Saturday, March 19, 2016

Emotional Intelligence

My daily dose of comeuppance arrived in the form of an article published in Harvard Business Review by executive coach Muriel Maignan Wilkins.

You know how most people think of themselves as above average drivers? By definition, we cannot all be above average. Turns out, most of us also have a skewed view of our emotional intelligence. 

Here are some of the telltale signs, according to Wilkins, that you need to work on your emotional intelligence:
  • You often feel like others don't get the point and it makes you impatient and frustrated.
  • You're surprised when others are sensitive to your comments or jokes and you think they're overreacting.
  • You think being liked at work is overrated.
  • You weigh in early with your assertions and defend them with rigor.
  • You hold others to the same high expectations you hold for yourself.
  • You find others are to blame for most of the issues on your team.
  • You find it annoying when others expect you to know how they feel.

One of the main points of the article is that least emotionally intelligent among us may be the most shocked by honest feedback. We all tend to believe that we are emotionally intelligent, but if our co-workers do not share our high self-assessment, the truly emotionally intelligent will humbly seek improvement.  

I recognized a lot of myself in Wilkins' seven bullet points. I may wish it were not true, but I acknowledge that I have room to improve. When you read the list, what happens for you? Do any of the points make you twinge a little? Do some make you twinge a lot? Perhaps you read the whole list and nothing happens. If that is the case, you may be on either extreme of the EI scale.

Fortunately Wilkins does not leave those of us in the middle of the EI spectrum and yearning to improve our EI quotient without a path forward. She offers four strategies for developing a higher EI.

Read more: