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What’s Your (Emotional) IQ?
If you were an HR manager, on what criteria would you base a hiring decision—intelligence (IQ), education, technical skills, experience, references, or performance on the interview? All these can be important determinants of a person’s success, but some experts believe that there’s an even better predictor of success. It’s called emotional intelligence (or EI), and it gained some currency in the mid-1990s thanks to Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. EI is the ability to understand both our own emotions and those of others, as well as the ability to use that understanding in managing our behavior, motivating ourselves, and encouraging others to achieve goals.
An attractive aspect of EI is that, unlike IQ, it’s not fixed at an early age. Rather, its vital components—self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management—can be strengthened over time. To assess your level of EI, go to the Web site maintained by the Hay Group, a management-consulting firm, and take the ten-item test that’s posted there (http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl_eq_quiz.htm?questnum=6&cor=2399). After completing the test, you’ll get your EI score, some instructions for interpreting it, and an answer key.
When you’ve finished with the test, rank the following items according to the importance that you’d give them in making a hiring decision: intelligence, education, technical skills, experience, references, interview skills, and emotional intelligence. Explain your ranking.
Are You a People Person?
You might not like the idea of sitting across the desk from a corporate college recruiter and asking for a job, but what if you were on the other side of the desk? As a recruiter, you’d get to return to campus each year to encourage students to join your company. Or, maybe you’d like to help your company develop a new compensation and benefits program, implement a performance-evaluation system, or create a new training program. All these activities fall under the umbrella of HR.
To learn more about the field of HR, go to the WetFeet Web site (http://wetfeet.com/Careers-and-Industries/Industries/Human-Resources.aspx#jobdescriptions) and read the page “Human Resources Overview.” Then answer these questions:
Finally, write a paragraph responding to this question: Do you find the HR field interesting? Why, or why not?
Misstating the Facts
Life couldn’t get much better for George O’Leary when he was named the head football coach at Notre Dame. Unfortunately, he barely had time to celebrate his new job before he was ruled ineligible: after just a week on the job, he was forced to resign, embarrassing himself, his family, his friends, and Notre Dame itself. Why? Because of a few lies that he’d put on his résumé twenty years earlier. To get the facts behind this story, go to the Sports Illustrated Web site (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/college/news/2001/12/14/oleary _notredame) and read the article “Short Tenure: O’Leary Out at Notre Dame After One Week.” Then, answer the following questions:
Dorm Room Rescue
Any night of the week (at least as of this writing), you can relax in front of the TV and watch a steady stream of shows about how to improve your living space—such as Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, and New Spaces. You like the concept of these programs well enough, but you’re tired of watching them in a tiny, cluttered dorm room that’s decorated in early barracks style. Out of these cramped conditions, however, you and a team of friends come up with an idea. On graduation, you’ll start a business called Dorm Room Rescue to provide decorating services to the dorm dwellers who come after you. You’ll help college students pick colors and themes for their rooms and select space-saving furniture, storage materials, area rugs, and wall decorations. Your goal will be to create attractive dorm rooms that provide comfort, functionality, and privacy, as well as pleasant spaces in which students can relax and even entertain.
The team decides to develop a plan for the HR needs of your future company. You’ll need to address the following issues:
Recruitment of qualified employees
Compensation and benefits
You might want to divide up the initial work, but you’ll need to regroup as a team to make your final decisions on these issues and to create a team-prepared report.
Sending Ed to China
You’re the HR manager for a large environmental consulting firm that just started doing business in China. You’ve asked your top engineer, Ed Deardon, to relocate to Shanghai for a year. Though China will be new to Deardon, working overseas won’t be; he’s already completed assignments in the Philippines and Thailand; as before, his wife and three children will be going with him.
You’ve promised Deardon some advice on adapting to living and working conditions in Shanghai, and you intend to focus on the kinds of cultural differences that tend to create problems in international business dealings. Unfortunately, you personally know absolutely nothing about living in China and so must do some online research. Here are some promising sites:
Prepare a written report to Deardon in which you identify and explain five or six cultural differences between business behavior in the United States and China, and offer some advice on how to deal with them.