Using Emotional Intelligence in Moderation
EI (emotional intelligence) is the new IQ in the world of marketing. It is defined as the ability to recognize your emotions, understand them, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. The other half of EI involves your perception of others: when you understand how peers feel, you can effectively manage relationships.
If ignored, the physiological state of your whole body has potential to immensely affect how people respond in any given situation. (For example, a study in 2011 indicated that judges hand down stricter sentences when they’re hungry.)
Imagine the opportunity for insights and probing if moderators could successfully interpret expressions of the respondents. Moderators who notice a simple change in a respondent’s demeanor, such as crossing their arms, can then modulate the discussion further, probe further, and ultimately gain more understanding into each interview.
Author Daniel Goleman, discusses the emotional intelligence concept in many books and articles, about when we’re threatened or challenged at work: The brain is conditioned to judge people who are not like us in a certain way, and those like us in another way. Leaders of all organizations should be aware of this, or you may find yourself making gut-based decisions that require reconsideration. The ability to set aside emotions and stay neutral makes for a good moderator, but a moderator who can identify a change in tone that no one else in the room picks up on is what differentiates market researchers in any industry.