Dove Nest Group

Emotional Intelligence Walking the Walk Talking the Talk

Emotional Intelligence: Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

The historic Churchill Room at 100 Parliament Street, London (where Winston Churchill addressed the crowds on VE day 1945, a triumph for the Allied forces collaborating to defeat tyranny) was the splendid setting for a recent Institute of Student Employers (ISE) event where Dove Nest Group and Balfour Beatty came together to share insights from our own collaboration on the Balfour Beatty Graduate Development programme.

The theme for the presentation was the importance of developing Emotional Intelligence (EI) in Graduates and Tony Ellender from BB explained why this was a key element in enhancing the performance of their new recruits as they begin their careers in the Construction industry.

EI can be interpreted quite widely but essentially refers to the

“set of emotional and social skills that influence the way you perceive and express yourself, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way” MHS 

There is an established body of evidence on the importance of EI in enabling personal and professional success but as Tony shared it isn’t a term that BB necessarily use that widely. Instead they work with Dove Nest to develop the appropriate skills during the two-year programme.

To help the audience think about how EI is in evidence across so many facets of their working lives, Rebekah Beadle from Dove Nest Group facilitated an interactive session where audience members shared their own experiences of Graduates demonstrating EI (or not) and examples were shared to support or contrast along with some practical top tips for incorporating EI into Graduate Development programmes based upon our experiences.

Tony concluded the session by sharing some of the ways in which the programme had developed through experience and feedback; a particularly compelling example was that cohorts of graduates completing the programme network with new graduates beginning their journey. This allows them to coach and mentor the recent recruits (the programme begins after the graduates have been in the business for typically 3 months) by sharing their experiences and tips for getting the most out of the investment BB are making in them. Having been privy to such a session I can vouch for the amazing difference those two years make in the confidence and skills demonstrated by the BB personnel following the programme.

Thanks to the ISE for providing a forum for sharing details of this collaboration and to Tony and Rebekah for stimulating an interesting debate. For more information or to have a conversation about emotional intelligence or graduate development, please contact us at, or call us on 015395 67878.