How To Get The Bigger Sharks with Rich Lofgren and Addressing The Intelligence Crisis with Joshua Freedman

TTL 579 | Emotional Intelligence

How To Get The Bigger Sharks with Rich Lofgren and Addressing The Intelligence Crisis with Joshua Freedman

Power Connector Rich Lofgren shares how he was able to connect with powerful people and how he eventually decided to create his own consulting firm. He recounts how he met Kevin Harrington and how they tried hooking the big sharks together, which they did. Rich also talks about the products that they are trying to get patented and touches on some of their big-time clients whom they met in some huge events.

In a world that has been found to have declining emotional intelligence, just how much of it affects us and will it increase? Emotions researcher and author Joshua Freedman shares his thoughts on that while talking about how he got into artificial and emotional intelligence. As he dives into their study on that field, he notes that emotional intelligence varies by generation, age, gender, and other related aspects. He also gets into how people nowadays are becoming more viable and volatile in a context of increased stress and decreased empathy.
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TTL 437 | Irrational Behavior

Understanding People’s Irrational Behavior with Eric Bailey

The way you see the world may be different from how other people do. Sometimes, it takes stepping back to see things more clearly. This is what Eric Balley believes in. With a Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Development from Saint Louis University, Eric is the president of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, a successful communication consulting firm in the USA. For Eric, it’s essential that we start asking people why they are so passionate about their argument more than trying to validate or invalidate their opinion, and try to understand why they care so much. He dives into the importance of having empathy and putting yourself in other people’s shoes and talks about how to deal with people with irrational behavior properly.

Increasing Motivation, Right vs. Left Brain, MBTI and Who Will Rule the World

Dan Pink, author of several books about motivation and left vs. right brain thinking, presented a very entertaining and informative talk at a TED.com conference called Dan Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation. The premise of his presentation was that there is a mismatch between what science knows about, and what business does, in terms of motivating people.

He made a strong argument for the importance of how having autonomy may help creativity.  A famous example he used is how Google allows employees to spend 20% of their time working on any project they want.  He noted how ½ of all products developed at Google are created during this time.  He argued for something he called ROWE which stands for Results Only Work Environment.  This is when people don’t have to have schedules, attend meetings or do anything specific other than to be sure that they get their work done.  By following these guidelines studies have shown it will increase productivity and reduce turnover.

Two of Pink’s books include:  Drive . . . The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us; and A Whole New Mind . . .Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World.  After looking through his book on “right-brainers”, I found a lot of what he had to say to be quite interesting.  He pointed out the importance of empathy which is a big part of emotional intelligence.  For my dissertation, I studied quite a bit about empathy and the part it plays in one’s emotional intelligence.  Researchers like Daniel Goleman, Ruevan Bar-On and others have shown that emotional intelligence can be developed.  In this respect, what Pink had to say is good news for everyone because we can all work on becoming more empathetic.

The part of Pink’s information that may not be such good news for me and others like me is that he thinks that, as you can see from the title of his book, right-brainers will rule the world.  Before reading any further, you might want to take this right or left brain quiz to find out your type.  I’ll let you know that I received a 2 which means I am strongly left-brained.  Not much right-brained thinking going on here!

 

To define the difference between left and right-brained, think of it this way:  Left-brainers are sequential, logical and analytical.  Right-brainers are non-linear, intuitive and holistic.

His theory supports that those with a high N or Intuitive personality type in the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) may be the ones who rule the world.  The N is the opposite of the S or Sensing personality who uses their senses rather than intuition in their processing of information.  In my training to become a qualified Myers Briggs instructor, I learned quite a bit about the differences between the personality types assigned by the MBTI. One of the main things researchers have found is that your MBTI results don’t change much over time.  It’s about preferences . . . .like whether you prefer to write with your right or your left hand. Think of the MBTI results as your preferences for how you obtain information and this won’t change.  So if you are an intuitive or an “N”, you will always be an intuitive and if you are a sensor or “S”, you will always be a sensor.  Some people may be very close to the middle of the scale between S and N and so their results won’t be as cut and dry as they may find their type changes slightly when they take the MBTI.

Dichotomies
Extraversion (E) – (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) – (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) – (F) Feeling
Judgment (J) – (P) Perception

In our book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, Toni Rothpletz and I gave several examples of famous people with different MBTI results.  The qualities of the right-brainer, as described by Pink, fall very much into the category of the “N” or intuitive personality portion of the 4 letter type given by MBTI. What is interesting to me is that less than half of people have an “N” or intuitive personality type according to Myers-Briggs MBTI which is close to the about 50% figure experts say are right-brained.

If our type is pretty much set in stone, then 50% of us aren’t going to rule the world!  I guess I am OK with that.  However, I do take solace in knowing that my MBTI personality type, ESTJ, accounts for l0-12% of the population and of that population some very big names also share that type including Sam Walton, creator of WalMart.  He may not have ruled the world, but he came pretty darn close.

Facebook Making People More Empathetic

Several studies have shown that online communication has facilitated friendships, honesty and sense of belonging.  New research is showing that Facebook time may actually improve people’s empathy as well. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “The more time on Facebook subjects in a recent study spent, the more empathy they said they felt online and off.”

This information may come as a surprise with the number of reported cyber bullying cases. Internet Solutions for Kids reported that 17% of 13- to 18-year-olds were bullied online in the past year. However, this is low compared to the reported 40% in-person bullying.   

Fear of dealing with social settings has led many to online platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Some newer studies have shown that this form of online communication can be helpful for those who are shy or introverted and who may normally find social settings stressful.  The WSJ article noted, “In a study of New York University students who described themselves as either socially anxious or non-anxious, participants were randomly assigned to interact in groups of three, either in-person or through an Internet chat room.  Anxious students reported greatest shyness and discomfort than non-anxious students in face-to-face groups.  In the chat room, however, they said they felt significantly less shy, more comfortable and better accepted by their peers.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported some results at a Washington, DC conference this year from 1,283 people aged 18-30.  This group was asked about their time spent online and its impact on how much empathy they felt toward their online and offline friends.  The participants reported “a significant amount of empathy online, and that the more time college students spent on Facebook, the more empathy they expressed online and in real life.”

Bones Brennan Character Exemplifies Lack of Empathy

 

Having empathy is a part of emotional intelligence as defined by leaders in the field of EI such as Rueven Bar-On.  Daniel Goleman describes three types of empathy including: cognitive, emotional and compassionate.  In the book It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, it is noted that having empathy is a big part of interpersonal skills.  It has to do with how much we care about other peoples’ feelings and whether we can see things from other peoples’ perspectives.

A recent episode of the TV show, Bones, showed an excellent example of how Emily Deschanel’s character Temperance Brennan lacked empathy.  For those unfamiliar with the program, the Brennan has a high IQ but may lack in the EQ or emotional quotient department.  In this episode, Bennan lacks the ability to realize that her logical thinking and lack of understanding of others’ emotions is rude.  In the episode, Feet on the Beach. Brennan must work with a podiatrist that she feels lacks her superior training and skills.  While this may be fodder for entertainment, people may run into a similar situations at work where they may feel their abilities are being dismissed.

How can someone so smart lack empathy?  It may be difficult for people to do what Dr. Jeremy Sherman refers to as “shoe shifting” or putting ourselves in another’s shoes.  “When you put yourself in another person’s shoes you risk seeing yourself as others would see you—not quite as special as you think”

How do we improve our empathetic abilities?  One way is to improve our listening skills.  For more tips on improving empathy, check out Sherman’s article in Psychology Today.

You May Be Looking For A Job But Your Emotional Intelligence May Be What Needs Work

The job market is over-crowded with applicants all applying for the few coveted jobs.  What makes one person stand out in the crowd over another?  One thing may be their emotional intelligence.  Emotional intelligence (EI) has become a buzz word in the last 10-15 years, thanks mostly to Daniel Goleman who has popularized EI through several mainstream books.  Goleman’s definition of EI is not the only definition of EI.  In fact, there are several authors who have defined EI in slightly different ways. I think one of the basic and most easily understood definitions is:  Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand one’s own emotions as well as those of others.

Why do employers care about this?  By having the ability to understand other people’s emotions, you can have more empathy, social intelligence and interpersonal skills.  In my dissertation, I examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and sales performance.  I did indeed find that a correlation existed between the two. Those with higher EI levels did produce more sales.  Employers know about the importance of having EI now and are looking for it in their potential employees. 

What if your emotional intelligence quotient or EQ is low?  The good news is that Goleman and others have shown that EI can be improved.  I would recommend reading Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition, Why it Can Matter More Than IQ. Another important book is by Authors such as Hughes, Patterson, and Terrell, who offer training activities that help develop specific areas of emotional intelligence. Although their book, Emotional Intelligence in Action, is aimed at leaders, it would be helpful to those looking for exercises to develop their emotional intelligence.