The book, published by Kogan Page is: Understanding Emotional Intelligence...Strategies for boosting your EQ and using it in the workplace by Neilson Kite and Frances Kay.
In the book Neilson references the meta-morphose approach, here's what he has to say...
Investment in high potential individuals – a new angle
Compared to the United States where many university graduates will opt for a career in sales (and the majority of top business executives will at some stage of their development have fulfilled a sales role) the UK has never regarded it as a prestigious occupation. This is evidenced by the surprising fact that sales has seldom been dignified by being on lists of degree courses offered by the mainstream institutions.
Yet successful economic activity depends on trade and trade depends on people being sold things. So why is there this cultural difference? Part of the explanation could be that the USA has not been encumbered by the British model of social class. ‘Trade’ in the UK used to have less social status than ‘profession’. Universities, until relatively recently, mainly fed the ‘professions’.
However, other than a general perception in the UK to the contrary – although this may now be changing - there is no reason to suppose that selling is not a profession that can be of similar status to any other. There is certainly no reason why it should not merit a university degree.
Having said that, a pioneering British company, Meta-morphose, was among the first to recognise that high potential individuals, such as those educated at university, could help significantly to improve the business performance of their employers, provided that they also had the right emotional intelligence. Famous British management guru and broadcasting ‘Troubleshooter’, Sir John Harvey Jones was a keen supporter of Meta-morphose’s work in converting high potential graduates into high performing sales professionals. The effectiveness of these individuals compared to the norm has been impressive.
The emotional factors in selecting the right candidates have however been more important than their academic background. It is the combination of the two that has made the real difference. Through assessment days and close observation in behavioural situations, candidates have been singled out against the MERL model that evaluates Motivation, Energy, Resilience and Likeability. Although the latter may in today’s parlance sound a little ‘fluffy’ it is an essential lubricant in the establishment of empathy and rapport.
These graduates are then supported by a programme of experiential (as compared to situational) training to an accredited level during the first and sometimes second year of their employment. Compared to usual success rates for sales recruitment where only 55% are still in the same job after a year, 94% of those trained and nurtured through the one year programme remain in post and perform well.
Professions such as teaching, politics, caring, consulting, counselling and HR all need the input of high potential individuals with well-developed emotional intelligence. Exactly the same is true of sales, but compared to other professions, stereotyping can deter people who might otherwise find a highly motivating and rewarding niche that opens up long-term opportunities for progression.
In any trading situation, there is a clear need to understand the emotional context for both buyer and seller. Only then can trust and rapport be managed. The intellectual capability to match that emotional understanding with an outcome that will have serious value to both parties, requires a special talent that can be profitably nurtured and developed in these high potential individuals. Provided their profession is awarded the status it deserves the economic benefits could be more far-reaching than we currently imagine.