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Like leaders in educational, business, medical, and other professional services organizations routinely do, legal leaders should want to train and develop their people.  But, concerns about costs and benefits and projected return on investment in personal and professional development activities and programs work against and often derail implementation of those initiatives.

Other reasons include arguments that training programs divert attention from service delivery to clients, and represent a substantial investment and dedication of human capital, time, effort, and money. Yes, training and development impacts the bottom line. But, failure to train costs, too. Costs here relate in part to decreased well-being and impaired lawyers providing less than competent service.

This post addresses such concerns about emotional intelligence, and discusses and highlights the main findings from a recent meta-analytical study which investigated the efficacy of emotional intelligence training. The results, published in the journal of a leading international society of emotion researchers, directly answer two important questions as stated here: (1) Can training increase emotional intelligence? (2) Which emotional intelligence model training produces most the beneficial effects? This post shines a bright light on recent scientific findings for leaders of legal and professional services organizations, law schools, law students, lawyers and judges, and all others who work in the legal services realm.

Who Should Read This Post and Why? Many legal professionals know about the concept emotional intelligence. Many probably agree with the proposition that law people need high emotional intelligence. But, skepticism and inaction by leaders and teachers in the legal academy, lawyers, and leaders of public and private legal organizations has had the upper hand, it seems, for the over twenty years. This post discusses research which addresses and should mitigate those concerns.

As a result of the research discussed here, leaders of legal services organizations, court systems, bar associations, and legal academia, and their key stakeholders, including judges, court administrators, lawyers, paralegals, and law students, have new evidence – “more in-depth knowledge on the optimization of effects of EI interventions” – which provides additional support for decisions to dedicate organizational and human capital resources for law people to benefit from emotional intelligence training. Clients should benefit, too, by considering this discussion.

Research Background. Little public information about any efforts by legal organizations, e.g. courts, law schools, bar associations, law firms, legal departments, to train and develop emotional intelligence in law people exists. While legal leaders seem either uninterested or pretty shy and quiet about it, the authors of the addition resource article noted that leaders and human resource practitioners of other types of organizations, e.g. athletic, business, and education, “spend considerable resources selecting and training a more emotionally intelligent workforce.”

But, until recently those efforts have lacked strong empirical guidance which can help answer the question “Can training help adults become more emotionally intelligent?” The authors of the featured article addressed that question directly, and described their meta-analytical research as “the first extensive meta-analysis on the efficacy of EI interventions.” In addition to their meta-analytically derived results about efficacy, they also considered the effect of certain moderators of training adults on emotional intelligence.

What Did the Researchers Do? A 2013 study § “yielded a moderate overall effect size” which showed that emotional intelligence training for adults worked. The recent study, described by the authors as “the first to investigate the efficacy of EI interventions in an extensive way,” aimed at expanding those previous findings that trainings increase emotional intelligence. The researchers increased the number of studies considered and identified the factors which contribute to the efficacy of emotional intelligence training.

The researchers systematically reviewed the literature and collected 24 studies (28 samples; overall sample size = 1,986) published between 2006 and 2016 that fulfilled their inclusion criteria.

Many different types of organizations, e.g. athletic, business, and education, have targeted leaders, managers, employees, or students for programs to train and increase emotional intelligence. Studies show that these interventions have produced beneficial outcomes in areas including academic performance and retention, agreeableness, emotional self-efficacy, emotional stability, employability, happiness, life satisfaction, mental health, perceived health, quality of interpersonal relationships, self-rated mental health, social functioning and relationships, stress reduction, subjective well-being, work morale, work peformance, and workplace civility.

The literature reviewed by the researchers discussed above also shows that those training interventions have involved at least four different approaches to emotional intelligence. From the research results, the next part identifies and briefly notes the most used and most efficient emotional intelligence intervention and training model and assessment.

Researchers’ Results and Discussion. Described as one of the “most acknowledged and scientifically rigorous” ability models, Mayer and Salovey’s four-branch model includes perceiving emotions, facilitating thought, understanding emotions, and managing emotions. Of the six different models studied by the authors, trainers used their model and the corresponding ability emotional intelligence assesment, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), the most as the basis for the training.

The researchers reported that their meta-analysis confirmed the 2013 study as it showed that emotional intelligence training “had a moderate effect on emotional intelligence.”  They compared ability, mixed, and trait emotional intelligence models. The authors reported that “trainings that are based on ability EI models showed significantly higher effects than mixed or trait EI models.” They also noted, “The results confirm that it is easier to develop ability EI and related explicit knowledge than trait EI.”

The results also showed that understanding emotions dimension, i.e. “knowledge about how emotions change over time, how they differ, and which emotions are the most appropriate ones depending on the situation,” reflected significantly higher training effects than the training effects for the facilitating thought branch of the four-branch ability emotional intelligence model. The authors noted that under a cascading model of emotional intelligence, the ability to understand emotions serves as a precursor for the ability to regulate emotions. That ability – achieving, managing, and maintaining desired affective states depending on the situation – requires a high level of emotional understanding.

The authors’ results enabled them to offer suggestions for future research and guidelines for designing and delivering effective emotional intelligence interventions. Briefly noted, those include:

  • the most effective interventions focus on enhancing specific emotional abilities as conceptualized by the Mayer and Salovey four branch ability emotional intelligence model and measured by the MSCEIT;
  • use a workshop approach with group discussions and interactive participation;
  • identify specific individual differences and situational factors which might determine the effects of the intervention;
  • realize that as the length of training increases, the training effect size grows;
  • a fixed schedule (average 6 sessions, each with 2.5 hours duration) with defined individual goals for participants will work best;
  • successful emotional intelligence interventions have in various ways used diary writing, personal coaches, feedback/debriefing, experiential learning (role-play, reflective writing, discussion), and theory-based (lecture, group discussion, story analyzing, video analysis, case study, workbook exercises, tests/quizzes);
  • detect and consider individual differences, e.g. openness to experience, curiosity, and specific situational factors and needs of vulnerable groups, e.g. professions, and adapt trainings and interventions to meet needs and enhance emotional intelligence

Roundup: Yes, (1) Lawyers Can Benefit From Emotional Intelligence Training (2) Training Based On the Ability Emotional Intelligence Model Provides Significantly Higher Benefits. A recent Psycholawlogy post, My Blue Handkerchief Case and Emotional Intelligence 101(resources noted), provides a good example of issues of emotional intelligence and lawyers. Civil or criminal or trial or transaction work – our profession involves emotions, feelings, moods, and emotional labor. That means that lawyers, judges, and all other legal professionals must deal with “hot tasks” each day. Cases, clients, colleagues, judges, and staff, to name a few sources, present challenges or issues with heightened emotions and emotional information. See Emotional Intelligence and Selecting Personnel [Lawyers] for High Emotional Labor Jobs. See also Ability Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Control, and Improved [Lawyer] Decision-Making Performance in Emotional Contexts.

The nature of legal training and the emotional labor of the work puts legal professionals with lower emotional intelligence abilities at risk for the effects of impaired cognitive control. This unfortunately plays out in the effects of self-harm from poor or risky health behaviors, stealing from clients, substance abuse or alcoholism, and even suicide. See Statistics, Stigma, and Sanism: A Public Health Warning About the “Perfect Storm” Heading Toward America’s Legal Profession. A leading national bar association and legal think tank have independently linked healthy emotional functioning with lawyer well-being and effective lawyering in service of client needs and desires with optimal emotional functioning – emotional intelligence.§

The Psycholawlogy blog has published over 100 articles about emotional intelligence and the legal profession. The great majority of these posts feature and translate the results of peer-reviewed research. Lawyers and judges and other legal professionals have substantial evidence which proves the importance and relevance of emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence training, and the impact of emotions for legal professionals and their leaders, law students, and the legal academy.

Simply put, the current guidebook shows definitively that emotional intelligence has emerged and ranks as one of the most relevant, vital, and important personal well-being and professional success factors for legal professionals, their organizations, and legal leaders. See Emotional Intelligence, Lawyers, and Better Lawyering – Review of “Beyond Smart: Lawyering With Emotional Intelligence” by Ronda Muir. See also Beyond the “Blue Book” – The Three C’s of [Legal] Educators Teaching Emotional Intelligence and the linked posts in that article.

The state of ill-health and turbulence in our profession indicates to me that we have little currency left to support our obstinate, continued denial, delay, and neglect of such a fundamental aspect of our lives, our profession, and our work as lawyers and judges. From my unique 25+ years experience operating deep “in the trenches” perspective, I argue that we have over-analyzed the state of our affairs and squandered opportunities. Our profession, its organizations, and members, and the legal academy and its students, need emotional intelligence education and training. We have wasted too much time. Prior posts on Psycholawlogy have discussed how the alarm sounded more than 20 years ago. It recently clanged again.Θ Implementation should begin now before . . . . we and all of our clients, as mentioned in a recent Psycholawlogy post, will need blue handkerchiefs.

Conclusion. According to the extensive literature review and meta-analytical research study about emotional intelligence training and interventions discussed in this post, interventions and training based on four-branch ability emotional intelligence provides “significantly higher effects” than any other emotional intelligence model. This post suggests that legal leaders and lawyers work in a “vulnerable profession” and urges that they proceed accordingly and engage appropriate practitioners for individualized emotional intelligence training and intervention. The recent ABA resolutionΘ recognizes that the issues here involve the highest stakes: lawyers’ lives, their health and well-being, maintaining professional competency, achieving career longevity, and providing to our clients our best efforts and optimal legal and professional service in each matter, case, and engagement.

THANK YOU.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices | Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | SERVICES: Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, including an appellate clerkship, solo practitioner and of-counsel lawyer, and senior corporate trial attorney, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading Jungian-based (Myers-Briggs MBTI®) and special business (Hogan Assessments – HPI, HDS, & MVPI) normal personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligenceleadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) assessments, tools, systems, and coaching to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | MISSION:  “America’s leading resource for well-being advocacy and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment / Discussion About Emotional Intelligence As Ability, Self-Report, Trait or Competency: Legal leaders, professional development staff, lawyers, judges, law professors, law students, and any other legal professional may contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a mutually convenient time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your personal or your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, keynote speeches, or emotional intelligence assessment and customized training, continuing education, or coaching. For information about taking first steps, see this related post at Psycholawlogy – Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience .

Article Main Source: Hodzic, S., Scharfen, J., Ripoll, P., Holling, H., & Zenasni, F. (2018). How efficient are emotional intelligence trainings: A meta-analysis. Emotion Review10(2), 138-148 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1754073917708613 (manuscript pre-print copy currently available 

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This post connects my continued emotional education to what I call “My Blue Handkerchief Case”. The professional and personal lives of lawyers involve emotions. We experience joy, anger, sadness, fear, disgust, and, among many others, awe as we try to navigate the rocky shoals of day-to-day law practice. Here, I relate some insights about a case that I handled many years ago. I understand more about emotions in the practice of law now than I did then. We all can learn more. One of the first steps involves reflection. Hopefully, this post will prompt some to engage.

About 20 years ago, I served as a court-appointed defense attorney in a federal criminal case. This multiple defendant case involved serious allegations about a drug conspiracy, a substantial amount of drugs, and other criminal activity. My client pleaded guilty. The court accepted the plea, credited my client’s acceptance of responsibility, and imposed a substantial sentence under the applicable mandatory guidelines.

My client, a man, got involved with the wrong people at a very low point in his life. Struggling with the torment from the lingering aftermath of a shattered close personal relationship and in the throes of substance abuse, he became a criminal. Also, he’d had some fleeting thoughts of committing the ultimate self-harm. Ultimately, he crossed the line. He entered a criminal enterprise. As a big, very muscular, strong and imposing fellow who worked as a skilled tradesman in the construction world, ironically just across the street from the courthouse where his case got heard, he had a somewhat scary presentation and very intimidating appearance.

That brute on the outside, however, did not match my final evaluation of his true persona. A star athlete in earlier years, he had never been in trouble. He came from a loving and supporting, intact nuclear family. They all had strong convictions about right and wrong. My client cooperated during my representation. He helped when asked, and communicated at all times. Generally, his helpful participation made a hard job much easier.

The most memorable part of this case involved the sentencing hearing. Reflecting on it several times recently, I now better appreciate how it impacted me as a lawyer and also personally. This post does not relate to my handkerchief. In my mind, I still see that blue farmer’s bandana in his hand. I have a vivid memory about how he used it during the sentencing hearing. My emotional education, I believe now, grew in substantial part as a result of this experience and my reflection.

Acceptance of responsibility, a term of art in federal criminal sentencing law and procedure at the time of my client’s case, generally involved the defendant confessing guilt for the crimes at issue. The defendant also must persuade the court that he truly accepts criminal responsibility for the acts charged and all of the conduct involved. The defendant speaks in open court.

That time came. My client spoke directly to the judge. The composure and authenticity which he showed the veteran district judge, the government agents and attorneys, his family, and me during his statements, answers to the court’s questions, and pleas just flowed. I prepared my client, but could not have coached this presentation and how it unfolded in the courtroom. Like floodgates had opened, buckets of tears streamed down his face. His body quivered.

The court’s small, wobbly old lectern positioned between the modern counsel tables in the new courthouse got soaked. His tears coated its top, almost from corner to corner. Still composed mentally, the colloquy between my client and his sentencer continued. Without pausing, the big brute of a man reached behind, and put a hand in his back pocket.  He pulled out and unfolded a crumpled blue bandana. Still talking eye-to-eye to the judge, he sobbed as he mopped his tears and cleaned and buffed the lectern. Emotions provide information.

I’ve recently thought about that client, his case, and the sentencing hearing. I’ve considered them, and concluded from those personal reflections about my own and my client’s emotions and feelings. What happened at his sentencing hearing provides a good illustration of many of the principles of emotions.

I include and discuss certain core principles of emotional intelligence with every CLE presentation. All law people, including lawyers and judges, who learn about emotions and apply emotional information intelligently in their daily work stand to gain many personal, interpersonal, and professional benefits. Clients receive better service. Cases or deals can resolve with more ease, efficiency, and economy. Emotionally intelligent lawyering serves the ends of justice. I note and briefly discuss those six principles of emotions – Emotional Intelligence 101 – next.

1. Emotion is Information

  • We experience emotions because something has happened in our world. This experience of change motivates us. 
  • Emotions start automatically. They quickly generate physiological changes. Once this real-time feedback accomplishes its purpose of signaling change, emotions dissipate quickly.
  • The changes that emotions cause in our attention and thoughts prepare us for action. We need to pay attention so that this process can guide us to deal with threats or roadblocks to them and to ultimately succeed in our goals.
  • Emotions concern people, social situations, and our interactions with people and our world. They provide information about our feelings, what is happening to us, and what is going on in our world.
  • Moods, feelings which occur for unknown reasons, and relate, at least in part, to our body chemistry, differ from emotions. Both moods and emotions play an important role in our dealing with our world, the people in it, and our survival and success or failure.
  • Emotions are not “extraneous” – they convey information important for our survival. We make meaning out of that information. That motivates to act towards success.

2. We Can’t Ignore Emotions

  • We can’t ignore them because emotions and thinking are intertwined.
  • Emotions play a role in rational and analytical decisions – they influence performance in sports, at work, and in life.
  • Research shows that when we try to suppress emotions, we remember less information.
  • Emotional intelligence involves experiencing the emotion and using that as a springboard to achieving success and meeting our goals.

3. We Can’t Hide Emotions Very Well

  • The concept “emotional labor” describes us when we try to put on a “happy face” and it occurs two ways, mainly in organizations when we must follow “display rules”.
  • “Surface acting” means that we feel one way, but we do not show the way that we feel because the organization requires us to show some other emotion or feeling.
  • In “deep acting”, we try to change our current feeling to match the feeling desired under any applicable organization display rule,
  • Masking, suppressing, or acting about emotions can lead to decision-making failures or create environments with an atmosphere of distrust.
  • “Your feelings and emotions will be read by some of the people most of the time and all of the people some of the time.”

4. Effective Decision Making Requires a Range of Emotion

  • No decisions can occur without emotion – rational thinking cannot occur without emotion.
  • The theory of separate mind from body – a “fundamental error”.
  • Research shows that emotions influence our thinking and that influence occurs in different ways.
  • Positive emotions do more than make us feel good, under “broaden and build” theory, they promote social bonds, and strengthen networks. They also expand our thinking, generate new ideas, see connections and generate new solutions to problems.
  • Negative emotions, also as important as positive emotions, enhance our thinking in useful and practical ways – tell us that we should change our approach, provide clearer focus, enable us to focus on details more efficiently, and make us more efficient in searching for errors.
  • Due to greater connection with survival, e.g. fear, anger, and distrust, end to experience more strongly than positive emotions.
  • Our adaptation, performance effectiveness, and survival require a range of emotions – there is a time for peace and happiness and fear and anger.

5. Emotions and Logical Patterns

  • Each emotion has its own story, own moves, range of intensity.
  • Must know the “rules” of combining and blends, e.g. annoyance can build to frustration, anger. . . . rage.
  • With greater emotion understanding, i.e. know the rules better, can reduce surprise and predict the future – better manage emotions in self and others.

6. Emotion Universals & Specifics

  • Universal rules for emotions and expression, e.g. happy face is “happy” all over the world.
  • Specifics involve display rules, e.g. big boys don’t cry; gender, e.g. women more adept at EI; and secondary emotions, e.g. embarrassment re. soiled pants – board room vs. garden shop

Roundup……My blue handkerchief case provides a good example of issues of emotional intelligence and lawyers. Civil or criminal or trial or transaction work – our profession involves emotions, feelings, moods, and emotional labor. That means that lawyers, judges, and all other legal professionals must deal with “hot tasks” each day. Cases, clients, colleagues, judges, and staff, to name a few sources, present challenges or issues with heightened emotions and emotional information. See Emotional Intelligence and Selecting Personnel [Lawyers] for High Emotional Labor Jobs. See also Ability Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Control, and Improved [Lawyer] Decision-Making Performance in Emotional Contexts.

The nature of legal training and the emotional labor of the work puts legal professionals with lower emotional intelligence abilities at risk for the effects of impaired cognitive control. This unfortunately plays out in the effects of self-harm from poor or risky health behaviors, stealing from clients, substance abuse or alcoholism, and even suicide. See Statistics, Stigma, and Sanism: A Public Health Warning About the “Perfect Storm” Heading Toward America’s Legal Profession.

The Psycholawlogy blog has published over 100 articles about emotional intelligence and the legal profession. The great majority of these posts feature and translate the results of peer-reviewed research. Lawyers and judges and other legal professionals have substantial evidence which proves the importance and relevance of emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence training, and the impact of emotions for legal professionals and their leaders, law students, and the legal academy.

Simply put, the current legal guidebook shows definitively that emotional intelligence has emerged and ranks as one of the most relevant, vital, and important personal well-being and professional success factors for legal professionals, their organizations, and legal leaders. See Emotional Intelligence, Lawyers, and Better Lawyering – Review of “Beyond Smart: Lawyering With Emotional Intelligence” by Ronda Muir. See also Beyond the “Blue Book” – The Three C’s of [Legal] Educators Teaching Emotional Intelligence and the linked posts in that article.

The state of ill-health and turbulence in our profession indicates to me that we have little currency left to support our obstinate, continued denial, delay, and neglect of such a fundamental aspect of our lives, our profession, and our work as lawyers and judges. From my 25+ years “in the trenches” perspective, I argue that we have over-analyzed the state of our affairs and squandered opportunities. Our profession, its organizations, and members, and the legal academy and its students, need emotional intelligence education and training. We have wasted too much time. Implementation should begin now before . . . . we all need blue handkerchiefs.

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices | Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, including an appellate clerkship, solo practitioner and of-counsel lawyer, and senior corporate trial attorney, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading Jungian-based (Myers-Briggs MBTI®) and special business (Hogan Assessments – HPI, HDS, & MVPI) normal personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligenceleadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) assessments, tools, systems, and coaching to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment About Emotional Intelligence As Ability, Self-Report, and Competency: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. For information about taking first steps, see this related post at Psycholawlogy – Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience .

Six Principles Source: Caruso, D.R. & Salovey, P. (2004). The emotionally intelligent manager: How to develop and use the four key emotional skills of leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Emotional Intelligence Resources: Emotional Intelligence Overview – The Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence here and The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) here, source Dr. Jack Mayer, Ph.D., Personality Laboratory, University of New Hampshire | The EI Skills Group, David Caruso, Ph.D. here | LTR Leadership, Lisa T. Rees, MPA, ACC here | Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence here

Additional Ability Emotional Intelligence Reources: * Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality9(3), 185-211 (copy currently available here). See also Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2008). Emotional intelligence: New ability or eclectic traits? American Psychologist63(6), 503-517 (copy currently available here); Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2016). The ability model of emotional intelligence: Principles and updates. Emotion Review8(4), 290-300 (copy currently available here) | Hodzic, S., Scharfen, J., Ripoll, P., Holling, H., & Zenasni, F. (2017). How efficient are emotional intelligence trainings: A meta-analysis. Emotion Review, 1754073917708613, see here (manuscript pre-print copy currently available here) [meta-analysis showed trainings based on ability EI models showed significantly higher effects than mixed or trait EI models] | ∼ Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2004). The emotionally intelligent manager: How to develop and use the four key emotional skills of leadership. John Wiley & Sons (discussed on Psycholawlogy here)

Image Credits: Blue Handkerchief here |Blue Bandana 

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“A true gem of a book about ability emotional intelligence authored by experts and destined to accomplish its stated purpose – to efficiently provide busy leaders practical skills and tips to solve tough everyday challenges by leveraging the power motions.” That summarizes this review of A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence recently published by the EI Skills Group, and authored by David Caruso, Ph.D. and Lisa Rees, ACC, MPA.

Who Should Read This Book and Why. This book will benefit busy leaders, including legal leaders and lawyers, already convinced about their need, and who want to learn more about how to leverage the power of emotions to successfully lead themselves and others in their organizations. The authors have designed their book to guide those leaders “who know the importance of emotions in the workplace and who want useful tips on how to strengthen their skills using real life examples.” Why read a book about emotional intelligence for leaders and followers?

A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence presents three big ideas: (1) emotions are data, (2) emotions can help you think, and (3) all emotions can be smart. These big ideas all relate directly our need to develop an emotional intelligence skill set in order to survive, and hopefully thrive, as leaders and followers in the future workforce. Citing a white paper from a leading think tank, the Center for Creative Leadership, the authors’ introduction notes that leaders must develop and use skills beyond technical competencies to successfully navigate and thrive in complex and ambiguous work environments. Their introduction notes from another source that “emotional intelligence is one of the 10 required skills for the future workforce.”

Some leaders realize that technical skills and professional competence alone will not help them successfully navigate and thrive in their ambiguous, complex, uncertain, and volatile work environments. For those who realize that harnessing emotions can have tactical short and long-term advantages, and want to learn practical skills and tips, the content and presentation in this book promises to help them who consistently work hard to develop and apply their skills should become more effective leaders. The authors state “By the end of this guide, and with a little practice, you can harness the power of emotions and transition from a good leader to a great leader.”     

Who Wrote This Book? David Caruso, Ph.D. and Lisa Rees, MPA, ACC, authored this book. The authors’ unique blend of academic research training, practical real-world experience, and passion for educating and training others in the science and practice of ability emotional intelligence helps them accomplish their unique book’s stated purpose “. . . designed to provide you – the most efficient way possible – with the practical skills and tips to leverage emotions to help you become a more effective leader.” Readers benefit from the knowledge and know-how of two experts with decades of combined experience.

Emotional intelligence expert David Caruso co-authored the world’s leading ability emotional intelligence test. Along with John Mayer, of the University of New Hampshire, and Peter Salovey, now President of Yale University, he produced and wrote the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). In addition to publishing numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters about emotional intelligence and leadership and serving in a variety of positions in the corporate world, David Caruso serves as a research affiliate at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a special assistant in organization development in the Yale College Dean’s Office. He has trained thousands of professionals and consulted for organizations on several continents.

Co-author Lisa Rees has over three decades of government service experience in capacities ranging from leader, coach, and trainer. She has degrees in accounting, management, and public administration (MPA). A self-avowed lifelong learner, Lisa, a certified leadership coach, has also earned certifications in numerous assessments and tools, including the MSCEIT, which she uses in her coaching work and consulting practice. In addition to her current work at the USCIS, Lisa co-teaches MSCEIT certification workshops with David Caruso. Lisa Rees also has her own consulting practice, LTR Leadership, where she teaches workshops and coaches government leaders and other executives and their teams.

What’s In This Book? Caruso and Rees have created a simple, elegant, and relatively short book which crisply and effectively delivers its important message. Personality, emotion, and brain scientists seek to research, understand, and explain emotions, moods, and feelings. From those efforts, many emotional intelligence models and associated measures exist. Confusion exists because each one has its own jargon, brand identity, and scientific issues. Considering the content, organization, presentation style, and mentions of credit to other theories and measures and their proponents, one senses that Caruso and Rees want the reader of A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence to avoid the confusion and skepticism associated with that fog. Instead, they base their work on the ability model of emotional intelligence first written about in 1990 by John Mayer and Peter Salovey and which incorporates research based on the MSCEIT.*  

Three parts comprise this great little book. The first part briefly states the business case for it, and outlines the four abilities of the ability emotional intelligence framework which work together to form the EI Blueprint. Caruso and Rees use labels for each ability: Map (Perceive), Match (Use), Meaning (Understand), and Move (Manage). The back cover captures the essence of the text: “This book teaches four emotional intelligence skills to acquire accurate emotional data, leverage emotions to make better decisions, understand the causes of emotions and manage emotions effectively.”

Each section of the three-part guidebook contains crisp, jargon-free expertly worded content. And, through a variety of simple, but effective aids to their guide, including charts, checklists, diagrams, the EI Ability Model and EI Blueprint, a feelings decision tree, figures, helpful tips, mood map and a mood match then map diagrams, practical applications exercises, questions to ask, and tables of emotion words and emotion regulation strategies for self and others, the authors’ deft approach helps the reader learn how to develop and practice each emotional intelligence ability of the EI Blueprint, i.e. to Map emotions (how do you and others feel right now?), Match emotions (do the mapped emotions match the task at hand and will be more helpful to achieve that goal?), understand the Meaning of emotions (what is the meaning and cause of these emotions, why we feel the way that we do, and how can emotions shift over time?), and Move emotions (what are the best strategies to sustain or change them for regulating and managing emotions in self and others to build relationships and trust in order to inspire, motivate, and innovate to reach important goals). Part 2 of A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence provides several generic EI Blueprints designed to help the reader “grapple with and succeed at the everyday challenges of leadership.”

Development of ability emotional intelligence involves learning compensatory strategies, hard work, and focused effort. With any effort to enhance those behaviors which reflect separate abilities of the four branches of the ability model of emotional intelligence, innate intelligence, your analytical ability, IQ, comes into play. EI, another type of intelligence aids the other. The authors’ guide combines those two types of smarts into a special emotional intelligence self-development system, “your GPS for emotions”, to reach this end: “The goal of this book is to provide you with strategies to improve your leadership performance.” Promise kept.

The middle contains the meat. This part of the book bears the title “Solving Tough Leadership Problems With Emotional Intelligence Blueprints”. Designed for the busy leader who may have little spare time to spend on personal development, the authors provide a series of blueprints which piece together strategies and tactics to Map, Match, understand Meaning, and Move emotions to help you engage in emotion-centered behaviors designed to improve leadership skills and effectiveness.

Part 2 reflects the authors’ lessons learned from their personal experiences and from their work with clients. This part provides several generic EI Leader Blueprints across three categories. Each category collects common issues that leaders face often in their workplaces: Leading Employees and Teams (e.g. leading teams in strategic planning and visioning, delivering disappointing news to a high achiever); Leading Up and Across (e.g. dealing with volatile, disengaged, and unethical bosses); and Common Leadership Challenges (e.g. dealing with an unhappy client, dealing with losing drive and passion for work). Generic in nature, the blueprints approximate many of the common issues which challenge leaders. The authors encourage the reader to cobble them as needed to meet specific circumstances presented by current challenges.

The final part of A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence provides a brief list of common questions, objections, and arguments about the ability model of emotional intelligence. The final pages of the 105 page book also include a brief discussion of measuring emotional intelligence, mentions a related book, The Emotionally Intelligent Manager∼, and identifies a couple of books which deal with other concepts, models, and measures emotional intelligence. Along with short author biographies and contact information, a few useful website references and informative ability emotional intelligence research article citations appear here, too.

Recommendation – 5/5 Stars. For all the considerations noted in this review, without any reservation I highly recommend A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence by David Caruso and Lisa Rees.

The authors’ expert content and efficient, practical outline of emotional intelligence and their EI Blueprint presentation of compensatory strategies for ability emotional intelligence, in each section of each part, consistently and effectively emphasizes and reinforces their approach – “emotions are data and a source of information”.

The book’s core feature, the EI Blueprint, a simple tool in principle, shows how the four emotional intelligence abilities of perceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions work together and can help leaders “harness the raw power of emotions to accomplish difficult goals”. This approach contrasts somewhat with aspects of other models of emotional intelligence which emphasize traits such as assertiveness, happiness, optimism, and other aspects of personality.

Emotions matter greatly personally and professionally in organizations. The authors note that “Dealing with happy people is easy – dealing with people who are experiencing anger or sadness takes great care, a lot of knowledge and finely-honed skill.” Their book paves the way for the serious student to learn about skills to harness the power of emotions to form better relationships and establish trust. Leaders who develop higher ability emotional intelligence skills equip themselves to more effectively deal with emotion-laden day-to-day challenges such as dealing with unmotivated colleagues, plan and strategize for uncertainty, deliver bad news, respond to angry emails, and among many other situations, deal with bosses or workers who bully, are disengaged, or are unethical. We can’t ignore emotions. They impact every aspect of leadership.

The very fine work by David Caruso and Lisa Rees reviewed and recommended here teaches, emphasizes, and the readers of A Leader’s Guide to Solving Challenges With Emotional Intelligence who learn and practice the “hard” skills of the Map, Match, Meaning, and Move abilities of situation appropriate EI Blueprints should become more effective personally and professionally as leaders as they experience and model in their organizations the book’s big point – “all emotions – sadness, anxiety, anger, happiness, and others – can be adaptive, helpful, and smart.”

Purchase Information: See Amazon or Contact David Caruso or Lisa Rees

Additional Sources: * Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality9(3), 185-211 (copy currently available here). See also Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2008). Emotional intelligence: New ability or eclectic traits? American Psychologist63(6), 503-517 (copy currently available here); Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2016). The ability model of emotional intelligence: Principles and updates. Emotion Review8(4), 290-300 (copy currently available here) | Hodzic, S., Scharfen, J., Ripoll, P., Holling, H., & Zenasni, F. (2017). How efficient are emotional intelligence trainings: A meta-analysis. Emotion Review, 1754073917708613, see here (manuscript pre-print copy currently available here) [meta-analysis showed trainings based on ability EI models showed significantly higher effects than mixed or trait EI models] | ∼ Caruso, D. R., & Salovey, P. (2004). The emotionally intelligent manager: How to develop and use the four key emotional skills of leadership. John Wiley & Sons (discussed here)

Emotional Intelligence Resources: Emotional Intelligence Overview – The Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence here and The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) here, source Dr. Jack Mayer, Ph.D., Personality Laboratory, University of New Hampshire | The EI Skills Group, David Caruso, Ph.D. here | LTR Leadership, Lisa T. Rees, MPA, ACC here | Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence here

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices | Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, including an appellate clerkship, solo practitioner and of-counsel lawyer, and senior corporate trial attorney, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading Jungian-based (Myers-Briggs MBTI®) and special business (Hogan Assessments – HPI, HDS, & MVPI) normal personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligenceleadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) assessments, tools, systems, and coaching to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment About Emotional Intelligence As Ability, Self-Report, and Competency: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. For information about taking first steps, see this related post at Psycholawlogy – Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience .

Image Credits: Book Cover – Authors | Faces of Passions – 

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Emotion and cognition influence decision-making. Emotion influences cognition. Cognition influences emotion. The authors of the article featured here noted that “Cognitive processes such as attention, perception, memory, or cognitive control are integrated with emotions so that they jointly contribute to behavior to achieve adequate environmental and social adaptation.” Applied to them, this study’s results suggest that lawyers, and other professionals who routinely work with cognitive tasks laden with emotional content, may want to improve their emotional intelligence abilities to adapt more successfully to the challenges their ever-changing professional environments present every day.

More specifically, our emotional intelligence ability, defined here as the mental ability to use discrete emotional aptitudes to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotion in self and others, positively correlates with our performance of the tasks of daily living which have high emotional content. These so-called “hot” tasks involve important, challenging life decisions. Often, these hot tasks relate to risk behavior, addiction, and anger or aggression. A recent systematic review of research suggests that higher performance-based ability emotional intelligence can improve cognitive processing when the context involves emotional content.§

To successfully adapt to changing environmental conditions regarding tasks which involve emotional content, our cognitive control processes retrieve and maintain information about related goals, update information about changing conditions in our environment, monitor performance, check potential conflicts, and inhibit inappropriate thoughts and responses. Cognitive control helps us override, restrain, or inhibit tendencies to give in to common temptations like eating unhealthy food, stereotyping members of another race, or abuse substances. Another team of reviewers recently stated “Cognitive control, and the related concepts of self-control and self-regulation, thus allows people to restrain their hearts, bodies, and minds away from the temptations of everyday life and to maintain
focus on more longstanding goals.Ӧ

Recently, researchers clarified the important role played by ability emotional intelligence in cognitive control. This post features highlights from that research, and notes the authors’ suggestions about emotional intelligence, its relationship with decision-making, and the value of emotional intelligence training.

The researchers aimed to study behavioral level efficiency (false alarm rates on “go/no go” tasks involving emotional information, i.e. fear, happy, and neutral faces) and the electrophysiological correlates of brain wave activity pattern changes in cognitive control performance as a function of ability intelligence level in tasks or contexts which involved emotional content. The researchers hypothesized that on both levels of analysis, i.e. behavioral and brain wave pattern changes, participants with higher ability emotional intelligence would have greater cognitive control, i.e. less interference from the emotional information, and would show higher accuracy in the emotional go/no go task.

The experiment procedures included students from a Spanish university who took the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), a performance-based ability emotional intelligence test. Combinations of three emotional facial expressions, i.e. fear, happy, and neutral shown by 13 faces of adult females and adult males comprised the randomized presentations of 6 blocks of 267 trials of “go/no go” emotional stimuli (a particular facial expression constituted the “go” stimulus).

The participants had to respond as rapidly as possible to the particular facial expression designated as the “go” stimulus. The investigators measured the participants’ reaction times and accuracy related to the go/no go tasks. And, they measured the electrophysiological basis of changes in cognitive control reflected in those behavioral measurements as a function of the influence of the participants’ ability emotional intelligence reflected by their MSCEIT scores.

This part briefly notes the researchers’ summary of results which states: “In summary, previous research has shown a deficit in cognitive control performance in emotion-laden contexts compared with neutral contexts. Our results suggest that people with higher EI abilities may reduce this deficit due to a greater cognitive control capacity as well as better target stimulus detection and evaluation.” In line with previous research, the results showed that the participants with higher emotional intelligence showed better recognition of emotional faces. Higher EI confers a greater capacity for cognitive control.

The results of this research involving how ability emotional intelligence influences cognitive control have important implications for lawyers. Cognitive control, a key process in decision-making, helps us adapt to our environments. But, when cognitive tasks involve emotions, e.g. anger, happiness, fear, that self-regulatory guidance system which promotes the good life for us can become impaired. Our ability to override, restrain, or inhibit unwanted or less adaptive responses to our environment degrades. We give in to everyday temptations and focus on immediate goals when emotional information interferes with cognitive control and our other self-regulatory processes.

The authors of a recent opinion article about the dependence of cognitive control on emotion as an essential component of that process stated in part that “As such, cognitive control confers substantial benefits for individuals and society, including prospectively predicting better health, superior academic performance, reduced substance dependence, improved personal finances, and lower rates of criminal offending.”¶ The research results featured in this post showed that the participants with higher ability emotional intelligence “presented a greater capacity for cognitive control”. The authors stated “From an applied point of view, our results suggest that training in EI abilities may be very beneficial for adequate performance in emotional contexts.” How does this – the relationship of cognitive control and emotional intelligence abilities – relate to legal professionals? They care about their brainpower. But, they care less about their emotions and how to manage them and others’ emotions. The final argument urges lawyers to learn more about their emotional intelligence abilities.

The legal profession involves emotional labor. That means that lawyers and all other legal professionals deal with “hot tasks” each day. Cases, clients, colleagues, judges, and staff, to name a few sources, present challenges or issues with heightened emotions and emotional information. See Emotional Intelligence and Selecting Personnel [Lawyers] for High Emotional Labor Jobs.

The nature of legal training and the emotional labor of the work puts legal professionals with lower emotional intelligence abilities at risk for the effects of impaired cognitive control. This unfortunately plays out in the effects of self-harm from poor or risky health behaviors, stealing from clients, substance abuse or alcoholism, and even suicide. See Statistics, Stigma, and Sanism: A Public Health Warning About the “Perfect Storm” Heading Toward America’s Legal Profession.

The Psycholawlogy blog has published over 100 articles about emotional intelligence and the legal profession. The great majority of these posts feature and translate the results of peer-reviewed research about the importance and relevance of emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence training, and the impact of emotions for legal professionals and their leaders, law students, and legal academia for over five years. Selected relevant posts appear below. Simply put, the current definitive guidebook shows that emotional intelligence has emerged and is one of the most relevant, vital, and important personal well-being and professional success factors for legal professionals, their organizations, and legal leaders. See Emotional Intelligence, Lawyers, and Better Lawyering – Review of “Beyond Smart: Lawyering With Emotional Intelligence” by Ronda Muir. See also Beyond the “Blue Book” – The Three C’s of [Legal] Educators Teaching Emotional Intelligence and the linked posts in that article.

The results from science suggest that the rating services for legal professionals need to consider the emotional intelligence factor, and adapt current attorney rating models to more accurately and objectively reflect superior performing legal professionals. High performing lawyers will wear different stripes in the future. Forward-thinking individual lawyers and legal organizations who invest time and financial resources in learning about emotions, and who engage qualified practitioners and receive emotional intelligence training will benefit from their investment.

Higher emotional intelligence abilities gained from training offers advantages in performing hot cognitive tasks when compared with lower-EI individuals. The superior performers will become the new super lawyers. They will provide high value service and will consistently meet or exceed client expectations. These more emotional intelligent lawyers will have increased self-regulation due to enhanced cognitive control. Their emotional abilities enhance cognitive control, which promotes the good life. The evidence argues forcefully that these more emotionally intelligent superior self-regulators will experience better physical and mental health, get more of them and keep satisfied clients, enjoy more personal and professional satisfaction, and earn more . . . . Who can deny that all clients deserve super lawyers?

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices | Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, including an appellate clerkship, solo practitioner and of-counsel lawyer, and senior corporate trial attorney, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading Jungian-based (Myers-Briggs MBTI®) and special business (Hogan Assessments – HPI, HDS, & MVPI) normal personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligenceleadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) assessments, tools, systems, and coaching to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment About Emotional Intelligence As Ability, Self-Report, and Competency: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. For information about taking first steps, see this related post at Psycholawlogy – Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience .

Additional posts on Psycholawlogy about emotional intelligence as ability, self-report, or competency, lawyers, and the practice of law which might interest you include the following:

Elite Performance [Legal] Organizations & Tailored Emotional Intelligence Interventions

Professional development alert: Evidence-based emotional intelligence training can improve your work success and your life.

Lawyers, the RULER, the Mood Meter, and Emotional Intelligence

Trait Emotional Intelligence [EI] and Lawyers: EI As a Shield Against Burnout and Job Dissatisfaction

Legal Education and Empathy Assessment: Implications for Mental Health, Well-being, and Future Performance

Emotional Intelligence and Orthopedic Surgery Residents – New Study Shows One Way to Go: Up. . . Up. . . Up! – Suggested Lessons for Legal Educators and Lawyers

All-Star [Lawyers] Players – The Top Five (5) EQ-i 2.0 Attorney Emotional Intelligence Work Success Factors

“Don’t Just Say It . . . Just Do It” – Measuring [Lawyer] Emotional Competence from the Client Perspective

Featured Article Source: Megías, A., Gutiérrez-Cobo, M. J., Gómez-Leal, R., Cabello, R., & Fernández-Berrocal, P. (2017). Performance on emotional tasks engaging cognitive control depends on emotional intelligence abilities: an ERP study. Scientific Reports7(1), 16446  doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16657-y (copy currently available here)

Additional Resources: § Gutiérrez-Cobo, M. J., Cabello, R., & Fernández-Berrocal, P. (2016). The relationship between emotional intelligence and cool and hot cognitive processes: A systematic review. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience10:101 (copy currently available here) | ¶ Inzlicht, M., Bartholow, B. D., & Hirsh, J. B. (2015). Emotional foundations of cognitive control. Trends in Cognitive Sciences19(3), 126-132 (copy currently available here) |

Image Credits: Heat DR DeFoe | Go / No Go here | London Bridge here and nursery rhyme |

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Can introverts achieve happiness? Researchers recently untangled some of the knots in the complex associations between happiness, personality, social relationships, and emotion regulation. They examined how quality social relationships and emotion regulation ability might positively affect the happiness of introverts. Their results clarify the nature of those complex associations, and the authors suggest how introverts can achieve greater happiness.

This post considers those results and suggestions, and from them charts an evidence-based vision for a more focused, safer path for introverted lawyers to follow to achieve greater happiness. Anecdotes can encourage. But, by applying these suggestions derived from evidence from an empirical study performed by scholars, and the literature from which it emerged, a more solid and truer hope for many quiet law people springs.

Who Should Read This Post and Why. Quiet people abound in the legal profession. See ∗. Probably well over half of lawyers in the USA favor the preference for introversion or have a personality which measures at the lower end of the extraversion trait. These quiet people prefer to energize themselves from within. They’re usually not gregarious, and don’t chat or engage in much small talk because they are quiet people. Their deep, deliberate and penetrating thoughtful analysis of life’s issues, problems, and concerns characterizes how they use the quiet facets of their personality profile. One important concern about them exists. It relates to how the quiet law people, compared to their more outgoing, extraverted friends and colleagues, can achieve happiness in their lives. This post translates results from an exploratory empirical study, and from that synthesis provides quiet law people guidance and hope.

Although denied or minimized by many practitioners and scholars, emotional intelligence has always played an important role in lawyering. The ability to perceive, use, understand, and regulate emotions in the practice of law has never been more relevant and important for lawyers and managers and leaders. The current definitive guide to emotionally intelligent lawyering makes that case. Lawyers and their leaders must learn about it, develop those abilities and competencies, and practice emotionally intelligent lawyering now. See §.

This post translates important empirical research results, unveils some new and useful information, and from that evidence offers introverted lawyers and their leaders new science-based considerations to adapt to their efforts to achieve greater happiness. With attention, intention, and focused effort and training regarding quality social relationships and emotion regulation ability, quiet law people should positively impact their personal and professional development.

Purpose of the Research. The authors reviewed numerous studies which establish direct relationships between happiness and extraversion, social relationships, and emotion regulation. But, they found from the evidence of the strength, direction, and the type of relationship, i.e. mediate or moderate, that quality social relationships and emotion regulation have with extraversion and happiness inconclusive.

Their research represents the first attempt to untangle the knotty associations shared by personality, happiness, quality of social relationships, and emotion regulation ability. Among the many gaps in existing research, the authors expected their study to show that “introverts with higher quality of social relationships and higher emotion regulation ability would score higher on happiness scales.” They achieved that purpose.

Research Background – Happiness and Extraversion. The concept of happiness has many different meanings. These researchers chose to consider a broad perspective that describes it as “a life involving many pleasant and few unpleasant experiences, and as the experience of high life satisfaction.” Their approach involves both emotional and cognitive components and considers general subjective happiness experienced over time and not just a recent shapshot of recent levels of positive feelings and satisfaction with life.

Personality influences happiness. Numerous studies document that extraversion positively correlates with happiness and that extraverts are happier than introverts. In fact, the authors cited a recent study which involved young adults, and concluded that “extraversion is a significant predictor of happiness, after controlling for parental factors, the subjects’ own social factors and intelligence during childhood.”

Happy introverts exist. But, as research also shows that they possess a personality factor “most tightly associated with the various cognitive and affective indicators of happiness”, extraverts achieve happiness with greater ease than introverts. Considering this background, the authors’ research addressed a nagging, unanswered concern – under what conditions can introverts achieve happiness.

Research Background – Quality of Social Relationships, Extraversion, and Happiness. Numerous studies, according to the authors, show that social relationships can at least partly explain the relationship between happiness and extraverted people. But, they also noted that other studies do not support the conclusion made by many that happy people have significantly more full and satisfying lives than people who have not achieved as much happiness. So, their research considered a different aspect of social relationships.

Like many things in life, quality matters. Quality social relationships help one achieve happiness. From another line of research about social relationships and happiness, the authors’ research examined the proposition that the number of friends or the amount of time one spends in social relationships may not help one achieve a desired happiness endpoint, especially for introverts. Those researchers, according to the authors, “found that strength of social relationships was a strong moderator of the subjective well-being in introverted individuals, but not in extraverted ones.”

Research Background – Emotion Regulation Ability, Quality of Social Relationships, and Happiness. People with high ability emotional intelligence usually have high emotion regulation ability. These people have greater emotional ability which involves higher awareness of and the ability to select and deploy the most effective strategies to modify and use emotions, their own emotions and the emotions of others, in particular situations. See ¶.

The authors cited a leading organizational behavior scholar, and noted that “Emotion regulation is linked with happiness: people who intelligently regulate their emotions obtain high scores on several measures of happiness.” But, according to the authors, prior research studies using the measures of the ability emotional intelligence model or self-reported measures of emotional intelligence have not clearly shown if or how personality factors affect the relationship between emotional intelligence and happiness. An additional open question exists.

Several studies noted by the authors show a link between emotion regulation ability and the quality of social relationships. But, like the above open question, showing any definite relation between extraversion and happiness as affected by the impact of emotion regulation on the quality of social relationships has remained elusive.

In consideration of the research background noted above, the research team designed and conducted a study which separately analyzed how the two variables of quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability operated and impact the direct relationship between happiness on one hand and extraversion, social relationships, and emotion regulation on the other.

What the Researchers Did – Participants, Measures, and Methods. The researchers, from two universities in Spain, utilized a local community-based sample of over 1,000 volunteers. The participants, from a university campus, retirement homes, and through newspaper recruitment represented “a broad, balanced distribution of gender, age, and socio-economic status”.

The participants took several assessments which measured several variables: emotion regulation ability (MSCEIT), the Subjective Happiness Scale (4-item global assessment of happiness), parts from a self-report personality inventory which measured extraversion and neuroticism, and one dimension of quality of social relationships scale (Network of Relationships Inventory) which measures companionship, intimacy, affection, and alliance. Data collection occurred over a two year period.

Research Study Results. This part will note certain highlights of the results obtained by the researchers without mentioning or detailing the statistical techniques and analyses performed. The findings most important for our consideration include the following:

  • Age had no correlation with happiness or extraversion, but had a significant negative correlation with quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability;
  • Positive correlations between happiness, extraversion, quality of social relationships on one hand and emotion regulation ability on the other;
  • Extraverts received higher happiness scores than introverts;
  • After controlling for the influence of extraversion and neuroticism, quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability had a significant, positive association with happiness;
  • For introverts, defined as those scoring at least one standard deviation below the mean on the extraversion scale, “quality of social relationships significantly increased self-reported happiness in those who had above-average levels of emotion regulation ability”;
  • Introverts with high quality of social relationships and an emotion regulation ability above the mean had a happiness score higher than the mean for all introverts and much higher than introverts with a low quality of social relationships and low emotion regulation ability;
  • Introverts with high emotion regulation ability experienced a positive effect of social relationships on happiness;

Discussion of Results and Implications for Lawyers, Legal Leaders, and Legal Organizations – Small Changes Can Make a Difference. Several complex associations between happiness, extraversion, quality of social relations, and emotion regulation exist. The large community sample exploratory research study featured in this post untangled some of the nuances regarding two factors – quality of social relationships and emotion regulation – and the results show that they simultaneously can influence happiness.

While this research did not involve lawyers, and the authors noted that their cross-sectional study had limitations, and further study should occur to establish causality in the relationships among the several variables studied, this final part gleans from the results, and offers some important take-aways exist for legal professionals and legal leaders generally, and in particular, for quiet law people.

After controlling all other factors, “people with high quality of social relationships or high emotion regulation ability are happier….” This study used the ability emotional intelligence model as measured by the MSCEIT assessment. The researchers suggest that their results “may mean that the ability to regulate emotions based on experience strengthens social attachments and avoids friction with friends, contributing to positive and successful social interactions that generate more happiness.”

Law people with more extraverted and less neurotic personalities generally will report higher happiness. But, certain introvered law people have hope as “introverts were happier when they had high quality of social relationships and high emotion regulation ability.” High emotion regulation ability can increase happiness. This happens, the authors suggest, because “high emotion regulation ability reinforces the positive effects of quality of social relationships….”

Some people may define their quality social relationships in terms of frequency of contact and the number of friends. But, the results of this study show that quality social relationships, i.e. defined in terms of companionship, intimacy, affection, and alliance qualities with people other than family or romantic partners when coupled with higher emotion regulation ability matters more. Such quality social relationships may well provide introverts – quiet law people – the special lift that they need to achieve more happiness as suggested by the study’s “important new insights” noted here.

The two variables studied – quality of social relationships and emotion regulation ability – can develop and improve with attention, intention, and training designed to increase knowledge and increase social-emotional competencies and behaviors. “Evidence suggests that training in social and emotional competencies is crucial and should be begin in the first years of life.” See  In this regard, the authors stated “. . . even small changes to social relations or an individual’s abilities can have important effects for the course of his or her life.”

Unfortunately, happiness eludes many lawyers. We fail to achieve that desired endpoint because many of us emphasize unhelpful or the wrong things in our career preparation and then later in our work. This focus on external factors can negatively impact the lives, careers, and clients of thousands of lawyers. Often, that misdirection begins in law school, and unfortunately for many its downward spiral marches through the early, middle, and later career years. But, results from the first theory-guided empirical research study show that lawyers are “ordinary people”. See .  Those authors stated “In order to thrive, we need the same authenticity, autonomy, close relationships, supportive teaching and supervision, altruistic values, and focus on self-understanding and growth that promotes thriving in others.”

As quiet law people we can achieve greater happiness and thrive when seek out and develop high quality social relationships and manage our emotions intelligently. From the research efforts of emotion and personality scholars striving to advance science, we have been provided greater clarity about the complex associations involving personality, emotional intelligence, and social interaction. We have synthesized those results into a new vision, and now for quiet law people a brighter pathway for happiness exists. To achieve greater happiness, consider this post, the additional resources noted, and get attention, intention, training and take action to develop quality social relationships and your emotion regulation ability and you will . . . .

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices | Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, including an appellate clerkship, solo practitioner and of-counsel lawyer, and senior corporate trial attorney, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading Jungian-based (Myers-Briggs MBTI) and special business (Hogan Assessments – HPI, HDS, & MVPI) normal personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligenceleadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) assessments, tools, systems, and coaching to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment About Emotional Intelligence As Ability, Self-Report, and Competency: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. For information about taking first steps, see this related post at Psycholawlogy – Emotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience .

Additional posts on Psycholawlogy about emotional intelligence as ability, self-report, or competency, lawyers, and the practice of law which might interest you include the following:

Lawyers, the RULER, the Mood Meter, and Emotional Intelligence

Trait Emotional Intelligence [EI] and Lawyers: EI As a Shield Against Burnout and Job Dissatisfaction

Legal Education and Empathy Assessment: Implications for Mental Health, Well-being, and Future Performance

Emotional Intelligence and Orthopedic Surgery Residents – New Study Shows One Way to Go: Up. . . Up. . . Up! – Suggested Lessons for Legal Educators and Lawyers

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Book Review. Objections overruled. No more denials, delays, or excuses. Lawyers need it to provide top shelf client service and to do their best work. Those who study, develop, and implement it – emotional intelligence abilities, skills, and competencies – should differentiate themselves as the value proposition, go-to trusted advisors from the also-rans when it comes to attracting, engaging, serving, and retaining their clients in the increasingly turbulent, uncertain, and disruptive legal services environment of the 21st century. Science also shows that emotionally intelligent law people generally will enjoy a healthier and more satisfying personal and professional life. Twenty-first century lawyers must go beyond smart.

This post provides an analytical review, and recommends Ronda Muir’s Beyond Smart: Lawyering With Emotional Intelligence, published in August of 2017 by the American Bar Association. This book shows lawyers how to go beyond smart.

Who Wrote Beyond Smart?  Ronda Muir, a former outside counsel and in-house counsel, has practiced law in New York and Europe. Muir, founder and principal of Law People Management, LLC, and a leading authority on workplace and people management challenges unique to the legal industry, authored this great book.

Muir couples her years of experience in the legal trenches with her advanced study of behavioral sciences to provide solutions for individual lawyers, corporate law departments, and law firms of all sizes on issues which include compensation, conflict, culture, firm structure, leadership, productivity challenges, and professional development. In addition to her book, and frequent speaking engagements, Muir publishes and offers her cutting edge insight and timely observations about the legal industry and its providers at www.LawPeopleBlog.com.

Why Should Legal Professionals Read Beyond Smart? Many audiences, including the legal profession and its allied professionals, members of state and federal judicial systems, law students, and legal academia, will reap many benefits from reading,  studying, and implementing the principles of emotional intelligence discussed by Muir in Beyond Smart .

This enlightening, informative, and very useful book will help its readers bridge the chasm of avoidance and fear of using emotion in the practice of law. It takes a huge step in replacing ignorance with knowledge about the place and role of emotions in the legal profession. This book will enable the serious reader to begin to overcome those impairments which have plagued lawyers for decades.

Muir’s book provides the first definitive guide and a long overdue “comprehensive review of the burgeoning field of emotional intelligence as it relates to the practice of law.” The information, tips, and guidance found in Beyond Smart distinguish Muir’s work as the standard for emotionally intelligent lawyering.

Contents of Beyond Smart. The contents and organization of Beyond Smart reflect the commitment and dedication of Ronda Muir to her work. Her great literary accomplishment squares up true to her stated purpose: “I have made it my business to review the extensive research and widespread uses of emotional intelligence by other industries in order to piece together what that means to us in our daily lives in the law.”

The book does not contain filler words or fluff. Aiming to make a positive impact on a very critical and often skeptical audience concerning the subject matter, Muir offers substantial evidence to support her book’s conclusions and arguments. Beyond Smart synthesizes and functionally integrates the results from psychological science, organizational behavior, and management science empirical research studies and reviews. Also, the book includes leading scholarly business and legal commentary about the subject in a most helpful format and style. Muir frequently shares her insight and wisdom stemming from her many years of law practice and legal workplace consulting.

Beyond Smart contains nine chapters, an appendix which provides some detailed practical guidance about emotional intelligence models and assessments, very good table of contents, and a helpful and detailed subject matter index. Each chapter has numerous citations, many having well over 100, to authorities and resource materials in the endnotes. An extensive bibliography also ably supports the work, and provides the interested reader a pathway for further study. Every chapter contains helpful diagrams, charts, or text boxes which highlight the main, take-away points. Muir’s style makes it easy for the reader to navigate this very important territory.

The first two chapters discuss some basic concepts about the origin, development, and history of the concept emotional intelligence. Basic information about emotion physiology appears here, too. The background and traditions behind the law’s hands-off, avoidance relationship with emotions and an outline of the resulting shortcomings our lawyers’ emotional intelligence sets up the reader to benefit from the critical information and advice found in the remaining chapters of Beyond Smart discussed next.

Muir’s apt synthesis of research and commentary deftly argues and makes the case for emotionally intelligent lawyering in chapters 3, 4, and 5 of Beyond Smart. There she outlines four advantages of emotionally intelligent law practice, four ways emotionally intelligent lawyers and organizations benefit from emotional intelligence, how to build and achieve an emotionally intelligent workplace. Chapters 6 and 7 focus on ways that individuals can measure, develop, and leverage their emotional intelligence. Additionally, Muir discusses law school’s role in lawyering with emotional intelligence. She issues this challenge: “Law schools should lead by publicly valuing emotional intelligence, screening for EI-related skills, offering classes in emotional intelligence, promoting student connectedness, and ensuring that law professors possess and are fluent in articulating EI skills.”

Chapter 9 concludes this great book by showing convincingly that now is the time to lawyer with emotional intelligence. Muir highlights more than a dozen key points, and outlines how her comprehensive review of the research in the preceding 8 chapters “shows that equipping ourselves with high EI produces a plethora of advantages for lawyers, both professionally and personally, individually and in our organizations, that empower us to optimally deliver legal services in the stream of all those 21st-century trends.”

Recommendation. I highly recommend Ronda Muir’s great book, Beyond Smart: Lawyering With Emotional Intelligence. The legal profession has needed this book for decades. As Muir ends it, the last chapter’s phrase “Now Is the Time to Lawyer with Emotional Intelligence”, like the whole book, states the unvarnished truth. It sounds the fire alarm for us loudly and clearly. Beyond Smart provides legal professionals a comprehensive, now definitive basic guidebook needed not only for learning the waterfront of the subject’s basic content, but also the reasons why the subject – emotionally intelligent lawyering – stands as one of the real make or break propositions for lawyers to understand and adopt successfully in order to achieve and maintain our profession’s healthy future.

The status quo – being smart – will not sustain us. We must go beyond smart to survive mounting criticism of lawyers, dissatisfied clients, rising numbers of misconduct and disciplinary actions, professional malpractice, and failing workplaces. Our survival depends in great part on our learning about, understanding, appreciating, and managing our own and others’ emotions and feelings. Muir’s Beyond Smart shows the way to gain greater success and satisfaction in our personal lives and professional work. Get it.

Ordering Information: here | ABA order page here

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices |Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading normal (Myers-Briggs MBTI) and special business (Hogan Assessments) personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligence; leadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management assessment and tools (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate results from implementing custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

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American law schools eventually will either conduct their own studies or will borrow and adapt existing research, and follow the lead of their foreign counterparts and also several American dental, medical, pharmacy, and other professional schools, and implement some type of evidence-based emotional intelligence education and training, also known as social and emotional learning (SEL), as part of the required curriculum. This post concerns one very important aspect of that hopeful prediction – the beliefs of the teachers who implement SEL programs in American law schools.

Law schools implementing SEL will need teachers with the appropriate qualifications, experience, mindset, attitude, aptitude, desire, and beliefs to accomplish the goals of social and emotional learning. Those special educators will need to have comfort teaching content and competencies which involve emotions and feelings. They also must make and keep a commitment to continue their own learning and development so that they can effectively teach emotional intelligence concepts and model its applications. In addition to comfort and commitment, teachers should feel that their law school culture encourages and supports social and emotional intelligence learning and training.

What This Post is About, Who Should Read It, and Why. This “Beyond the Blue Book” series post discusses a new assessment tool which measures the beliefs of teachers about SEL. These teachers work in their regular curricula and use a research-based system to train learners how to understand and manage emotions in order to maintain better mental and physical health and social relationships, and improve performance. Because the emotional lives of lawyers, their clients, and members of legal organizations matter greatly, social and emotional learning and emotional literacy should interest law students, legal educators and administrators of law schools, legal career services staff, lawyers and judges, and legal leaders and professional development professionals in private and public legal services organizations.

As the implementers of any emotional intelligence curriculum, educators in American law schools and trainers in legal organizations will need and should want to have high marks in the three C’s – beliefs about comfort, commitment, and culture. After noting and discussing relevant background and primary concepts and the purpose of the research study, this post briefly discusses one evidence-based SEL program (RULER) and describes a simple tool for measuring the three C’s beliefs recently developed by leading SEL program developers and researchers. Links to related material and resources appear throughout this post.

This post’s final part suggests their need to step up the pace and that American law schools can adapt the teachers’ SEL belief assessment and use it to better understand whom to select as teachers to implement emotional learning content and competency training in the law school curricula, and how their beliefs may impact any SEL program and its outcomes for law students.

Purpose Research Study: Develop an Assessment to Measure Teachers’ Beliefs About SEL. The researchers wanted to develop and validate a tool to assess different components of teachers’ beliefs about SEL. Based on their extensive review of theory and prior studies, they believed that teachers’ responses on such a scale “may affect program delivery and outcomes for any SEL program.” The researchers thought that this scale should benefit not only program developers and researchers, but also the leaders and administrators of schools would desire to implement SEL programs.

Background: What Is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)? SEL means an evidence-based research and instructional program which, through a variety of methods, processes, and techniques, helps learners develop “skills and competencies related to recognizing and managing emotions, developing care and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively.” SEL programs strive to develop competent people who have the abilities to generate and coordinate flexible, adaptive responses to demands and to generate and capitalize on opportunities in the environment.

SEL programs provide their learners special opportunities to acquire core competencies to recognize and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, appreciate the perspectives of others, establish and maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle interpersonal situations constructively. Broadly considered, the work of SEL programs fosters the development of five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Most of the SEL research-based programs established so far concern primary and secondary education students as learners. Recent reviews and meta-analytical studies have shown that SEL learning provides students “a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance, as reflected in greater engagement in positive social behaviors; fewer behavior problems; less stress, anxiety, and depression; and improved grades and test scores.” Several evidence-based SEL programs exist and have been incorporated into the curricula of several school systems.

Implementation guidelines and standards for SEL learning and instruction have been refined through ongoing research since the 1990s. A number of resources, instructional materials, reference guides, publications, and research articles about SEL initiatives, implementation, work, and programs exist via CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. The interested reader, including law student, lawyer, law professor, and law school dean or administrator can access a large collection of useful information and resources about SEL here.

Background: Teacher Beliefs Generally, Importance, and Effect on Teaching Practices. Years of research about SEL has shown that a number of variables impact the successful implementation of SEL programming. The authors of the featured article described the impact of teachers as “. . . one crucial feature.” Research related to theory outlined below explains why.

The authors cited a line of research beginning in the 1990s, and stated “Because teachers are the primary deliverers of SEL programming, their attitudes about and support for SEL can affect the adoption, sustainability, and impact of such programs.” The research stream fostered by a major research review cited by the authors (Pajares, 1992) has established that teachers’ beliefs, a combination of strong affective and evaluative components, indicate their perceptions and judgments. One’s beliefs exert as much or even more influence than knowledge in determining how that individual characterizes phenomena, organizes and defines tasks, and makes sense of the world. These decisions drive energy and attention, and affect teachers’ behavior in their educational settings.

Background: Purpose of Scale and Beliefs About Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) – The Three C’s. The SEL researchers wanted to develop a scale which assessed different components of teacher beliefs about SEL. They believed that results from teacher responses to such a scale would help administrators gauge school readiness and teacher preparedness and openness towards implementing it and further that could affect SEL program delivery and outcomes.

The researchers considered a large universe of reviews and research studies for the theoretical background of their scale which taps into teacher beliefs about SEL. They clustered their review results into four broad areas. This part identifies and briefly discusses the content areas of teacher beliefs captured in the three factors of the assessment developed in their study.

Research has linked the degree of confidence with teacher attitudes delivering SEL programming. “In general, teachers are more likely to continue using a program when they feel comfortable with and enthusiastic about teaching it. Research shows that teacher confidence and animation –  COMFORT – in delivering program content “are associated with adherence to a program’s protocol.” The next variable concerns teacher professional development.

Teacher COMMITMENT affects SEL program effectiveness. Research suggests that teachers must commit to developing their ability to integrate SEL into their courses and classrooms. Professional development, that research shows, “increases significantly the likelihood of implementing a new school program.” Development means learning not only about SEL, but also how to teach and model the skills which it promotes. The final factor concerns teacher beliefs about school leadership and culture.

How teachers feel about the CULTURE of their school affects the impact of SEL programming. Leadership plays a large role in determining school culture. Research has also shown it “affects implementation at the time of a program’s adoption and continues to affect sustainability over time.” The authors noted specifically that “In fact, intervention effects are the strongest when [leader] support and implementation quality are high.”

Background: The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning. Many SEL programs have been implemented. The RULER Approach, a scientific research evidence-based program affiliated with Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, utilizes instruction, practice, learning tools, skill-building, coaching, and a train the trainer approach to integrate social and emotional learning and skills into school systems. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators, all targets of its various learning and skill building activities, play important roles in this SEL program. An achievement model of emotional literacy using a research-based theory of emotions as drivers of learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health anchors the foundation, purpose, and activities of this program.

Yale’s RULER program model provided the theoretical basis for scale to assess teacher beliefs about the program design, development, and implementation of SEL. The RULER involves the four branch model of ability emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence combines feelings with thinking, and thinking with feeling.  Four related, but different, abilities comprise this model:

· Identifying Emotions- emotions contain information, or data, and this is the ability to accurately recognize how you and those around you are feeling.
· Using Emotions- the ability to generate emotions, and to use emotions in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and creativity.
· Understanding Emotions- the ability to understand complex emotions and emotional “chains”, how emotions transition from one stage to another.
· Managing Emotions- the ability which allows you to intelligently integrate the data of emotions in yourself and in others in order to devise effective strategies that help you achieve positive outcomes.

Educators in a curriculum which uses the RULER approach systematically teach the skills of emotional intelligence – those associated with [R]recognizing, [U]understanding, [L]labeling, [E]expressing, and [R]regulating emotion. The program uses a research-based field-tested approach. It endeavors to make community-based application of innovative, ongoing research which shows that these skills play an essential role in effective teaching and learning, promoting healthy relationships and sound decision-making, promoting and maintaining physical and mental health, and reducing problem behavior in school and beyond.

SEL Teacher Beliefs Scale Development and Results. The researchers reviewed key theoretical and research articles about the factors which affect SEL program development and implementation and teacher beliefs. They organized the literature review and research results into content domains of teachers’ beliefs which may impact SEL program implementation. Using a Likert* scale with a range of five possible response points for teacher responses, a survey with three independent factors and twelve randomly ordered items (four for each factor) resulted from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses.

Brief descriptions of the factors [the three C’s], the substantive content of their items for the Teacher SEL Beliefs Scale, and reports of selected results from validity studies using that scale [reports] in phase 2 of the research study follow.

  • Comfort (comfort with teaching SEL) – The teacher reports about their feelings of confidence and comfort in providing instruction about social and emotional learning and on social and emotional skills to learners; taking care of learner social and emotional needs “comes naturally” to the teacher; and the teacher regularly provides lessons on social and emotional learning as part of regular teaching practices [comfort correlated significantly with two dimensions of teacher burnout, i.e. less depersonalization (more likely to see their students as individuals and modify teaching to meet student needs), greater commitment to SEL training and sense of personal accomplishment; and positively with several aspects of program, e.g. buy-in, year-end confidence in teaching, perceptions of program effectiveness]
  • Commitment (desire to develop SEL skills) – The teacher reports about wanting to improve ability to teach social and emotional skills to learners and whether all teachers should receive training about teaching those things; attending workshops to learn how to develop learners’ social and emotional skills and teacher’s own social and emotional skills [commitment correlated moderately with teaching efficacy, i.e. ability to modify methods as needed to have a positive effect on learner, and student enjoyment];
  • Culture (school support for SEL) – The teacher reports beliefs about the school environment and culture regarding promoting and supporting social and emotional learning and development of social and emotional skills; the environment created by the administrator about social and emotional learning and skill development; and the degree of encouragement about social and emotional learning and skill development offered by the administrator [culture correlated positively with administrator support and negatively with teacher exhaustion]

Discussion and Implications for the Legal Academy, Law Students, and Lawyers. Researchers who study about and develop social and emotional learning programming have developed a new assessment tool which can differentiate teachers’ beliefs about social and emotional learning into three distinct domains – comfort, commitment, and culture. Evidence of the tool’s validity and predictive value has been produced, too. Why do teachers’ beliefs about social and emotional learning matter?

The authors of this post’s featured article stated “Teachers’ beliefs influence the type of learning environments they create, as well as their students’ academic performance and beliefs about their own abilities.” Educators who highly endorse the three C’s hold higher expectations for their students. Research shows that those beliefs play out in their work in the learning environment, and will correlate with them having better performing learners.

Teachers high in the three C’s treat their learners differently. They adapt to student needs and strengths. They personalize their teaching efforts. And, because those three teacher beliefs can impact the quality of the implementation of SEL programming, leaders and administrators “should be especially interested in assessing these beliefs.” The Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Scale for Teachers can help educators and administrators better understand teacher comfort and commitment to SEL and also perceptions about the support offered by school culture. The SEL scale can provide insight about a school’s readiness to adopt and who should teach social and emotional learning programming. Finally, the results of the assessment can show various aspects, e.g. timing, type, and amount, of training needed by the educators to provide their learners the best SEL programming possible. What about legal educators?

American law schools need to implement social and emotional learning in their curricula now. Earlier posts in the “Beyond the Blue Book” series and related posts on Psycholawlogy discuss this important and very substantial concern. With increasing law school tuition, rising unemployment and underemployment in the recent law school graduate ranks, the rising incidence of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence, and the turbulence in the legal marketplace, the need for social and emotional learning – “the development of skills related to recognizing and managing emotions, developing care and concern for others, establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, and handling challenging situations constructively” – by students in the American legal academy has never been more important.

Beyond cavil, some of the best and brightest people teach in and lead American law schools. This post has provided information and access to evidence-based tools and resources, many never mentioned before in legal commentaries, which provide a jump-start for designing, developing, staffing, and implementing social and emotional learning programming for American law students. Law..

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Emotions exert a powerful influence on our daily lives.  They drive many things that we need or want each and every day.  Emotions help us learn and make decisions.  Our creativity depends in part on our emotional experience and abilities.  Relationships develop, thrive, suffer, or fail as a result of our emotions and the emotions of others.  Finally, our health depends in great part on our emotions.
They all have feelings and emotional lives, and this post lets lawyers, judges, legal academics and law students, and leaders of legal organizations know about a program of emotional and social learning and one very simple tool.  This tool can help us learn more about our emotions and how they can facilitate our thinking.  Grade school children, the teachers and staff at their schools, and the parents and family members of the students all learn about and use this tool as part of a leading emotional and social learning program conducted by Yale University through its Center for Emotional Intelligence.  The program is called RULER.  One tool in that program is the Mood Meter. Law people can learn and benefit from this type of program, too.
RULER Program Four Branch Model of Ability Emotional Intelligence. RULER, Yale’s emotional intelligence research program, involves the four branch model of ability emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence combines feelings with thinking, and thinking with feeling.  Four related, but different, abilities comprise this model:

· Identifying Emotions- emotions contain information, or data, and this is the ability to accurately recognize how you and those around you are feeling.
· Using Emotions- the ability to generate emotions, and to use emotions in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and creativity.
· Understanding Emotions- the ability to understand complex emotions and emotional “chains”, how emotions transition from one stage to another.
· Managing Emotions- the ability which allows you to intelligently integrate the data of emotions in yourself and in others in order to devise effective strategies that help you achieve positive outcomes.

Mood Meter – Energy & Pleasantness. Learning to identify and label emotions plays a critical part toward cultivating emotional intelligence. Using the Mood Meter, just like the students and educators in Yale Program, a person can become more mindful of how his or her emotions change throughout the day and how those emotions in turn affect their actions.

The colors of the four quadrants mean something.  Each quadrant represents a complex of emotions which result from amounts (self-rated experience scale range of -5 to +5) of energy (vertical, y axis) and pleasantness (horizontal, x axis).

Briefly, each quadrant of the Mood Meter means:

Red – high energy and unpleasantness, e.g. anger, frustration, anxiety

Blue – low energy and unpleasantness, e.g. boredom, sadness, despair

Yellow – high energy and pleasantness, e.g. excitement, joy, elation

Green – low energy and pleasantness, e.g. tranquility, serenity, and satisfaction

Mood Meter users can develop and build greater self-awareness.  We need this to better inform our choices about emotion. The Mood Meter can help one learn about and to expand our emotional vocabulary, replacing basic feeling words with more sophisticated terms. With practice and intention, one can graduate from using words like ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ to using words like ‘alienated’ and ‘hopeless,’ or ‘tranquil’ and ‘serene.’

By teaching subtle distinctions between similar feelings, the Mood Meter can empower users  to recognize the full scope of their emotional lives and address all feelings more effectively.  The greater self-awareness and better informed choices about emotions can include the following:

  • Expand emotional vocabulary – Discover the nuances in feelings
  • Gain insights about inner emotional life – Learn what’s causing feelings over time
  • Regulate feelings – Use effective strategies to help regulate feelings
  • Enhance the way emotions get managed your each day

Yale has developed a Mood Meter app.  Learn more about it here.

RULER Program Results. Yale’s program has research and practical learning and training orientations.  The program results have been found under sound empirical methods and reported in peer-reviewed scientific publications. The Ruler program participants have obtained favorable results in several areas.  One important area is academic performance.  School climates have also improved.  Emotional intelligence and social skills have improved. In some circumstances, anxiety and depression have decreased.  The youngest participants who use the tools, including the mood meter, have been less likely to bully others.  Better leadership skills and attention have been reported.  Faculty have better relationships with students, less burnout, better relationships with admin, more positive about teaching.

RULER, the Mood Meter, Emotional Intelligence, and Lawyers. Lawyers, judges, law students, and other legal services providers should develop greater emotion regulation skills, enhance their emotion knowledge and understanding, and develop and improve their overall emotional intelligence.  Unfortunately, few legal firms and organizations, courts, law schools, and bar association and other legal leaders have embraced these goals. But hope exists, and law schools, law firms, and legal organizations who have goals to develop people with higher social and emotional skills will do well to consider the evidence-based* RULER program and adapt accordingly.

This post has identified a social and emotional learning program and one of its related tools used by school systems throughout the world. Using this simple tool can help legal professionals achieve those important goals.  Many opportunities to develop and increase emotional intelligence exist in the legal services realm. Researchers associated with world-leading Yale University research and teaching program dedicated to emotional and social learning have developed several tools which facilitate emotional learning.  Solid science shows that with practice, a person can expect to increase his or her emotional  intelligence and can stand to gain many benefits in several areas of life, learning, decision-making, relationships, and health and well-being. Beginning in law school, and continuing in their careers, lawyers can learn and apply these things, and gain many benefits.

Hopefully, by reading this you have learned enough about a simple tool, the Mood Meter, to spark your interest. You will want to learn more about your emotions and the emotions of others and also how you can begin to better manage your relationship with your own and others’ emotions. Start your emotional intelligence journey.  Use the Mood Meter. Think about your emotional energy and its pleasantness when you do your work. Check out Feelings Around the Mood Meter.

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices |Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading normal (Myers-Briggs MBTI) and special business (Hogan Assessments) personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligence; leadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management assessment and tools (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. See this related post at PsycholawlogyEmotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience – for more information about taking first steps.

Visit Psycholawlogy using this link, and access posts about the ability-based emotional intelligence model as measured by the MSCEIT emotional intelligence assessment.

Reference: * Nathanson, L., Rivers, S. E., Flynn, L. M., & Brackett, M. A. (2016). Creating emotionally intelligent schools with RULER. Emotion Review, 8(4), 305-310 (copy currently available here). See also Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., & Salovey, P. (2011). Emotional intelligence: Implications for personal, social, academic, and workplace success. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(1), 88-103 (copy currently available here).

Image Credits and Source Material: Visit Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

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Sluggish. That word describes the pace of instruction and training concerning emotional intelligence in American law schools. This post, another installment in the Beyond the Blue Book series* on Psycholawlogy, briefly discusses some significant points in the history of legal education and emotional intelligence, provides a current perspective, and closes by offering some simple and easy suggestions.

This jump-start offers a way to bridge the widening gap correlated with decades of the legal academy “studying”, “exploring”, or “investigating”, but insufficiently addressing unmet student needs and legal employers’ unfulfilled desires. Law students and early career lawyers may not realize it, but they need emotional intelligence training and education. The more savvy twenty-first century legal employers realize it, and want and need emotionally intelligent lawyers. Some will hire only those with a record of such education and training.

Who Should Read This Post and Why. Each year American law schools produce thousands of graduates. A majority of these people have by law school graduation day accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Many have another gorilla on their backs – they are not ready to practice law.

After three years of legal education and “training”, most graduates, i.e. the some 40% who do land jobs which require a law license, have not been adequately prepared to lace them up, and put their own boots on the ground and begin slaying real legal dragons for actual clients in the real world. Those conclusions flow from considering recently announced results* from a sample of over twenty-four thousand lawyers. Most of the survey participants believed that the most newly minted lawyers just can’t do the work.

More recently, one legal educator (Pierson, 2016) noted that most law graduates gain little education about it, and consequently know little, lack training, and have little experience using three core self-management tools identified as needed by 21st century legal professionals to successfully position themselves to manage their own careers.

This post alerts law students and recent graduates about one of those issues. It offers legal educators, law students, early career lawyers, and legal employers some practical suggestions about how to sharpen one of the three self-management tools desired by legal employers and needed by law students and early career lawyers now – emotional intelligence.

American Legal Education & Emotional Intelligence: A History of Avoided Challenges and Unmet Needs. An early adopter of emotional intelligence for legal education, one brave legal educator (Silver, 1999), identified the issues, and laid out the initial case for the legal academy’s need to educate its students about the importance of the emotional dimensions of lawyering. The bold warning about “deficiencies”, i.e. the dire intrapersonal (stress, substance abuse, depression) and interpersonal (empathy and trust deficits with clients, poor relationships with colleagues, and less effective dispute resolution)  consequences of the devaluation and denial of the importance of emotions and feelings in legal training and legal practice, sounded loud and clear nearly twenty years ago. The article discussed the concept emotional intelligence, traced its historical development, summarized the concept’s basic scientific underpinnings, provided examples and discussed deficiencies in legal education, and offered suggestions for law schools about how to educate their students about the intra-personal and inter-personal aspects of their emotional lives in the context of serving their clients.

Professor Silver re-imagined a legal education responsive to all practitioner styles and varieties of lawyering, and which focused on the emotional aspects of lawyering and developing personal intelligences, such compassion and empathy, as well as analytical legal problem-solving. According to Professor Silver, two “compelling reasons” made the case: increase lawyer satisfaction and better address client needs and concerns.  She spoke in terms of those in legal education  as seizing the opportunity “. . . to address these deficiencies and to build into our curriculum possibilities to develop emotional intelligence.” The alarm included this charge: “Legal educators should affirmatively and deliberately endeavor to cultivate emotional intelligence, to develop intra- and interpersonal skills essential to good lawyering.” Ten years later another member of the legal academy connected emotional intelligence education and training with attorney professionalism. This thought leader envisioned emotional intelligence as a way to address deficits of empathy associated with the way law schools educate and train their students

A former law school dean, (Montgomery, 2008) claimed that “Law schools are inadequately developing an ethos of professionalism in law students.” His thoughtful article noted the earlier suggestions urged by Professor Silver, and challenged the legal academy to incorporate emotional intelligence training to strengthen the professionalism of lawyers. He noted how the body of emotional intelligence theory and research had advanced and how business schools have successfully adopted the concept and now include training and instruction about it in their curricula. Professor Montgomery described the vehicle of incorporating emotional intelligence instruction and training in legal education as a “promising opportunity” to increase professionalism by enhancing the abilities to persuade, influence, and communicate. As a former law school dean, he challenged legal educators and administrators, claiming that “Without great cost or even restructuring the standard law school curriculum, it can be easily incorporated in legal education.”

From the data gathered in 2014-2015 and cited by Professor Pierson in one of the most recent scholarly commentaries about emotional intelligence and legal education, it seems that most American law schools have not taken the challenge by Dean Montgomery too seriously. Less than half of law schools offer some education and training in the emotional skills that lawyers need have in order to manage their own emotional lives and handle the emotional issues involved in servicing the needs of clients. Another conclusion which flows from her research shows that those schools which do offer such coursework and experiential training do so indirectly by ancillary means. Instruction about emotional intelligence occurs mainly as information tangential to the subject matter of other courses.

Consider these bullet points  distilled from “facts” cited in her fine 2016 article which argues for greater emotional intelligence instruction and training legal education:

  • Emotional intelligence “matters as much to one’s success as does mastery of the law”;
  • Emotional intelligence differentiates star from ordinary performers and some clients as well as law firms realize this;
  • Greater emotional maturity and emotion management skills will assist those who enter the legal profession as they will face ever-increasing change and disruption and will experience greater levels of stress;
  • The legal profession needs to develop emotional intelligence because “A greater percentage of lawyers experience psychological distress than does the general population.”
  • The psychological distress which impairs some lawyers also results in harm suffered by clients

Current Perspective: Employers Want Lawyers With Emotional Intelligence Abilities. The IAALS survey shows that legal employers want lawyers with emotional intelligence skills and characteristics now. Considering the survey results and Professor Pierson’s article’s discussion about the needed self-management tool of emotional intelligence, this means that American law schools must graduate students who have been instructed and trained in the skills of managing their own and others’ emotions. Graduates of law school must appreciate the concept, and effectively practice empathy. They must regulate their moods and control impulses to seek gratification immediately. Employers also want and need law graduates who can motivate themselves and contribute to team effort and follow leaders of the firm.

Suggested Self-Help Remedies for Law Students and Recent Law Graduates.  Analysis of the data as reported and the related arguments presented by the sources cited in this post leads to the conclusion that thousands of recent law graduates have not received instruction and training in the emotional intelligence skills desired by future employers. Thousands of current law students face the same deficits in their legal education. This part offers suggestions, a career compass-roadmap of sorts, to remedy what many legal employers most likely consider a serious shortfall by recent graduates in gaining foundations for practice necessary in the short-term.

Current law students can explore opportunities for emotional intelligence assessment, debrief, feedback, and development planning and intervention with their law school career services office. Recent law graduates can inquire about options with their employer’s professional development staff or office. If those inquiries do not bear fruit, or if such possibilities do not exist, then the law student and recent graduate will want to explore other options. Successful lawyers learn new things every day. They gain knowledge and information needed to get results. Translated in this context – law students and recent law graduates must help themselves when it comes to developing critical characteristics and foundations for practice deemed necessary in the short-term by legal employers.

Emotional intelligence training involves basic and applied instruction about emotions, moods, and feelings, taking an emotional intelligence assessment using a reliable and scientifically validated instrument administered by a qualified or certified professional, and assessment results interpretation and debriefing by a qualified emotional intelligence practitioner. The discussion about results can provide a foundation for a plan which addresses development opportunities revealed by the assessment. Following a period of time during which the development activities have occurred, results from a subsequent emotional intelligence assessment can reveal new discussion points for continued development.

Clinical or substantive law professors, while not automatically qualified to provide emotional intelligence instruction and training, can certainly learn about emotional intelligence and become qualified or certified emotional intelligence practitioners. Law school career services staff and law firm professional development team members can, too. But, the emotional intelligence instruction and skill training for law students or recent law graduates should stem from emotional intelligence assessment-based results, interpretation, debrief and feedback, and development planning and intervention. This suggested process for emotional intelligence instruction should have a practical side, i.e. the assessment-personal development process and intervention as described, and not just attending a lecture or two or scanning a series of assigned readings. Just about any person can learn about and develop emotional intelligence abilities or competencies.

Law students and recent law graduates should invest in themselves. Much turbulence exist in the legal sector employment environment. Beginning lawyers now will have a career with several stops at different employers along the way. Professor Pierson projected that can happen as many as seven times in a career. In essence, lawyers now act as free agents. Those who develop emotional intelligence skills should ride out the peaks and valleys better than those who do not invest in themselves and their career. Depending upon the practitioner involved and the emotional intelligence assessments selected, the process described here should take ten to twenty hours per year, in addition to an active reading and learning program, for a law student or a recent law school graduate. A qualified professional – an emotional intelligence practitioner – should guide the law student or recent law school graduate through the emotional intelligence instruction and skill training process.

Warning. Thousands of law students and recent law graduates need a strategy and tactics to get the gorilla – the financial impact and career derailing effects of certain deficiencies of modern American legal education – off their backs.

One thing that can help has been deemed relevant and important for the legal profession by the legal academy for over two decades: “training that strengthens the emotional intelligence skills needed in the practice of law”. Professor Pierson’s conclusion ends by stating in part that “The legal profession is in a state of creative destruction.” While segments of the American legal academy may perceive that “exciting opportunities” lie ahead for legal education, the track record of emotional intelligence instruction and training for law students and recent graduates should not for many instill encouragement and hope. Instead, they must learn about career adaptation skills, practice self-management, and become effective free agents, key survival skills for new lawyers.

This “Beyond the Blue Book” post has featured one tool – emotional intelligence – and has outlined a remedy process which can help law students and new lawyers deal with the “creative destruction” – the turbulence, uncertainty, stress, and seismic changes – occurring currently and likely to occur in the future legal marketplace.

For those interested, check out these posts on Psycholawlogy:

Beyond the “Blue Book”: Emotional Intelligence [EQ] Assessment as a Future Gatekeeper of Lawyer Effectiveness?

Beyond the “Blue Book” – Two Important “Soft Skills” Which Can Predict [Lawyer] Success in the 21st Century Workplace

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices |Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading normal (Myers-Briggs MBTI) and special business (Hogan Assessments) personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligence; leadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management assessment and tools (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Complimentary Assessment: Contact me via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com to arrange a time for a no obligation discussion and assessment of your firm’s or firm members’ interests or needs regarding emotional intelligence workshops, training, continuing education, or coaching. See this related post at PsycholawlogyEmotional Intelligence Memo to Management: EI as a Buffer of [Lawyer] Stress in the Developmental Job Experience – for more information about taking first steps.

Article Sources: Montgomery, J. E. (2008). Incorporating emotional intelligence concepts into legal education: Strengthening the professionalism of law students. U. Tol. L. Rev., 39, 323 (copy currently available here);  Pierson, P. (2016). Economics, EQ, and Finance: The Next Frontier in Legal Education. Journal of Legal Education, 65(4), 864 (copy currently available here); Silver, M. A. (1999). Emotional intelligence and legal education. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 5(4), 1173 (copy currently available here)

Additional Sources: *The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System [IAALS] (2016). Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and Character Quotient (copy of report currently available at: http://iaals.du.edu/sites/default/files/reports/foundations_for_practice_whole_lawyer_character_quotient.pdf

Image Credits: Slugs here | Gorilla here | Career compass roadmap here |

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In the business (including legal services) world, job satisfaction determines key performance behaviors and outcomes critical to the life, health, and sustained prosperity of not only the organizations, but their workers, too. A leader’s effectiveness, i.e. the overall performance of leadership behaviors, influences workers’ job satisfaction. Emotional intelligence, shown by a line of research, predicts leader effectiveness. A recently published meta-analytical review study closes a gap – no previous meta-analysis had studied how a leader’s emotional intelligence influences leader effectiveness – in the research stream. That research investigated how leader emotional intelligence relates to an important type of leader effectiveness – worker job satisfaction. This study’s results showed not only that leaders’ emotional intelligence predicts workers’ job satisfaction, but also provides insights about how that occurs.

Why You Should Read This Post. Additional, powerful evidence lends further support for organizations, including legal and other professional services organizations, using emotional intelligence assessments, emotional intelligence training, and education about emotion to promote an important type of leader effectiveness – job satisfaction. This post outlines the new and important evidence for legal leaders, their followers, and leaders and members of other professional services organizations. The following parts highlight why and how the researchers conducted it and notes important features of the study, discusses certain main findings and conclusions, and offers points of application for legal leaders, lawyers, and other professional service providers concerned with issues and outcomes about worker job satisfaction and leadership effectiveness. Legal leaders, the research strongly suggests, need to become emotionally savvy mood managers. It begins with their emotional intelligence.

Why the Researchers Did the Study. A number of individual studies have shown that a relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction exists. But, the authors noted that “to date there has not been a meta-analysis of how leaders’ EI influences subordinates’ job satisfaction.” They cited several reasons to conduct the study, including that job satisfaction constitutes one of the most important central constructs in organizational psychology, and shown to impact job performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and health outcomes of workers; understanding how leader emotional intelligence influences worker job satisfaction will enable inferences about those important outcomes; and other reasons including the need to investigate whether worker emotional intelligence affects the relationship between leader EI and worker job satisfaction, to consider certain firm type and size contextual factor impact, and to contribute to developing a framework on how to better understand leaders’ moods and emotions influence their effectiveness as leaders and its impact on worker job satisfaction.

Research Background – Emotional Intelligence, Leader EI, and Job Satisfaction.  Job satisfaction, a “primary focus” of academics and practitioners concerned with worker behavior and workplace performance outcomes, has two basic components. “Job satisfaction has two relevant components, namely affective (feelings towards one’s job) and cognitive (cognitive evaluation of one’s job) components.” Job satisfaction has also been identified as “an important type of leader effectiveness.” Experts conceptualize and measure emotional intelligence in many ways. They call these “streams”. This research considered three in order to generate the best possible predictability from the results. Some distinguishing features about those three streams of emotional intelligence follow.

Ability-stream 1 (four branch model, i.e. perceive, use, understand, and regulate, of emotional intelligence measured by the Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test [MSCEIT]; models an “intelligence” IQ type test in which “right” answers exist], Self-report-stream 2 (measured by the Wong and Long Emotional Intelligence Test [WLEIS], and tracks the four-branch model of emotional intelligence), and Mixed-stream 3 (four dimensions, i.e. emotionality, self-control, sociability, and well-being, which “comprehensively encompasses the emotion-related facets of personality”, as measured by the self-report Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire [TEIQue], not redundant with other personality measures; or the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory [EQ-i]) constitute the three (3) “major” streams of emotional intelligence. The researchers considered each stream, individually and collectively, when they conducted their meta-analytical review study of the relationship between leader and worker emotional intelligence and worker job satisfaction. A final aspect of the research-theoretical background featured here involves leader emotional intelligence.

Leadership matters greatly when it comes to moods, feelings, and emotions in the workplace. Today’s workplace involves workers in a constantly changing affective environment. Workers’ reactions to that ever-changing flow of negative and positive events impacts their affective responses. The authors cite a number of studies and conclude that this reaction results “in an ebb and flow in job satisfaction”. In this regard, the authors also noted that “emotionally intelligent leaders take the role of ’emotional manager’ to set up a positive ‘affective tone’ both for their subordinates’ benefit and to create positive affective events for them.”

Influence constitutes an important aspect of leadership. Under a multi-level model of emotions in organizations, one level involves a leader’s one-on-one interactions with workers in order to influence them. Relying upon the several studies cited, the authors argue “The interaction between leaders and subordinates provides a natural platform where leaders can rely on their EI to enhance their subordinates’ job satisfaction by spreading feelings of happiness and enthusiasm to them.” Authenticity and caring count as two more qualities which relate to leader EI and job satisfaction.

Emotional displays play a critical role in generating worker’s feelings about a leader’s sincerity and charisma. Drawing upon earlier research, the authors further argue about the leader EI / subordinate satisfaction connection, stating “Emotionally intelligent leaders are proficient at displaying emotions, invoking emotions in others, and conveying a message of authenticity to their subordinates, thus increasing subordinates’ job satisfaction.” Finally, perceiving and understanding emotions relates to empathy. Leaders who can perceive and understand their subordinates’ emotions are “emotionally savvy leaders”. These leaders “can improve their followers’ job satisfaction by displaying empathy and demonstrating that they care about their followers’ well-being.”

What the Researchers Did: Methods. The researchers conducted a meta-analysis for the relationship between leaders’ emotional intelligence and subordinates’ job satisfaction. They searched several electronic databases. They also searched journals in the management science and psychology research literatures. In addition to also searching management and psychology conference materials, the research team also reached out to emotional intelligence scholars for other related, unpublished materials and information. The resulting pool of articles and information included only empirical quantitative studies which involved real employees and which also reported a correlation between leaders’ emotional intelligence and subordinates’ job satisfaction. Twenty samples and a sample size of 4,665 comprised the data set for the meta-analytical review study.

Questions Considered and Results. The researchers considered twelve hypotheses in their study. This part notes certain hypotheses considered by the researchers and, without detailing the various techniques used and analyses conducted, highlights selected results obtained by their analyses. A brief summary follows:

  • Collectively, do all three steams of emotional intelligence, i.e. ability, self-report, and mixed, significantly and positively relate to subordinates’ job satisfaction? ANSWER: YES;
  • Individually, does each stream of emotional intelligence, i.e. ability, self-report, and mixed, significantly and positively relate to subordinates’ job satisfaction? ANSWER: YES;
  • Does each stream of leader emotional intelligence predict subordinate job satisfaction above and beyond personality factors, i.e. neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, and cognitive ability? ANSWER: YES;
  • Does leader emotional intelligence contribute to subordinate job satisfaction over and above subordinate emotional intelligence? ANSWER: YES;
  • Does subordinate emotional intelligence relate positively to leader emotional intelligence and contribute positively to that relationship and in turn subordinate job satisfaction? ANSWER: YES; and
  • Does leader emotional intelligence in organizations known as “low humane orientation”, i.e. not encourage fairness, friendliness, caring, and kindness, more strongly and positively relate to subordinate emotional intelligence than in a high humane oriented culture? ANSWER: YES.

Discussion Highlights. Citing one of the leading articles about emotions in the workplace, the authors began their article’s discussion section with this quote: “Leadership is an emotion-laden process and emotional intelligence leads to effective leadership.” The big result from this quantitative review of twenty research studies of emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and job satisfaction is this point – “emotionally intelligent leaders will produce satisfied followers.”  Other discussion points related to the results noted in the part above follow.

Mixed emotional intelligence, e.g. Bar-On model, serves as the greatest predictor of subordinate job satisfaction. All three models, i.e. streams, of emotional intelligence contributed above and beyond leader personality factors and cognitive ability in predicting subordinate job satisfaction. “It is worthwhile to note that mixed EI alone impressively accounts for 49.9% relative importance in predicting subordinates’ job satisfaction, whereas FFM [personality factors] and cognitive ability in combination (i.e. six predictors in total) show only 50.1% relative importance in predicting subordinates’ job satisfaction.” A couple more points deserve special mention.

Subordinate emotional intelligence and leader emotional intelligence, according to this study, share an approximate 50/50 split in terms of determining subordinate workplace satisfaction. The authors labelled the 48.0% relative role of leaders’ emotional intelligence as “noteworthy”. Followers’ emotional intelligence does influence the effect of their leaders’ emotional intelligence”.

A final point relates to leader emotional intelligence, follower job satisfaction, and humane workplace culture. Low humane cultures do not seem fair, friendly, caring, or kind. Such low cultures also do not promote generosity. Low humane cultures also do not have the well-being of subordinates as a core norm. The results of this study showed that leader emotional intelligence has a stronger impact on subordinate job satisfaction in low humane culture orientations.  Next, suggestions for legal leaders, their followers, and legal and other professional organizations.

Take-Aways for Legal Leaders, their Followers, and Legal Services and other Professional Services Organizations. “Job satisfaction is a factor influencing many important workplace outcomes, such as job performance, turnover, and profits.” A positive, strong link exists between leader emotional intelligence and subordinate job satisfaction. Many different models and measures of emotional intelligence exist. This study considered three different streams.

The resulting evidence, derived from a large quantitative synthesis of 20 studies involving almost 5,000 participants in a variety of workplace environments, shows that collectively and individually emotional intelligence predicts worker job satisfaction. While cognitive ability and personality factors do predict worker job satisfaction, leader emotional intelligence impacts this very important workplace performance outcome over and above those factors.

This post’s featured research article did not highlight findings regarding the legal profession and its leaders. But, the resulting evidence, described variously as “impressive” or “noteworthy”, implicates the attention and focus of legal leaders and their followers. Why?

Emotional intelligence, as shown by this recent and other research studies of mounting significance, matters for both leaders and their followers. Legal leaders who are emotionally savvy, i.e. able to control and show their emotions appropriately, will display more empathy and care about their followers more. This will boost job satisfaction. Emotionally intelligent leaders have a greater proficiency in displaying emotions, invoking emotions in others, and conveying to their followers an overall impression of greater authenticity. This leads to increased job satisfaction.

More broadly, leaders who possess and exhibit higher emotional intelligence competencies in the workplace will create and sustain an organizational culture that values emotional intelligence and attracts, nurtures, and retains emotionally intelligent followers. This happens by way of training and development opportunities. Follower emotional intelligence gets cultivated. More emotionally intelligent followers will use proper strategies to cope with stress and negative feelings in the workplace. What results? Enhanced follower job satisfaction.

Although not considered in the featured study, new research about measurement and assessment of emotional intelligence confirms that females tend to have higher emotional intelligence skills, abilities, and competencies. Why have legal and other professional services firms continued to discount or minimize the teaching of science when it comes to who might, in fact, serve better in leadership roles? Possible answers include bias and / or ignorance or a combination of both. In the next few years, the speculation goes, human capital factors, including leadership and followership, have grave implications for sustainability. Legal leaders, this suggestion goes, need to go beyond “being green”. Instead, some potent evidence points to something more personal – their own emotional intelligence. It relates to leadership effectiveness in terms of a very important factor – worker job satisfaction.

Many decision makers have a concern about return on investment when it comes to training and development in the workplace. Legal and other leaders have much to forfeit if they do not embrace the emerging evidence and take appropriate action now instead of deferring until later. The final take-away comes from the authors. It relates to practical implications and taking action:

“As such, organizations should consider including EI in leadership education, training, and development in order to generate satisfied employees. Longitudinal studies have shown that managers can improve their EI through training programs. We also encourage managers to administer an EI test when they make personnel decisions.”

Thank You.  Thank you very much. Dan DeFoe JD MS – Adlitem Solutions | Organization Development for Professional Services Firms and the Legal Profession: People. Projects. Practices |Web – www.adlitemsolutions.com | Email: dan@adlitemsolutions.com | Blog – www.psycholawlogy.com | Services – Organization Development Practitioner combining and leveraging 25+ years of diverse legal experience, 7+ years of allied health training and work experience, a Master of Science in Organizational Development Psychology, and educationally qualified or earned certifications in industry-leading normal (Myers-Briggs MBTI) and special business (Hogan Assessments) personality; ability (MSCEIT) and self-report (EQi 2.0 [derived from Bar-On model]) emotional intelligence; leadership (Certified Intentional Leadership Coach); and stress management assessment and tools (ARSENAL best practices system for stress resilient emotional intelligence) to partner with client organizations, their leaders, and member to discover needs and opportunities for growth and to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate custom interventions for individual, team, project, or organizational solutions. | Mission:  “America’s leading resource for normal personality and emotional intelligence assessments, and related coaching, continuing education programs, training, and workshops for judges, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, healthcare, medical, and other professional services providers and their organizations and leaders.”  Please visit Adlitem Solutions and Psycholawlogy again soon. Thank you very much.

Unique Emotional Intelligence Qualifications & Complimentary Assessment: I have practiced law for more than 25 years in a wide variety of contexts and practice settings. Importantly, I am one of less than a handful of practicing attorney / organization development pracitioners who have been certified to purchase, administer, interpret, and provide debriefing and developmental feedback regarding emotional intelligence assessment results. I offer the suite of assessments, e.g. workplace, leadership, group, and 360 report forms, associated with the EQ-i 2.0 model and assessment [EQi 2.0 now the successor model and assessment to the Bar-On model of emotional intelligence mentioned in this post]. Contact me to inquire about sample examples of the EQ-i 2.0 assessment reports via email at dan@adlitemsolutions.com and to..

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