I have a very ‘successful’ friend who likes to joke that he and his colleagues are too ‘task oriented’ for EQ and they run a very financially successful transportation business. I also have another friend who runs a financially successful oil and gas business who is looking at how EQ can improve what they do. The latter talks about how ‘rough’ the oil and gas business can be. I certainly know that there are a lot of scientific/analytic people involved in oil and gas and sometimes their meetings are not characterized by the best of people skills. These two examples among many others have me thinking about how EI/EQ really ‘fit’ with these businesses where there are an abundance of analytical, ‘task oriented’ types of people.
How do we EI/EQ professionals make the ‘business case’ for EI/EQ and communicate it to people who don’t see the connection between EI/EQ and business success? One thing I know is that the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may act as a type of barrier. If things are going well, why would anyone look at something like EI/EQ? Now, I know what you’re saying, “are things really going well or is there a lack of awareness of the problems that exist?” I mostly think that I could find some problems if I was allowed to dig around a little but, what if the former company is full of task oriented people quite happily going about their tasks and not encountering any issues that they can’t surmount with another task? Here I am preaching the gospel of emotional intelligence and how it can help people to increase their effectiveness while facing the everyday challenge of getting new clients and there’s this company making money hand over fist by being task oriented! Maybe it doesn’t matter how well you treat people as long as you treat them well enough. Maybe a lack of people skills are not that bad as long as everyone involved has bad people skills so they don’t really notice.
These guys are successful CEO’s, so they are really good at task orientation and they really know how to ‘gitterdone.’ And they are very financially successful and quite happy people. My question has to be, “at what cost?” Who pays the price here? I think one group that pays the price may be the employees who are lower in the hierarchy who ‘gitterdone.’
Two questions, “are they paying a price and if so, do they know they are paying the price?” That is living with the anxiety and stress that comes from having to respond to the demands and pressures that come from an environment of task orientation or are they themselves task oriented individuals who ‘fit’ with a task oriented environment in such a way as to ‘thrive’ on the stress and pressure?
Some are and some aren’t a fit for that workplace culture and my guess is that the ones that are stay and thrive and the ones that aren’t stay and are miserable and affect a company’s productivity and service quality. Maybe it’s more important to get employees who fit your culture, whatever it happens to be. What do you think?