I used to work with someone called John. John was very intelligent. John was very hard working. John was a very loyal employee. But….John had zero people skills. John was very dominant. John was very self-centered. Please don’t be like John.
Having an IQ (intelligence quotient) is good for success in today’s hyper-competitive world regardless of whether you work in the corporate world, education, public government or a non-profit entity. But I firmly believe having a high EQ (emotional intelligence) is even more important.
We get things done through and with others. We were created to be in community with others. A group working effectively together towards a common goal will always achieve more than a lone individual. Even some of the world’s great inventors (Jobs, Einstein and Edison) had people around them and to some extent their success, was helped or hindered by how effectively they worked with others.
I’m a simple man from simple middle England and I like simple ways of looking at complex issues. I’m no psychologist — I’m a recovering accountant but I think even I’ve learned that EQ is essentially composed of four components:
First there is Self-Awareness. Isn’t this as simple as understanding your own strengths and weakness, especially in high-stress situations? I have personally noticed that one of my weaknesses in this area is my tendency to over-plan when I am under pressure. John didn’t like to share information. He figured “information was power”.
Next there is Self-Management. Isn’t this as simple as your ability to control your own reactions cognizant of how they may impact others? John didn’t realize that his passive-aggressiveness was not too great for team-morale.
Then there is, Social Awareness. Isn’t a simple example of this being the ability to read social clues from others? John would allow all his meetings to run long and couldn’t read the social clues of others needing to move onto the next thing (or get home to family).
Finally, there’s Relationship Management. Err….John didn’t have that – at least in the workplace.
So, please don’t be like John. Develop your IQ yes but also develop your EQ. It will serve you and others around you well. Seriously though….don’t be like John.