Emotional Intelligence

Today S Max Brown posted an interesting quote on Twitter. Max is a leadership coach and keynote speaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMaxBrown. He wrote, “Emotional intelligence is a HUGE predictor of success. Interpersonal skills trump IQ all day long when it comes to leadership.”

Max’s words have me wondering if the same could be said of a job search. Does emotional intelligence beat out smarts? I think so. When I reflect on those who have had successful searches, brimming with momentum, it’s fair to say many in that category found a way to leave negative emotion out of the process. They weren’t hampered by anger over past wrongs committed against them. They didn’t withdraw from the effort because someone along the way rejected them. They didn’t neglect to consider what the person on the other side of the desk might be dealing with or feeling. They weren’t suffocating those around them with frustrations, worries and hurts. They were able to take constructive feedback without it feeling overly personal.

That’s not to say all who have struggled for a long period of time to find work aren’t in control of their emotions. We’ve been battling a severe imbalance between jobs and job seekers for several years. Some are stuck in a long battle regardless of attitude and emotion management. It’s a fair point to consider if you’ve been at it for some time, however. Most who I speak with who are hampered by their emotions realize this truth on some level. When I’ve pointed it out, I rarely get disagreement. The realization actually adds to the problem because they intuitively know it’s widening the gap between where they are now and the end result they want. They’re miserable.

What to do? That’s tricky. I’m not a psychologist. I can appreciate the emotions involved in losing a job in an economy like this one, but I’m not sure how to get people to snap out of emotional habits so they can have a better chance of success. I do think it’s important for those who know their emotions are sabotaging their efforts to find a solution. Ignoring the elephant in the room doesn’t make any sense. Though the solution differs by individual, the need to address the problem is universal.

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