With all of the talk about emotional intelligence, it is hard to imagine there would be a dark side to the topic. Yet, each of us has probably suffered making a decision based on someone else's ability to effectively read us and connect with us in a way that we went with their thoughts instead of what we really felt was right. This is why having a moral compass and a true mission are so critical in business. Let me give you an example...
If you are like me, you have worked with people who are fantastic at connecting and making you feel safe in a decision. Sometimes, those same people will make suggestions that you end up following that you know are in the opposite direction of your true best interest. I have seen this with big ticket consulting sales. I have seen this with high end car purchases. I have seen this with a host of other items for sale where sales reps know how to get you to feel a certain way in that moment, and then push you over the edge into a large purchase that often isn't right for you. What is even scarier is when you see a business leader do this to convince their employees to act outside of their values because of their connection with that leader.
I wasn't there when Enron or MCI Worldcom or Health South stared down their slippery slopes of unethical choices. I wasn't there when Hitler gave his speeches that convinced people to give up their morality and intentionally kill anyone that went against their ideology. I would imagine the leaders that went to the dark side easily justified their choices because they were able to bring others with them. I wasn't there but what I have read indicates that each of those who took people down the wrong path had fantastic skills of persuasion through connection within a group. That wasn't emotional intelligence's fault though. I was people and their intent.
EQ is one of the most incredible things we can develop. After all, most of the problems that exist in our business and our personal lives relate to poor communication and much of that based on a low EQ. I simply believe we have a moral obligation as leaders in business to do the right thing for the right reasons and to watch out for the best interests of our teams and our customers. When a leader forgets they are there to serve others and begins believing others are there to serve them, it isn't long before they make decision that are not good for their teams or their customers.
When we can approach business from the lens of seeking only good for others, it positions us to succeed at the highest level. There are a number of people that I could connect with and persuade to buy my training programs for their companies that would never apply the information. That wouldn't be what I truly want. My objective isn't just business growth. My objective is to seek ways to move people to a higher standard in life. This higher standard creates more than just a business. It creates a legacy.
You should master EQ. You should invest time and energy in learning how to effectively read others and accurately interpret what their underlying messages are. You should invest time and energy in mastering the methods of accurately and consistently getting the intent of your messages across. I love teaching these things through face reading programs, communication programs, and in my Leadership Mastery series. With all that you learn, though, you should never forget to invest time and energy in building a culture with high ethics, a strong moral compass, and a true desire to make the world a better place. The totality of leadership requires that you master the light side and learn to avoid the dark side. Never forget purpose!
Master self and EQ!