Capitalising on Emotional Intelligence

Friday 9 March, 2012

One of Australia’s most successful venture capitalists, Chris Golis, gave Warrane residents a tour of his professional achievements when he spoke at the College on 7 March 2012.

Chris, who is also an author and public speaker and trainer, said after completing his first degree from Cambridge University he had taken the advice of his tutor, Management guru Charles Handy, to seek out a sales job to learn how to master “how to sell yourself in a one-on-one meeting”.

This advice had provided him with a “moment of epiphany” and he subsequently moved to Australia to take up a sales position. In the process of learning how to sell products, became interested in the Humm-Wadsworth personality model, which led him to write his first book, Enterprise and Venture Capital - A Business Builders' and Investors' Handbook, which was published by Allen & Unwin and became the handbook of the Australian Venture Capital industry.

Chris outlined his views on the seven core personality traits that all people have to some degree - the Hustler, the Mover, the Double Checker, The Artist, the Politician, the Engineer, and The Normal. He believes that most people are dominated by one or two of these traits and that they become the basis of their general temperament and most of their non-rational behaviour.

Chris said he had been influenced by the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goldman which promoted the concept that emotional intelligence (EQ) “was more important than natural intelligence (IQ) in determining success in life”

. “In the 1960s a group of four-year olds were tested by being given a marshmallow and promised another, if they could wait 10 minutes before eating the first one,” Chris said. “Some children could wait and others could not. The experimenters then followed the progress of each child into adulthood, and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were more successful in life than those who could not. Delayed gratification is a key part of emotional intelligence.”

While Goldman had been correct in his premise about the importance of EQ, Chris said Goldman was unable to describe a theory of core emotions.

“His book defined what EQ is and why it is important but failed to describe a way of how you could improve your EQ,” he said. “The reason is that Goldman did not have a theory of core emotions like the Humm. Goldman says he believed there are core emotions but admitted in the book that he did not know of an appropriate model.

“When I read Emotional Intelligence for the first time in 1996 I realised that I had the answer to Goldman's conundrum. I was familiar with the Humm-Wadsworth, which is a scientific model of people’s underlying emotions. At that moment, I promised myself that I would write a book for managers that would lift their level of emotional intelligence.”

That book became The Humm Handbook: Lifting Your Level of Emotional Intelligence.

Although Chris based most of his talk on the books he has written, he emphasised that he had made most of his money from venture capital.

(Photos from Chris Golis' visit can be viewed here.)

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