Emotional Intelligence: A Different Perspective

Filed under Communication, Leadership | Posted by MMeloni
IT Project Manager

The way I present it, Emotional Intelligence, is something positive. Leaders who have high emotional intelligence definitely do better than leaders who do not.

I present it in terms of somebody who is self-aware and has self-control,  exhibiting what we would call positive behaviors. One day I was doing a talk for one of the Project Management Institute chapters on emotional intelligence. And I told the story of someone I used to work for and how he used to, lose his temper and yell and turn purple and sometimes throw things. I was using him as an example of poor emotional intelligence.

A man in the audience, raised his hand and he asked this question, “Did it ever occur to you that your boss knew exactly what he was doing? That he wasn’t out of control? And he was self-aware? And that he was in fact, purposefully yelling and screaming to get a specific reaction out of all of you?”

This was such a great question, especially for me to consider because I think of people who are emotionally intelligent as only ever using their powers for good. My head kind of exploded because I had never thought about someone behaving badly on purpose. I was very appreciative of this man’s perspective. because I was not going to come to this idea on my own. I was very appreciative of this perspective, which is that even though I want to say we only use emotional intelligence and our powers for good, it is very possible that there are people who are very aware of the fact that they are manipulative. They behave in certain ways that we might not view as positive or professional or admirable, but that they do it on purpose to get a certain reaction.

Was my former boss emotionally intelligent? I don’t know.  But it was an interesting perspective.