Emotional Intelligence for Business Effectiveness; Case Study

Case Study

There are ten questions to the case study. Select the BEST answer for EACH question and justify the answer using the concepts that you have learned of Emotional Intelligence.  Your answers will be marked based on how correct your choice is as well as the completeness of your explanation.


For EACH question, CIRCLE your choice (a, b, c, or d) and then use the space provided to justify your choice. Please use a MAXIMUM of 100 words for each question.


The concepts of Emotional Intelligence contain the following categories and sub-categories:


  • Self-Perception

Emotional Self Awareness

Self –Regard


  • Self-Expression

Emotional Expression



  • Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Relationships


Social Responsibility

  • Decision Making

Reality Testing

Problem Solving

Impulse Control


Stress Tolerance


  • General Wellbeing



1. You are on an airplane that suddenly hits extremely bad turbulence and begins rocking from side to side. What do you do?
a. Continue to read your book or magazine, or watch the movie, trying to pay little attention to the turbulence
b. Immediately start paying attention in case of an emergency, carefully monitoring the stewardesses and reading the emergency instructions card.
c. A little of both a and b.
d Not sure – never noticed.

Answer: After hitting the turbulence and beginning to rock from side to side, it is critical to develop an optimistic attitude and keen listening skills to get any insights from the safety crew. The situation depicts a risky experience; therefore, by paying attention, I will build strong stress tolerance mechanisms and flexibility in case the worst happens. Attentiveness and reading the emergency instructions card will serve as reliable sources of useful knowledge and skills to avoid any tragedy in case the aircraft goes down. The situation will form a firm basis for my self-awareness and create strong buffers for the imminent stress. The reaction will enable easy evacuation in case an accident occurs.


2. You are in a meeting when a colleague takes credit for work that you have done. What do you do?
a. Immediately and publicly confront the colleague over the ownership of your work.
b. After the meeting, take the colleague aside and tell her that you would appreciate in the future that she credits you when speaking about your work.
c. Nothing, it’s not a good idea to embarrass colleagues in public.
d After the colleague speaks, publicly thank her for referencing your work and give the group more specific detail about what you were trying to accomplish.

Answer: Despite the fact that the colleague has taken credit for my work, it is critical to exercise and demonstrate the highest levels of courtesy towards them and maintain order in the meeting. As such, I will patiently wait for the colleague to complete their speech; and stand up to appreciate their efforts before the group and inform them about the specific details of the work. It is critical to highlight that the colleague may hardly know the specific details or objectives of the work. As such, I will take that opportunity to elaborate the details before the group in a bid to ensure that they all understand and acknowledge that it is my own work.


3. You are a customer service representative and have just gotten an extremely angry client on the phone.What do you do?
a. Hang- up. You should not all anyone to abuse you. If they can’t respect you, you don’t have to respect them.
b. Listen to the client and re-phrase (say the same thing but in different words) what you think she is feeling.
c. Explain to the client that she is being unfair, that you are only trying to do your job, and that you would appreciate it if she wouldn’t get in the way of this.
d Tell the client you understand how frustrating this must be for her, and offer a specific thing you can do to help her get her problem solved.

Answer: It is important to highlight the fact that the bitterness of the client should be based on a specific aspect associated with my organization service delivery. As such, I would employ the highest level of listening skills to ensure that the client feels appreciated despite their concerns. Careful listening gives the client the assertion that their problem is being given priority and could significantly contribute to reduction of their anger. After understanding the reason for the anger, I would offer a feasible proposal for the solution to be implemented as a way of addressing their problems. Listening creates a favorable environment for the resolution of problems.


4.  You are a student at the Higher Colleges of Technology who had hoped to get an A in a course that was important for your future career. You have just found out you got a C- on the mid-term exam. What do you do?
a. Make a specific plan for ways to improve your grade and promise yourself that you will follow this plan.
b. Decide that if you get such low marks in an exam related to your future career, maybe you should change careers.
c. Tell yourself it really doesn’t matter how much you do in the course, concentrate instead on other classes where your grades are higher.
d Go and see your teacher and try to negotiate with him/her to give you a higher grade.

Answer: Assertiveness is a positive virtue that enables people to pursue their objectives calmly and devoid of aggressiveness or passive acceptance of being wrong. Therefore, it is important to accept the fact that I got a C grade in the mid-term exam and believe that it does not bind my final grade. Therefore, I should assertively devise a feasible plan to improve my grade by the end of the term and develop a disciplined approach to achieve it by the end of the term. By following that plan accordingly, I will definitely improve my grade by the end of the term and increase my chances of succeeding in my future career.


5. You are a manager in an organization that is trying to encourage respect for all nationalities and cultures.  One day, you hear someone telling  a racist joke about a nationality. What do you do?
a. Ignore it. The best way to deal with these things is not to react.
b. Call the person into your office and explain that their behavior is not appropriate and if he repeats it, may result in him losing his job.
c. Speak up on the spot, saying that such jokes are inappropriate and will not be tolerated in your organization.
d Suggest to the person telling the joke he go through a program offered by the HR department that teaches how to respect all nationalities and cultures.

Answer: The maintenance of diversity in an organization is a critical element for the success of such an entity in the global arena. As such, it is important to highlight the fact that an individual making such a joke may be acting out of ignorance or unawareness. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the person is equally aware of the underlying risks posed by such a joke to the organizational cohesion. Imperatively, the awareness can be achieved by sending that person to the HR department for thorough training in the need for diversity in the organization as well as respecting all nationalities and cultures; and the risks created by such jokes.


6.  You are an insurance salesman who is visiting customers throughout Dubai who may want to buy insurance. However, out of the 15 customers you have had in the last few days including today, not one of them has bought what you are selling.  What do you do?
a. Go home early to miss rush-hour traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.
b. Try something new in the next call to your next potential customer and keep trying.
c. List your strengths and weaknesses to identify why you are not able to sell.
d Start working on updating your resume because maybe you need to change jobs.

Answer: Sales is a dynamic job which calls for adequate planning and positivity if any practitioner intends to succeed. It is critical to highlight that proper planning is a potent tool for success in sales. As such, I may require sitting back and re-examining my selling strengths and weaknesses to highlight the possible reasons for my failure to sell. After identifying such, I will have a firm basis to formulate a new selling strategy informed by the highlighted reasons for the low sales. Failure to know the reasons for the failure to sell may create more problems in the markets if I try new things without adequate knowledge on my strengths and weaknesses.


7. You are trying to calm down your friend who is very angry because the driver of another car in front is driving very dangerously and has almost caused an accident with your friend. What do you do?
a. Tell her to forget about it. She’s OK now and it’s no big deal.
b. Try to distract your friend by playing her favorite song.
c. Tell her she is right to be angry and both of you start shouting at the other driver.
d Tell her about a time something like this happened to you, and how angry you felt, until you saw the other driver was on the way to the hospital.

Answer: Conflict resolution and positivity are critical elements of human life; especially in such a situation. It is, therefore, important for the friend to be informed that the nearly-caused accident is a thing of the past and should not continue worrying them. As such, she should stop worrying about the past and concentrate on their current position and safe driving. Concentration on the past and anger would subject both of us to another accident. Therefore, she should be positive and concentrate on driving safely. I would employ clear communication to enlighten the friend on the fact that their current and future safety is important than the previous exposures.


8. A discussion between you and your best friend has escalated into a shouting match.Your are both very angry and both start to make personal comments which neither of you mean. What do you do?
a. Agree to take a 20-minute break before continuing the discussion.
b. Go silent, regardless of what your best friend says.
c. Apologize to your best friend and ask them to apologize as well.
d Stop shouting for a moment, collect your thoughts, and then restate your side of the argument as clearly and logically as possible without shouting.

Answer: It is important to highlight the fact that the evolution of a discussion to a shouting match would be triggered by unexplained misunderstanding between the discussing parties. As such, it is important to stop shouting and rethink the primary cause of the escalation of the discussion to such levels before engaging with the friend again. Such hesitation creates an amicable environment to ease the tension and allow both of us to restate our arguments calmly and procedurally. The presentation of such arguments clearly and logically creates clear communication channels for both of use to internalize the arguments of each other and respect the differences that may exist between them.


9. You have been asked to manage a team that is not able to come up with a creative solution to a work problem. What is the FIRST thing you do?
a. Make an agenda, call a meeting and discuss each agenda item for a specific amount of time.
b. Organize a meeting outside of work (maybe at a restaurant) so that the team will be encouraged to get to know each other better.
c. Begin by asking each person for ideas about how to solve the problem
d Start a meeting and encourage each person to say whatever comes to their mind regardless of how crazy it may sound.

Answer: Seeing things from their side and the maintenance of clear communication channels are critical elements of successful interactions among people. To succeed in managing such a team, I should first appreciate the fact that the members are incapacitated in certain ways and devise a feasible approach to resolve their challenges in a bid to achieve the objectives of the group. As such, Formulating an objective agenda and calling a meeting to discuss the issue will form a firm basis for resolving the problem. Calling a meeting will enable the members to brainstorm and come up with reasonable ideas on the way forward to make creative solutions for the underlying issues.



10. You have recently been assigned a new person in your team and have noticed that he cannot make even a simple decision without asking your advice. What do you do?
a. Accept that he does not have the skills to succeed and find others in your team to take on his tasks.
b. Get an HR manager to talk to him about where he sees his future in the organization.
c. Give him lots of complex decisions to make so that he will become more confident in his job.
d Create a series of challenging but manageable experiences for him and make yourself available to act as his mentor.

Answer: By exposing such a person to sufficiently challenging tasks under close mentorship would serve as a critical driver for their ability to develop independence in decision-making. Such an individual will feel appreciated and motivated to build their agility towards their creativity and independence. The move will also serve as a reliable source of courage for the individual to make bold decisions in critical situations. Appreciation and positivity will also be fostered in such an individual by encouraging them through mentoring to make independent decisions. The approach will serve as a critical tool for strengthening all team members through continuous learning.

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