Emotional intelligence…Management BS or Serious Stuff?!


Is ‘Emotional Intelligence’ current vogue management speak or is it something serious worth considering?

I’m can't tell you how to become emotionally intelligent or whether or not it’s for you but as a consultant to small businesses and a manager of people, of which I have made mistakes, it is important that I am aware of how good (or bad) I am with people under what circumstances.

Personally, I think that there is perhaps too much hype about journeys of self-discovery and understanding yourself, but ultimately the bottom line is, do you understand people properly and know how to represent yourself in the best way possible under any given circumstances? Do you need anger management, life coaching or counselling to do this? No. You simply have to care.

I am a passionate person, as my current and former colleagues might tell you. My moods go up and down just like anyone one else. It’s not about going through monk training in China that’s going to help me think positive all the time; I simply have to care enough about the people around me to understand the impact I am having on them and judge how they react if I say something out of tone.

I guess the bottom line is recognising that your mood influences your reaction and how you think.

What’s the irony in all of this?

Emotions are within us and are created for a reason- to get us motivated, passionate or even angry about something. The fact they are emotions, by nature, means they are expressive and therefore the reaction, seen by others if your extroverted, is sometimes irrational. If any of you have suffered grief you can empathise with this; you can very rarely control how you react in the extremes.

What changed my mind to care and respect people more?

Last year, I was unfortunate enough to lose my sister, having been so focussed on my own problems for so long and career driven I had lost touch with her somewhat. In a moment of self-reflection I realised that if I just cared more, there may have been something I could have done to help her. Don’t mistake this for a feeling of guilt because that isn’t healthy but it did make me realise that everyone you encounter has their own problems you just don’t know about them most of the time.

Unfortunately as a leader, father, husband or friend we can’t let our problems encroach on the rest of our lives. We need to be able to treat all of the people we encounter with the same level of respect and care we would expect to be treated with ourselves. I understand that’s a lot harder than it sounds but I have managed it, yes with a few lapses, which my team will be more than happy to highlight to me, but it’s not too difficult to get back on the right track again.

In summary, yes Emotional Intelligence is high on management agenda in the workplace right not but it is something to think about in too much detail. Ask your team, family and friends how you are in different moods or just think of some situations in the last couple of days where you know your reaction was emotionally driven and think about it from the third person or the recipient.

If you don’t like the self-help approach or journey or discovery, simply view this as a level of respect people deserve in life. You like to be respected and cared about, as do they. After all, it wasn’t my colleagues fault my car broke down on the way to work, so I won’t let that affect the way I treat them.

At The Growth Collective we work with staff, managers and directors to provide an awareness of these issues for a lasting positive change.