Feature: How would you measure up in emotional intelligence?

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A Scots nursing lecturer has developed a new on­line tool with the potential to revolutionise the care sector.

Dr Bob Rankin, who retired from Dundee University last year, has recently launched the Rankein Scale.

And together with Martin Laidlaw – a retired senior manager in further education – and publisher Gillian Nineham, he is now making contact with organisations involved in caring for vulnerable people.

The trio are confident the new tool has the potential for a multitude of applications.

Dr Rankin explained: “I think it has the potential to revolutionise the caring sector.

“The reason behind its development is to try to improve the quality of individuals being recruited to work in the care sector, where there are lots of vulnerable groups of people for whom it can be a challenge to communicate their needs.

“People who work in this sector need to be empathetic and able to develop a trusting rapport with client groups.

“I don’t think anyone would argue that people in need of care should get the best that can be provided.”

Dr Rankin worked for almost 30 years as a senior lecturer in nurse education.

So he had a particular interest in the relationship between emotional intelligence and the quality of clinical practice.

His doctoral research found a significant correlation between students nurses’ emotional intelligence and 
the quality of their performance.

This research led to further work, involving emotional intelligence assessments used in selecting student nurses for their degree programmes.

The Rankein Scale was developed from this research.

Dr Rankin said: “As far as we are aware, it is the first emotional intelligence tool developed especially for the care sector.

“It can be very difficult to vet care staff, and references and interviews are often not enough to identify those most suited to working in the sector.”

While not replacing interviews, the Rankein Scale is being pitched as a necessary component in the process of selecting compassionate staff and reassuring care recipients, their families and friends that the best people will be appointed.

The report generated by the assessment tool helps the interviewer focus on specific issues.

Another advantage is that employers can ask existing staff who may be having difficulties in their role to complete it. This may then identify areas in need of further attention.

The partners are now rolling out the tool to recruitment agencies, care home companies and individuals responsible for inspecting care homes.

Some have already trialled the tool and the response has been positive.

Dr Rankin added: “We would welcome contact from care home managers and others within the care sector who may be interested in trialling the Rankein Scale.”

lMore than 70 per cent of employers value emotional intelligence over IQ, according to the Careerbuilder website.

The Rankein Scale helps assess this particular skill and is unique in a number of ways.

It is available to individuals seeking employment in the caring sector or to employers.

It takes around ten minutes to complete and an immediate score and report is generated. The Rankein Scale compares the candidate’s own perception of their skills with their actual performance, enabling employers to judge their honesty as well as their suitability. 
Individuals would hope to achieve an average or above score in each category.

However, the scale is not about passing or failing – it is meant to provide an impression of where each individual is with regard to their emotional intelligence.

The results should be regarded in context with other selection processes.

But a below average score should be regarded by employers as a cause for concern, other than in extenuating circumstances.

The scale is not meant to replace interviews or references but is being promoted for use as part of a robust selection process.

For more information visit www.rankeinscale.com or email hello@rankeinscale.com.