In Search Of The Other Kind Of Smart

March 18, 2019

Dear J.T. & Dale: My superior doesn’t seem to respect his subordinates and doesn’t practice EQ on us. May I know if there are any tips for dealing with such superiors? — TARA DALE: Emotional intelligence (EQ or sometimes EI) was popularized back in 1995 with a book by that name, written by Daniel Goleman. One edition claimed the book “redefines what it means to be smart,” the big idea being that traits like self-discipline and empathy matter as much or more than the sort of brainpower measured by IQ. Plus, let’s face it, “emotional intelligence” sounds so much more scholarly than “street smart” or “people smart.” J.T.: While EQ entered the vocabulary, it did not enter many lists of job requirements. There are plenty of managers who (a) don’t know what it is, and (b) don’t care about using it. There isn’t much you can do to get your boss to change. He’d have to see value in switching his leadership style to one that is more supportive and serving of the staff. If he doesn’t see his leadership style as a problem, he’s unlikely to change it. My advice is to either accept his style while reminding yourself daily about all the other aspects of the job you enjoy or, if you can’t do that, then my advice is to leave. DALE: Here’s one of my favorite workplace principles: With a bad boss there are no good jobs, and with a good boss there are no bad jobs. Management is that important. Yet most people have never experienced a great boss, so they don’t know what one looks like. Going forward, instead of searching for a new job, begin your research by asking people you admire about the best managers they’ve worked with. It will help to set your expectations and might just lead to introductions to the sort of leaders who accelerate development by raising the standards of everyone around them. Dear J.T. & Dale: I’m a successful executive with 20-plus years of leadership experience. I lost my job a year ago and assumed it wouldn’t be tough to find a new one. I was so wrong. I’ve sent out well over 100 résumés and have had a miserable four interviews. They all told me I was overqualified just 20 minutes into the meeting and ushered me out the door. Why bring me in at all if I’m overqualified? — RICHARD J.T.: I’d tell you that a big part of the problem is sending out résumés online. Studies show less than three percent of people who apply online get a call. That’s because the online applicant tracking systems are designed to screen you out. DALE: Ask a colleague or two to do mock interviews. Meanwhile, the best antidote to coming across as a know-it-all is to come with questions. JEANINE “J.T.” TANNER O’DONNELL is a career coach. DALE DAUTEN is founder of The Innovators’ Lab. Visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write in care of King Features Syndicate, 300 W. 57th St, 15th Fl, New York, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.