Selective Emotional Intelligence:
Emotional Intelligence, some people say it is the stuff that turns us into leaders. Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. So why did an article in Forbes recently report that EI decreases as Management levels Increase? If Leaders have a higher level of EI, why do some many of us seem to have to work hard to like our superiors?
I believe there is such a thing as Selective Emotional Intelligence. Bear with me. Let me explain. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo where I try to look at things from a slightly different angle. I have no empirical data to back my opinion in this post. I do not have any Double Blind Studies or Business Journal Case Studies: Walk with me and talk with me for a minute.
I have held a few jobs and I have had the honor and privilege to work for people I really respected. I have also been in situations where my Personality did not mesh with the Personalities of all my superiors. That is fine, I have seen many Leaders’ and Managers disagree. My point is not that they lack Emotional Intelligence, heck for most of my career and most of my life, I can say that I have lacked EI; what I am saying is that people have a knack for turning on and off areas of their personality depending on who is in the room at the time.
I have worked for Managers who were Super Duper Nice when their Superiors were around. They could turn on the charm for the crowd or for their Leadership and then turn it off when dealing with people one on one. Does this sound familiar to any of you? Sometimes it is simple a difference of opinion, other times it is a difference in personality or ideology. My point is not that the Managers or Leaders lacked Emotional Intelligence; it is just what we see of them depending on what they think of us. I think people can be Selective with what they will deal with and what they won’t deal with from others.
Now I also find this a two way-street, some Mangers treat their Superiors with like Gold and their Subordinates like lumps of coal. I have also seen some Worker Bees think it is wrong to get scammed by the people above them, but it ok for the guy next to them to be scamming people. Everyone has their tolerance levels. Each of us need to be aware of what we are dealing with, and at what levels. Are you equal, fair and try to treat everyone with the highest respect? Why does it seem that the people who have the Highest levels of being able to read people are the ones who are the most likely to scam people? Selective Emotional Intelligence is the reason; just because people know how to read other people does not make them a Trust Worthy Leader or a Non-Biased Manager.
Just as much as I am trying to harness the power of and increase the level of my Emotional Intelligence, I also try to apply it the same regardless of if you are above me or below me in the Proverbial Food Chain. At the end of the day we are all the same anyway, but how do you treat people from 9 to 5 vs all the rest of your day? Are you only nice when you stand to gain something? Are you sympathetic to those less fortunate than you and angry with those who have more? I think people turn on and off their Emotional Intelligence. This is how I think people can get ahead at a job even though no one likes them or would not follow them unless their job was on the line. Selective Emotional Intelligence: That’s how!
What are we watching? Alternate Reality Television: Clowns without makeup, a Circus without a Big Top; there is nothing real about Reality Television. Why do watch these shows for anything more than a diversion? Was Andy Warhol right? Yes, he was. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and people will present an alternate reality to get their fame no matter how fleeting or how silly they have to act.
Talk Shows, Judges Shows, Odd Job Shows and the never-ending parade of people packed into a house shows. How real can they be? We watch these shows because they are the least of us, and it makes us feel better about ourselves? We would never go on a Talk show based on “Who Cheated with the Best Friend of their Spouse.” We would never go on the “Who is the Father of My Child Show?” We would never go on the “I stood by and watched while so and so did what?” show. But we watch, and we talk about how crazy the people are, and then we feel better about ourselves. We say that anything we are doing is not as bad as that!?! Most of these shows are about crowd reaction to the chaos on the stage. All with cameras rolling; would you go on National Television to air your dirty Laundry? 15 Minutes of Fame.
Why not challenge each other to become better at something, anything. No we like that escape. That peak into a world of the people who do not deserve to be there. Famous for Nothing, or Famous People are no better than Us. Clowns without makeup, a Circus without a Big Top! My roommate won’t pay their rent; don’t just sue them, sue them on television. I got a crazy odd job, make more in one episode than you would make all year; and call it reality?
Every since we were kids we acted different when someone had a camera. Some people shy away, some people wave, and some people pose. Some people will do anything to get the camera pointed their way. Why not put it on Television? Why write, direct and produce a show, and have to pay a bunch of people; when you can just let the cameras roll? Clowns without makeup:
I often wonder why they call it Reality Television. The Reality of Reality TV is that it is staged, and the staging of the shows alters the environment. This Altered Reality is then passed of as Real, making people noteworthy if not famous for acting like idiots. You can take Six People you meet randomly at the mall. Surround them with security, turn on the lights, point a few cameras at them, and they will look like stars to everyone around them. A Circus without a Big Top:
It is classical conditioning at it’s finest. If I get paid to sing, and I need or want more money, I will sing for more money. If I get paid to act, I will act for more money. If I get paid to play baseball, football, basketball… you get my point. So what happens when you pay someone to act like an idiot, what happens when you pay someone to be a Clown with no makeup?
People on these shows will react to this alternate reality by acting like stars. If you make someone a star for doing nothing more than getting people’s attention, they will continue to act in ways that get people’s attention. They will be loud, obnoxious, rude, drunk and disorderly and they will get rich doing it. And the more they get paid for acting like idiots, the more we will watch, meaning the more they get paid. Lovely isn’t it? How does this make us feel better about our selves? Because we can look in the mirror and say, I am not as bad as the idiot on TV.
And you wonder why I say you are better off getting a bunch of people to go clean a park. Art imitates life, and life imitates art. Sooner or later, if we are not careful, we will begin to be influenced by the people on these shows. We will dress like them and act like them and they will endorse products and if we are not careful; we will buy them because a Clown with No Makeup told us we should? How can a part-time DJ go from making twenty thousand dollars a year to making twenty thousand dollars a night? Find out the truth for yourself.