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  • Esther Orioli 3:27 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , emotional intelligence and iq, eq and iq, Eq vs iq, Leadership,   

    EQ and The IT Guy (and other IQ-centric professionals) 

    Show me the numbers! Show me the data! You’ve heard this mantra before. As leaders we have all had to deal with colleagues, supervisors and team members who doubt the real impact of emotional intelligence at work. In fact, some of the most resistant to embracing EQ are the ones most in need of its benefits. While programmers, accountants, lawyers, and engineers are often thought to lead the hit parade of ‘doubting Thomases’, they are not by any means the only ones. So how do you get people in these and other IQ-centric fields to recognize and utilize the valuable assets that come from developing and using their EQ?

    Here are a few suggestions I make to organizations of how to bring EQ to an IQ World:

    Meet people where they live. If you have a science guy, present the facts and figures. Through presenting the business case for EQ I find that business leaders and heady people of all types can wrap their minds around the facts of productivity, customer loyalty and profitability that EQ brings to the equation. For example, 75% of the reasons that companies lose their clients or customers are EQ-related reasons. That means that three quarters of all reasons that the customers who purchase their product or services do so because they like the way they were treated (an eq trait), like the service they receive when things go wrong (an eq trait) and keep coming back because of their positive experience (an eq trait).

    I then progress from the business case to the brain science case. Explaining how every decision is an emotional decision, based on the limbic system and the science of how the brain works, goes a long way to helping the IT guys and gals reframe how they make decisions.

    Finally I’ll bring up the all important fun fact that EQ skills can be learned. Often I think it’s more difficult for heady people to break out of the mold of acting a certain way. So if you tend to be a more IQ-centric person and want to break out a bit there are things you can do to expand your repertoire. like starting a conversation with “I feel” instead of “I think.” Or asking for someone’s opinion before giving your own. And then actively listening to that opinion before offering your thoughts. Really basic small steps that people can put into practice right away and see results.

    As leaders we can’t always be smarter than the smart people we seek to surround ourselves with. The thing about super heady people is that they often do know more or are “smarter” than many folks. So ask for their opinions because they’re smart but don’t let them off the hook by never asking them to step up to the “feeling” plate, at least a little. Remind them that emotions are really heady stuff.

  • Esther Orioli 5:56 pm on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Leadership, organizational development   

    Smart and Present 

    A few years ago I was on a panel about emotional intelligence at an international conference on the subject. The moderator told the audience that he was going to use a question that he had heard me ask of several EQ experts in a program a year earlier.

    I knew what it was before it even came out of his mouth. He asked– “If it is true that you teach what you most need to learn, what has emotional intelligence taught you and why are you teaching it?” I thought it was a great question even if it was mine, except now I had to answer it in front of nearly 400 people.

    I told the audience that as a student in high school I got good grades and in college and my master’s program I did well too. I came to expect that I could use my brain to figure things out. Over time, as my intellect developed it became pretty easy to form an opinion, express a position or debate the benefits of this over that. I got the label of “being smart,” and I was happy to have it,

    What I learned from emotional intelligence of course, was that there was another kind of smarts, the kind that comes from emotion, feelings and gut level reactions. Not the same kind of smarts which I already had at my command.  And as I began my work in the arena of emotional intelligence and leadership I soon discovered that it was easier to be smart than it was to be present. And that the real challenge of leadership was to stay in the moment and make decisions in real time.

    Quite a number of people came up to me after that panel and said that they could really relate.

    It really is easier to be smart than it is to be present.

    So what does it mean to be present? You know, be in the moment, not be thinking about lunch or a clever come-back to a point that was being bantered about. But being here right now. It means listening with one’s full energy and attention, taking in the people, concerns and information as it is being presented without thinking, “this problem is like other problems I have solved and the answer to those dilemmas would be the right solutions to these dilemmas.” You can really make big mistakes with that.

    I still rely heavily on my IQ and others still think I am smart. However, I’ve been working on being present for a long time and integrating these two parts of myself. So in the spirit of teaching what I most need to learn, I am dedicating my blog to this purpose with a name of the same lesson and learning.

    • Tom Wojick 7:27 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink


      Thanks for taking up blogging and I enjoyed your story. Mine is similar. I never thought I was smart and always feared that people would find out. I couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing success in my career, and getting promotions into leadership positions until I found EQ. I then realized that my critical success factor was my ability to engage people on an emotional level and gain their trust.

      I look forward to your future blogs.

    • Joshua Freedman 10:19 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Hey Esther, good to see you blogging, I remember that panel well!
      I just mentioned another “famous Esther Quote” on a LinkedIn discussion about empathy: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=75300&discussionID=12607575&sik=1265127461454&split_page=2

      Good on ya,

      • Josh
    • Andrea Baker 1:46 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Hey Esther,
      Byron has also been teaching me about being in/living in the moment; … and you are so right – It’s a lot easier to just be smart – and no where near as satisfying.

    • Laurie Hillis 11:31 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Wonderful article (and UTube clip) Esther – you look fabulous .. smart, present AND full of wisdom. Doesn’t get much better than that .. I shall relish your on-going pearls of wisdom. Best to all at Essi.
      With joy always, Laurie

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