When working with Trilogy clients, I often tell them the story of Mitch and Jack, two high school friends with contrasting personalities. Mitch was a loner, a straight-A student who always completed the extra credit homework and was essentially the pompous, go-to answer man when the rest of us stared back at Mr. Carmen with dazed expressions.
Jack, on the other hand, was a good student who finished his homework during lunch, right before class. He often showed up a few minutes late, usually detained by friends seeking his brotherly advice. Jack was a very good listener and involved in many school and community activities.
Many years after graduation, I saw both men at a high school reunion. I found it fascinating to learn how their lives had evolved. Mitch graduated at the top of his class from an Ivy League school with a law degree. He had moved around and through various prestigious law firms as well as three wives. His continual complaining and negativity turned off our classmates and sadly, they drifted away from his table.
Conversely, Jack earned his Associates degree and started working at IBM where he was able to complete his Bachelors. Through the years, he moved with the company and had been promoted many times. He now led a huge regional sales team, was married with two children, had settled into a new home and was thankful he could become more involved in the community. The same classmates who sought his brotherly advice decades earlier were still his friends.
Like many, I grew up believing that success in school equaled success in life and in the workplace. Intellectual Quotient (IQ testing) dominated society’s view of human potential for a hundred years. People with school smarts or high IQs, were analytical, logical, rational and could retain and recall information at high levels. At the time of my reunion, I was reading about street smarts or people with high Emotional Intelligence (EI) who can recognize, understand and manage their own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.
This new concept of emotional intelligence was clarified when I reflected on how Mitch and Jack’s lives transformed into such dissimilar directions.
So why is EI important for business owners and their employees? Scientific data shows a correlation between emotional intelligence and proven success in our personal and working lives. Daniel Goleman, who first published Emotional Intelligence in 1995, shares that Johnson and Johnson found that in divisions around the world, those identified at mid-career as having high leadership potential were far stronger in EI competencies than were their less-promising peers. This is further supported by Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, who wrote, “Ninety percent of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence.” and states that there is a direct link between EI success and earnings.
Is there someone like Mitch in your organization? Self-perception, Self-expression, Interpersonal skills, Decision making, Stress management and Happiness can all be assessed in an emotional intelligence test and these skills can be improved no matter our age. At Trilogy Partners, we identify barriers and help develop emotional brilliance. To learn more, call us at 609-688-0428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.