I’d like to share some thoughts on Emotional Intelligence

Computer on wheels
Computer on wheels

I’d like to share some thoughts on EQ.
What is it and who cares?

Have you ever heard about emotional intelligence? Do you know what it is? Then you are ahead of me. I didn’t know what it was until I took a class on it.

The county recently offered a series of 5 weekly classes on becoming better leaders and improving customer satisfaction that was originally voluntary, but my boss had all supervisors go. If I hadn’t gone to the class at my boss’s suggestion, I probably still would not know what EQ is. I didn’t particularly care to find out. One of the classes was on the topic of emotional intelligence or EQ. We all know that IQ is a measure of our smarts. EQ is a measure of our ability to understand and manage our behavior and responses on a personal level as well as on a social level. I had heard the term EQ for quite a few years, but never knew what it was. I honestly thought it was some New Age philosophy.

Before taking the class we took an on-line test created by some folks who are into EQ and how it affects interpersonal relationships and business. The researchers discovered that people with EQ actually were  more productive, better leaders and managers, and better able to handle tough situations. In many businesses people with high EQ made more money than a colleague performing the same job minus the EQ. I won’t even mention my failing scores. Needless to say, I have room in several directions for improvement.

As we went through the class, which I really enjoyed, learned a lot from, and am trying to use now, discovered that a person with EQ has tact, a listening ear, allows people to help solve their own problems, provides an atmosphere where creativity and risk are accepted, and manages and corrects without a heavy hand.

One of the things discussed was how well do you know your employees? Do you greet them every day? And do you use their names? A person’s name means a lot to them, and research found higher satisfaction among employees when their first names were used. I know my name is important to me, so much so that I want people to spell my nickname correctly (y please, not i or ie.) and pronounce my last name appropriately. It really irks me when people mispronounce my family name even after they have been told how to really say it. I appreciate it when the boss walks by and instead of ignoring me or grunting a greeting, actually takes a second to say hello, look me in the eye, and use my first name.

What does this have to do with anything? I am glad you asked. I was talking with the person in charge of my homeowner’s fees and she handed me a copy of a fax sent to her regarding me. Here is the message: “Has INSERT MY LAST NAME paid her monthly fees yet?” Hmmm. Just my last name, huh? I know my parents gave me a first name, and it is clearly listed on my HOA paperwork.

I realize that many attorneys and paralegals are lacking in personal people skills. However, could the paralegal from Grimmell et al Law Firm who sent this offensive e-mail, have used my first and last name and avoided shouting by not typing my last name in all capitals? I know the e-mail wasn’t intended for me to see, but dang! I am a person. It showed a complete lack of respect for me as a human being. I was just an account and a check stub. It really made me think of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band’s song, “Feel Like A Number.” I found it to be exceedingly rude.

This type of address would not work in my field, which is nursing. I actually don’t think it works in human relations anywhere. Well, maybe the military where they call out your last name, “Jones, drop and give me ten push-ups.” But outside the military? Hmmm. Could you picture me sending an e-mail to another nurse that sounded like this, “Did you give JONES his enema?” Or, “the breast case is in OR 10.” Or how about, “HENSON, hurry up and finish that admission!”

This would not go over to well. I am serious. Not very EQ, right? It doesn’t foster warmth towards the employee or the person in question. After hearing an anecdote about a COW, I no longer use the term “COW” for our computers on wheels. I will say the “rolling computers.” Here’s why…

An obese woman had just had bariatric surgery. In case you might not know what bariatric surgery is by that name, you will probably know it by the name of gastric bypass. It is a serious surgery to help obese people lose weight when dieting, etc. has failed. Anyway, she was in her room and heard a nurse say loudly that the “COW” was in room 10, which happened to be her room. Ouch! Can you imagine what that woman must have thought and felt? The nurse wasn’t calling the patient a COW, she was letting someone know that the computer on wheels happened to be in the bariatric surgery lady’s room. She just hadn’t thought about what she was saying and how it might sound.

We must always keep our EQ skills on ready. Something innocent like that could have disastrous consequences.

I was really tempted to write this paralegal a letter telling her that I was more than my last name and that I felt her lack of politeness was offensive. I was even tempted to make a pointed comment about her last name. However, I gained control of my evil side, decided to be EQ about it, and not write that letter that was so clearly written in my mind. There is also that thing about forgiveness and turning the other cheek.

Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that my EQ score just got flushed down the toilet, just like the results of an enema does, by mentioning her in my blog post. Oops! I think I had better attend that class again.

Blog You Later!

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