Executive Development Blog

Bringing Mindfulness to the Workplace - A Task for Talent Management

Posted by UNC Executive Development on Oct 23, 2014 10:07:05 AM

The following is a summary of a talent management white paper written by Kimberly Schaufenbuel, UNC Executive Development Program Director.

In today’s work world, we face multiple stressors, demands, and pressures, not to mention constant connectivity through smart phones, social media, and tablet computers. Consulting firm AON Hewitt estimates that 35 percent of U.S. employers in 2013 offered employee stress-reduction programs, and that estimate is expected to grow (AON Hewitt, 2013). 

Business leaders are increasingly looking for ways to reduce employee stress, and many employers - like Google, Aetna, Target, and General Mills, to name a few - have found that introducing mindfulness into their workplace not only lowers employee stress, but improves focus, clarity of thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and more.


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Topics: employee engagement, executive development, emotional intelligence, leadership development, learning and development

Leadership Development, Mindfulness & the Key to Happiness

Posted by Kip Kelly on Feb 27, 2014 9:30:00 AM

What is the secret to happiness?  Turns out, there's an app for that.

Five years ago, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, which prompts users to report their feelings in real time.  Here's how it works: users receive a text or email asking to record what they are doing and how they are feeling at that moment.  The app records these responses over time and creates a personalized "Happiness Report" which details what activities are associated with greater happiness.  In addition to providing the individual, personalized report, the app collects data that fuels Killingsworth's research at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  To date, over 35,000 people have participated in the study.

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Topics: executive education, emotional intelligence, burnout, mindfulness, stress

Emotional Intelligence in Talent Development

Posted by Lauren Garris on Nov 19, 2013 11:43:00 AM

In an article, What Is Emotional Intelligence?: Definitions, History, and Measures of Emotional Intelligence, by Kendra Cherry, she provides a brief history of emotional intelligence:

  • 1930s – Edward Thorndike describes the concept of "social intelligence" as the ability to get along with other people.
  • 1940s – David Wechsler suggests that affective components of intelligence may be essential to success in life.
  • 1950s – Humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow describe how people can build emotional strength.
  • 1975 - Howard Gardner publishes The Shattered Mind, which introduces the concept of multiple intelligences.
  • 1985 - Wayne Payne introduces the term emotional intelligence in his doctoral dissertation entitled "A study of emotion: developing emotional intelligence; self-integration; relating to fear, pain and desire (theory, structure of reality, problem-solving, contraction/expansion, tuning in/coming out/letting go)."
  • 1987 – In an article published in Mensa Magazine, Keith Beasley uses the term "emotional quotient." It has been suggested that this is the first published use of the term, although Reuven Bar-On claims to have used the term in an unpublished version of his graduate thesis.
  • 1990 – Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer publish their landmark article, "Emotional Intelligence," in the journal Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.
  • 1995 - The concept of emotional intelligence is popularized after publication of psychologist and New York Times science writer Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.


While the concept of emotional intelligence has been around for a while, recently, it has been a hot topic in talent management and training.  In a white paper, I highlight a few companies who have put emotional intelligence training into use and who have experienced very positive gains. 

One is Sanofi Aventis:

“Sanofi-Aventis is a world’s leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in France. The company has a presence in more than 100 countries and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. In July 2005, Sanofi-Aventis in Australia partnered with emotional intelligence consulting firm Genos to improve the emotional intelligence levels of its pharmaceutical sales representatives. Sanofi-Aventis and Genos developed a six-month study to determine whether pharmaceutical sales representatives’ performance could be improved through emotional intelligence training.

To assess whether emotional intelligence could be improved through training, sales representatives selected for the study were divided into two groups, a control group and a development group. Employees from both groups participated in an emotional intelligence assessment to determine a benchmark, but only members of the development group participated in the subsequent emotional intelligence training.

Over the next six months, sales representatives in the development group participated in workshops and coaching sessions on emotional intelligence. After three months, the development group’s sales results were compared with that of the control group’s sales results over the same period. Sanofi-Aventis found that the development group’s sales were 7 percent higher than the control group’s sales. As the emotional intelligence program continued, Sanofi-Aventis found that the development group’s sales grew to 12 percent more than the control group’s sales.”

With proof of emotional Intelligence training’s benefits growing, it is sure to remain a hot topic for years to come.  Does your company gauge employees’ emotional intelligence?  Do you do training for emotional intelligence?

Click to Download Full White Paper

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Topics: talent management, emotional intelligence, talent development