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Regarding Emotional Intelligence

Introverts and Extroverts – Resource of the Quarter - Quiet

May 5th, 2015

A national newspaper used to run a column entitled; “If I were king for a day”; where guest contributors outlined what law they would decree in such an event. The broadcaster, Jeremy Paxman, chose to banish open-plan offices. In his usual indomitable style, he outlined the case against such offices;

“An open-plan office is a way of telling you that you don’t matter…..it tells us precisely what our bosses think of us – that we are employed to fulfil a mechanical task and that we are all interchangeable. Deliberately inventing an uncreative environment is one thing. But it is worse than that…..because the space belongs to no one, it is noisy and grubby…there is nowhere for a quiet chat.”

Open plan offices can be particularly difficult for introverts, but by their very nature, they are disinclined to voice their views when the layout of offices is considered. In personality terms, an introvert is not someone who is shy; they simply find solitude revitalising and social interactions tiring (even if they are very enjoyable). With extroverts, it’s the other way around. Since extroverts readily communicate who they are, they can be easily understood by introverts. It can be more difficult for extroverts to understand introverts, but there are advantages in doing so. Consequently, if you’re an extrovert, click here to find out how. While introverts are often encouraged (often for good reason) to be more ‘extrovert’, there are others who (quietly) outline the benefits to extroverts of introspection, particularly when it comes to creativity. A prime example is the book ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain. For this reason Quiet is mch’s ‘Resource of the Quarter’. To access more resources on a range of development topics, go to mch’s free Resource Centre.

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Emotional Intelligence and Recruitment…Three Cheers for The Abbeyfield Society

December 23rd, 2014

Due to my background and career choices, I’ve been interviewed more than most.  A common reflection on so many of them has been the emphasis placed on experience and technical competencies, rather than an appraisal of me as a person, or on how/if I will fit in.  In short, the focus has often been on whether I could do the job, at the expense of exploring whether I will do the job effectively (i.e. my motivations and fit with the team). On numerous occasions I’ve been told that my lack of success was primarily due to an insufficient number of years of experience.  The quality and the learning of the experience I did have seemed secondary to an arbitrary number. On other occasions, I was told that while I outperformed other candidates in the ‘softer skills’, I lacked a key piece of technical ‘know how’. At times, this seemed short-sighted, as technical competencies can often be mastered far quicker than the emotional ones.

As mch’s focus has moved into staff development, I have fewer interviews.  Indeed, I’m now more likely to be the interviewer, than the interviewee.  However, given that management training and emotional intelligence form a core part of mch’s staff development work, my interest in recruitment has remained. Consequently, it was great to read a recent article about the housing and care charity, The Abbeyfield Society. The article highlighted that many of their job descriptions include emotionally intelligent additions such as; “time for talking and building an emotional connection.”

Sadly, I sense The Abbeyfield Society remains in a minority. However, if you are aware of more examples, I’d love to hear about them.

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