Flying usually inspires me to pick up a book in the airport – this time, it was EI 2.O by Bradberry & Greaves. I’ve been bombarded lately by various coaches and internet marketing gurus that they have the answer to solving EI for your organization. Here’s my cliff notes:
There are four areas of measurement: Self-Awareness and Self-Management which fall into the personal competence bucket and Social Awareness and Relationship Management which fall into the Social Competence buckets. The book gives you a password to take your own EQ test. Being very honest with myself, I was pleasantly surprised at ‘my age’ that I scored high EQ in each of these areas, and it also gave me a list of areas to improve. I can take that on.
Where the book gets interesting, is when it recommends finding a mentor in each of these areas and tracking your progress to increase your EQ. BTW, the book gives you the ability to take the test again. Hmmm, not so easy for someone who’s NOT COMPETENT in these areas to recognize competency in others. And, meeting with someone once a week over coffee isn’t going to get the job done, either.
The back of the book shows that over the last few years their thousands of clients tested an increase in EQ. Just last year, it took a dip. Marry this with the fact that EQ in Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers and Traditionals increases as a person ages. What’s missing from this is the fact that traditionals have to learn NEW SOCIAL COMPETENCY skills when dealing with the X and Millennials. Of course the overall EQ dipped – I’m having to relearn a lot dealing with these powerhouse young entrepreneurs, too!
If you want a good read on generational interactions – try M-Factor by Lancaster & Stillman. It will give you a sense of the cultural differences in the generations and the phenomena that created it. It introduces the idea of a ‘cusper’ someone who may straddle the different generations – and exhibits qualities of both. Why not have a traditional mentored by a millenial on social media topics?
I think we are all served by doing a few things: 1) read the book to understand what everyone’s talking about 2) take the test and measure where you are and where you can improve 3) surround yourself with smart people of all generations – there is much to learn from all 4) Spend more time LISTENING than talking – be open – and ask others what they need, and what they consider successful delivery on their requests.
Love to hear your thoughts on this-