Behavioral Intelligence®

In general, once I took the leap out of IT back in the late 70s and returned to studying and applying Psychology, my career has been about the well-being, happiness and peak performance of my clients, whether as individuals or as part of a group. My clients are people who are usually part of a group whether a family, sports or organizational teams, or a team of teams such as you would have in a business or education.∗

In order to be an effective Psychologist, Coach and Consultant I’ve studied and learned, and applied a variety of skills that would seem to be important to well-being and happiness, my own and by extension, others.

What I learned is that success, whether as an individual or a team, requires a number of skills applied effectively and often in sequence. Success requires more than the aha, more than creating a vision, more than meditation, more than less stress, more than communication, more than self and other awareness, more than any one skill applied on its own. Success in any endeavor requires the integration of a succession of behaviors and at times by any number of people working toward a commonly held goal. Success requires “doing what’s right to get the right things done.” In the same way that the mechanical parts of an automobile are necessary to create the automobile, it’s not until they are assembled in a certain manner, that the automobile can actually take you on your journey. Success in human endeavors is similar and is a result of the synergy of separate skills so the outcome (demonstrated as measureable behavior) is more than a sum of its parts. Success in human endeavors requires what I have named Behavioral Intelligence®.

How did Behavioral Intelligence® come about? My personal aha occurred a number of years ago when teaching Emotional Intelligence and when reviewing Emotional Intelligence writings realized that EI is important but not sufficient for success. Although there is a correlation between success in the workplace and scores on EI assessments, correlation does not mean causation. Also, EI is focused on the people side of getting things done. BI is focused on the people side, and in addition takes into account the skills for getting the job done, whether at home, at school, in sports or at work.

I have learned that my levels of emotional intelligence get me through numerous situations at work, with family and on the golf course but that is not enough for being effective. For example my EI skills can only help me maximize the golf skills that I have, but do nothing for changing my swing or how I read the greens. I take golf lessons and practice what I’ve learned in order to improve the elements of the game and put those together with my EI skills to maximize performance and play closer to my present potential.

Another simple and obvious example is, my emotional intelligence helps me get along with people I work with, but I will not be successful as an accountant because I don’t know accounting basics or Excel and I can just about balance my checkbook.

For success in golf and accounting, my EI helps, but is not sufficient for getting the job done. EI can help me maximize the effectiveness of the skills I have, but does nothing for making those skills better.

Those years ago, when reviewing the EI materials, I realized I had been practicing Behavioral Intelligence®, which includes emotional intelligence, for many years and at that point began to refocus on behavior, the external manifestation of what goes on in our brain and our bodies, and how to improve Behavioral Intelligence®. At this point I had already written two books, the Meditation and Relaxation Companion and The Coaching Guide for Better Parents and Stronger Kids, and realized that all of the elements for Behavioral Intelligence® were in these two books but had not been organized or named. Those elements or skills are now organized as the 5 Step STARR Process™ the acronym for Stop, Think, Assess, Respond, Review.

Research from the last decade, especially in the fields of decision-making and behavioral economics, are now incorporated into understanding and developing Behavioral Intelligence®. The 5 step STARR process has remained the same but takes into account more internal and external experiences as we consider “Doing What’s Right to Get the Right Things Done” a simple definition of Behavioral Intelligence®.

Another important insight is I realized that who I am (mind/body/spirit) as much as what I know is a key component of my effectiveness with others. I learned that I could know about what others should do but if I spoke only from my head and not with my heart and experience as well I didn’t hear, “I want what she’s having.” I know the more I have value and passion about my experiences and life and what they mean to me, the more my clients are willing to try something new. When we have learned through experience, clients realize if she has done it, perhaps, so can I.

Why this long introduction: Because Behavioral Intelligence® is the new kid on the block and until you understand what it is and why it’s important there is little reason for you to read further or to develop your own Behavioral Intelligence®, for your own benefit as well as for the benefit of your clients and other people in your life. “You can not take your clients farther than you have been” (Dr.Carol Gaffney, 1995) and if you want to guide or lead rather than tell and push then it’s time to start your experience in change, transformation and Behavioral Intelligence®.

Behavioral Intelligence®, Behavioral Intelligence at Work, STARR Advantage registered trademarks 2013 Carol Gaffney, PhD