Emotional Intelligence Home Page

More frustration field of EI

I am looking at this abstract again, the one I wrote about in my last editorial. The one which studies managers' "effectiveness". And I am wondering if anyone has done a study of how happy the children and teenagers are of these "effective" leaders. What exactly are they effective at anyhow? I don't think the kinds of things which are highly valued in the business world are the same things which lead to happiness, inner peace, emotional fulfillment etc. I don't think they lead to a less violent society or a society which understands the emotions behind what is popularly called "terrorism." I don't think they will prevent many teenagers from wanting to kill themselves. In fact, I would like to see a study of how many executive's teens have tried to kill themselves, been in the mental hospital for depression, been on medication, used illegal drugs to try to numb their emotional pain etc.

I like the idea of emotional intelligence. I am all for helping develop it. But what is our highest goal? To make business managers more effective in their jobs, or to live in peace, to learn to cooperate with each other, to have emotionally healthy children and teens? I suspect that the managers who score highly on the MSCEIT test would make better parents, if you measure "better" by how emotionally healthy their kids and teens are. But I would like to see some research, as long as everyone is doing so much research on EI and what the MSCEIT test, or the other tests which claim to be tests of EI, predict in the real world.

Oh, I almost forgot. This week I have received ads for two workshops on EI. Both are so highly priced that almost no one from countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador or Indonesia (all places I have been in the past year) would be able to afford them. Both are designed to help people be better managers, get ahead in their careers etc. One is being held in Barbados.

I feel not only frustrated, but sad, when I see what is happening with the concept of emotional intelligence. As I've said before, what about the children? What about the teenagers? What about their feelings? What about teen suicide? What about 9 year olds who try to kill themselves - whose fathers or mothers are business executives, or psychologists or university professors or teachers? Who is studying what makes a parent be able to fill the emotional needs of their children and teenagers? Where is the interest in these things?

I just did a few searches on google.com. I searched for "research on leadership" + "emotional intelligence." I found 207 results. Then I did a search on "research on teen suicide" + "emotional intelligence". I also tried "research on adolescent suicide" + "emotional intelligence". There were no results.

S. Hein
Quito, Ecuador
May 18, 2004