In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the overall importance of Emotional Intelligence to the Sales Manager and learned that EI is not just acquired at birth; EI skills can be enhanced or learned. Self-assessment is a key component of becoming a successful leader. Effective leadership that creates an innovative and results-driven environment springs from the inside of the leader, not from external rules and controls. So, do you discover your own Emotional Intelligence?

Assessing Leadership Skills

Learning to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses first requires an honest, objective assessment of a leader?s EI. Assessments provide a clear picture of current strengths to improve performance and opportunities for both personal and professional growth.

There are many assessment tools available for leaders. Most of them evaluate the intersection of leadership and three basic dimensions: competencies, behavioral styles, or motivators.

? Leadership Competencies

A leadership and competency personal skills assessment evaluates the talent and skills of the test taker as well as emotional intelligence indicators like accountability, emotional control, and the ability to inspire. The goal is to gauge leadership effectiveness.

This type of assessment worked well for Luke, an easy-going manager of an employment agency who was very disappointed in his administrative staff members. An assessment showed that Luke had trouble clearly communicating when his employees failed to meet expectations, leading them to think that they were performing satisfactorily. Once Luke created a communication plan, his employees strove to meet his expectations.

? Leadership Behavioral Styles

A leadership and behavioral style assessment considers communication styles and how an individual interacts with people, approaches problems, and interacts within his environment. The DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance) model analyzes actions regardless of intelligence, belief systems, education, or skill level. The goal is to learn flexibility in relationships.

Janice has become a more confident leader since her team completed DISC assessments. Janice is an Influencer and is now aware of her tendency to show more emotion than other team members. By understanding behavioral styles, Janice knows that when speaking to Bill, her team?s engineer, she is most effective by keeping to the point. She also knows that Bill?s quick responses do not indicate that he does not appreciate Janice or her ability.

? Leadership Motivators

A leadership and motivation assessment unearths the reasons for behavior. Evaluations are based on unconscious values, pinpointed by Edward Spranger?s research in the early 1900s as Theoretical, Utilitarian, Aesthetic, Social, Leadership and Traditional. The goal of a motivation assessment is to understand employee values.

Many people assume that everyone in the nonprofit sector is motivated by helping others. Effective nonprofit leaders like Diane, however, look beyond that Social motivation to find the motivations beneath. She knows which employee is Theoretical and thrives in projects that require her to analyze data and which is motivated by Leadership and works hardest on projects that bring him recognition.

The Bottom Line

EI begins inside. Leaders who inspire performance and loyalty start out by understanding themselves. They then extend that understanding and turn it into empathy for their employees. That empathy guides great leaders as they inspire, motivate, and retain their employees.

About the Author: Nationally recognized sales management and leadership expert Danita Bye built her reputation on building and inspiring process-oriented, no excuse, high-performance sales teams that deliver bottom line results.Danita can be reached at

? Copyright 2009, Danita Bye Sales Growth Specialists, All Rights Reserved.