How Not To Join the Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence

Insight #31

At least one of them is emotionally intelligent at work. (Created with Microsoft Copilot)

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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. (Obvious always hits hardest.)

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 don’t bother to clarify what ‘better’ means at work. Better for whom?

We ignore the fact that it takes potent people skills and savvy emotional intelligence to manipulate others into doing, unconsciously, what we want. Any self-respecting people puppeteer will furiously deny that. But this is exactly what several studies have now shown. Manipulators are very good at reading people.

This dark side of people skills has always existed. And we unwittingly join the dark side when we make a grandiose assumption.

That we are too intelligent to have our emotions manipulated.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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