975-7031 ext. 701
general inquiries: email@example.com