#31: How not to join the dark side of emotional intelligence

Manipulators are very good at reading people (free public domain: clipart-people.com)

Here’s nonsense at work.

Unless you work alone, at the South Pole, your people skills matter. This is so obvious that we take it for granted, which is why the concept of emotional intelligence struck a chord.

Actually, emotional intelligence should strike a very emotional chord, one with alarm bells.

We believe that people skills and emotional intelligence make for better managers and leaders. The problem is that we have not bothered to clarify what ‘better’ means. Specifically, better for whom?

Any self-respecting people puppeteer will furiously deny that it takes real people skills and emotional intelligence to manipulate others into doing unconsciously what the puppeteer wants. But this is exactly what numerous studies have now shown – manipulators are very good at reading people.

The dark side to people skills has always existed. We join the dark side when we assume we are too intelligent to have our emotions manipulated.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.