Is Technology Making Us Dumb?

It might be difficult for anyone above the age of 25 to wrap their head around, but social intelligence in our younger generations may be in jeopardy as a result of our growing dependence on technology. The above Harvard Business Review blog post may actually confirm it.

On the scale of “hippie to techie” I fall smack in the middle. I respect technology, but at the same time I am cautious of our growing dependence on it as a society. Speaking from a neuroscience standpoint I have great reason to be cautious. Technology may be undermining several key evolutionary neural responses that are essential for social development and meaningful communication.

Our Brain’s Evolutionary Roots

You might not know it, but the brain that rests in your skull has actually been a work in progress for millions of years. Humans had numerous apelike ancestors that shared brains that were very similar to our own. Over time our brains took shape to what they are today. Amazingly through our millions of years of evolution, language has only occupied a tiny sliver of space on that timeline – around 10,000 years.

To survive, our ancestors relied on social behavior and communication. Since language was not around most of that time our ancestors relied on more physical forms of communication. Millions of years of physical expression and communication have provided our brains with the unique ability to process mannerisms and facial expressions much faster than we process language.

The HBR blog is quick to point out that 55% of conversation is physical. Far and away the most important physical aspect of communication are facial expressions. Facial expression recognition is actually one of the most important factors in meaningful conversation, and is highly correlated with social intelligence.

It’s been said the face is a canvas of emotion. Our faces convey emotions that words simply cannot, and our brains pick up on it at lighting quick speeds. Evolution has defined the facial expressions we make and the way we perceive them. That is why facial expressions are the same across every culture.

could you accurately describe the emotion for each of these faces. believe it or not, many children struggle with this task and that is spelling trouble for communication later in life.

Back to the Future

Technology is not the devil, but it does rob many adults and children of attention and focus that is meant to be used in communication. My best advice is to practice as much  face-to-face, genuine communication as possible. That means turn off your Blackberrys, iPhones, and close the lids on your laptops. Take time to focus on the subtleties of the conversation.

All human cognition and behavior is set in place by the neural pathways in our brain that is unique to our own biology and experiences. That amazing 3lbs of matter is so efficient that if you do not consistently practice a certain behavior in youth it’ll be gone before you know it. Simply said, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” I beg you, please don’t let this happen to your ability to effectively communicate.

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The Genius in Comedy

I went on a date with this girl the other night. Boy, let me tell you, she was fat. [How fat was she?] She was so fat when I went to pick her up for our date I hit her with my car. She said, “How come you didn’t go around me?” I said, “I didn’t have enough gas.” She was ugly too. I took her out to an ugly contest and the judges turned her away. They said, “Please, no professionals.” Are you kidding me I know I’m ugly. I stuck my head out the window and got arrested for mooning. I was an ugly kid too. I had real bad acne.  One time I fell asleep at the library, when I woke up a blind man was reading my face.  When I was a kid every time I played in the sandbox the cat would cover me up. What a childhood I had. My mother, she never breast fed me. She told me she only liked me as a friend. She had morning sickness after I was born.”

– Rodney Dangerfield

One of the greatest comedians of all time, Rodney Dangerfield. A personal hero of mine.

One of the greatest comedians of all time, Rodney Dangerfield, pictured here with Redd Foxx, another comedy legend.

Why Children are Awesome and Adults Suck

There is a statistic floating around out there that children laugh on average about 300 times a day, while adults laugh on average about 15 times a day.  I had originally heard this fact about a year ago and it knocked me on my ass. At first I couldn’t believe this fact. I thought about my laughter on a daily basis and likened my habits to that of a hyena. I then got to thinking about the collection of people that fill my life that I don’t interact with that often: neighbors, teachers, coworkers of friends and family, and it dawned on me that this fact holds a lot of weight and truth behind it. Hopefully the Rodney Dangerfield set helped you meet your laughter quota for the day.

To me, comedy is a beautiful art form (I’m not talking about toilet humor, but it has its place and time too).  Comedians posses a rare gift to take what we see and do and spin in it in a way that pleases people because of the novelty of their view points and perceptions. For some people comedy and humor seems to come effortlessly, and for others they have to labor to perfect their trade.  Humor, itself, is the most skillful exercise in divergent thinking that man can partake in and we have our brains to thank because of it. We’ve discussed our “new brains” or neocortex several times here on social-brain. Our new brain is a specialized part of the brain that only humans possess, and as a result we can think in hypothetical, symbolism and symphony. The ability to think in hypothetical, symbols and link seemingly unrelated subjects is at the root of every comedian’s jokes whether they know it or not.

“Betty White is so old that the very first game show she was ever on the grand prize was fire!” – Lisa Lampenelli at the Roast of William Shatner

It's been said that, "Betty white is so old if you google her, you'll find her both Craig's and Schindler's list."

It's been said that, "Betty white is so old if you google her, you'll find her on both Craig's and Schindler's list."

In social interactions the shortest distance between two people is laughter. I hold this to be very true. The best relationships in my life have started with a laugh, and this is true for plenty people. In Hollywood, when you look at the comedic trade, this is especially true. The highest honor is comedy is to be “roasted”. That is to say a group of your closest friends and peers gather to pay respect to you by ruthlessly making fun of you in a ceremonial event. Sounds messed up right? It is! But that is a testament to the unique bond that laughter can provide in social interactions.

I always make it a point to watch a roast when it’s on television. I love them. There is one thing I always notice about these roasts though. There are always a collection of comedians that are really really really old. Many of which were actually in Jesus’s yearbook. I’ve thought about the age of these comedians and it’s staggering the age they live to and the health they’re in at their old age. George Burns was 100 years old when he passed away, Rodney Dangerfield was putting crowds in stitches till he was 82 years young, and this past weekend the great Carl Reiner, who is 87, was up on stage roasting Joan Rivers, who is 76. What is more amazing is that these are just a handful of comedians who get better with old age. I wanted to examine in this post if there is something about laughter that keeps up young and as it turns out there is.

The Physical Benefits of Laughter: “Is it acually possible to pee your pants from laughter?”

Laughing actually relaxes the whole body. A good laugh can relieve physical tension and relax the muscles in your body for up to 45 minutes after. Ever been around someone who has actually peed themselves because they were laughing so hard? I have, and it’s because they laughed so hard they relaxed that part of their body more than they should have. If only R. Kelly’s defense lawyers would have been aware of this fact then they could have argued that he and that under aged girl he peed on were just watching Happy Gilmore and it was all just a big misunderstanding.

Laughing can actually boost your immune system. The physical act of laughter actually decreases the amount of Cortisol – a neurochemical associated with stress, and increase the amount of antibodies and immune cells in your blood stream. In addition to this laughter allows the brain to release endorphins which temporarily relieve pain and provide an overall sense of well being. Lastly, laughing can actually protect the heart because it exercises the cardio vascular flow to your ticker. Laughing over time can actually improve your blood flow to your heart.

The Social Benefits of Laughter: “Life is too important to take seriously.”

When used correctly humor can actually defuse a stressful or hostile situation. This is the say that if you’re getting mugged on a street corner a rubber chicken will probably not do you any good. However in professional settings the skill of well timed and appropriate humor is beyond beneficial. In research conducted by Daniel Goleman, he found that top-performing leaders elicited laughter from their subordinates three times as often, on average, as did midperforming leaders.  It’s important to note that too much joking can negatively affect your perception as well as others might consider you to be more of a jester than a leader. Find that perfect humorous balance in the work place.

More often than not successful leaders and people who are humorous share a single important socially intelligent trait. That is that they have a sense of humor about themselves and do not take themselves too seriously. Being approachable and open to criticism about your skills is a vital trait that will take a person far in life both personally and professionally. Having a sense of humor about yourself is rigorous exercise in handling your own emotions. A lot of times in your life you will be presented with criticism that you are not particularly eager to hear, and as a result you may feel a swell of negative emotions start to build within you. A lesser person would becomes hostile or defensive because of their unease or anger. However a socially intelligent or humorous person will take what’s thrown at them and roll with it. No outburst. No defensive attitude. There is just the thought process of how to incorporate their criticism to reach a level of success.

People who are appropriately humorous are more likeable in general. Just looking over the physical benefits of laughter one can see the associations we can form from being around someone who brings us joy through laughter. Most adults may not laugh that much, and this saddens me. If life has you down, stressed, or in slump don’t hesitate to seek out those who make you laugh: friends, family, movies, tv shows or books. Laugh for your health and laugh for your own social benefit.

You Probably Think this Post is about you

Yes, I’m this Awesome all of the Time

 

“As individuals and as a nation, we now suffer from social narcissism. The beloved Echo of our ancestors, the virgin America, has been abandoned. We have fallen in love with our own image, with images of our making, which turn out to be images of ourselves.”

 

This is the dialogue of Daniel J. Boorstin, an American educator and historian, and surprisingly enough this quote is from 1914.  Now I have to imagine that if Mr. Boorstin had to spend but a few hours in today’s society his brain might fall right out of his skull. I mean this guy thought we were full of ourselves in 1914. Imagine what he’d do when we slap a pair of True Religion jeans on him, match it up with a Lacoste polo, and for the hell of it put an iPhone in his pocket.

 

The truth is narcissism is becoming an epidemic in today’s society. Just a few weeks ago The RedEye Magazine in Chicago dedicated an entire layout to tackling this very subject matter. I would like to do the same today. Undoubtedly all of us know someone that we might consider a narcissist (and if you can’t think of a person you know who fits this bill it’s probably you, sorry). We might call them a friend, coworker, acquaintance, or that tool at the gym whose shirt is too small and hogs all of the machines you’re trying to use. Since more often than not we are forced to interact with narcissistic people it should be helpful to understand them a little bit better.

 

The Narcissist Debate

 

i hope you get the what this picture is trying to say...

i hope you get the what this picture is trying to say...

Most cognitive researchers agree that there is a great deal of incongruence between how narcissists act and how they really feel deep down. Jean Twenge, author of The Narcissism Epidemic, debates that narcissists actually think and believe they really are that awesome. Wendy Behary, director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey, debates just the opposite believing that underneath the bravado of a narcissist is really a high degree of insecurity. Fellow Chicagoan and psychoanalyst, Frank Summers holds the view point that narcissists are overwhelmingly addicted to affirmation.

 

As you can see there is a good amount of diversity in regards to narcissists, and rightfully so. After all, no two people are exactly the same, so why should we pigeon hole our ego-inflated friends and lump them all in with a singular motivation. I’ve dealt with a variety of people who exhibited narcissistic qualities and all of them had drastically different motivations that could fit the descriptions of any of the three specialists listed above. 

 

Social Intelligence and Narcissists

 

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about dealing with a narcissist is their ability to succeed. All exhibit this booming confidence that over time has developed from their skills and abilities.  Daniel Goleman, Harvard PhD and leading social intelligence researcher, has linked narcissism to three main motivations: Dreams of glory, adoration, and self righteousness.  Surprisingly enough Goleman maintains that succeed in our society today narcissism can go a long way to helping you make difficult decisions. He refers to this as “healthy narcissism” and the key descriptor in healthy narcissism is that this person has to ability to take criticism and ideas that are not their own.

 

Ladies, is this how you get ready to go out on the weekend?

Ladies, is this how you get ready to go out on the weekend?

On the other side of the coin we have unhealthy narcissism. The motto of this narcissist is that others exist to serve me. They act with little to no concern for people around them. If the motto of social intelligence is “seek first to understand and then to be understood” their motto would be “you should always understand me”.  The goals and motivations of this narcissist are front and center in their life, and other people’s goals and motivations don’t even register on their radar. Unlike their healthy counterparts if you challenge these narcissists they will explode on you. Further these narcissists do no handle constructive criticism well at all (in fact most children today don’t either).

 

Babies and Narcissists

 

When we’re infants we lack the cognitive ability to understand that others’ needs exist in this world besides ours. Seriously, we’re these selfish little creatures that act impulsively and make a stink if we don’ get fed, changed, entertained or whatever it is that babies want. However, as we develop we begin to realize that other’s have motivations like we do and we attune to those needs and motivations. This is perhaps our first and one of our most important lessons in social interaction. Children who perform the best socially are willing to share and take time playing with others and wait their turn. They’ve learned in a way to table their impulsive selfish needs for the whole of the group or their friends.  Hearing me describe the selfish infant almost sounded like I was describing a narcissist. Perhaps narcissist failed to properly acquire these social skill set as children.

 

We all have Selfish Brains

 

Our old brain, our most primitive brain that we share with all mammals, is selfish and it serves us right to be so. In evolution if we did not act quickly for our own interests we were usually gobbled up by some large animal. Over time we developed more complex brains on top of this brain, however the old brain still runs the show because it the decision making center of the brain. Thought helps guide this process but when push comes to shove emotion chimes in our old brains says yes or no. Studies on organizational behavior have suggested that in turbulent and stressful situations people resort back to more selfish motivations and actions. This is not surprising at all because we have to ensure our own safety in times of peril.  Now let’s look past this false bravado of any given narcissist. If underneath it all these people possess a high degree of insecurity there is probably a fair amount of stress and threat that is motivating their selfish repetitive actions.

Morrie Schwartz (Tuesdays with Morrie) said “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves.”  He was speaking to the false pressures that our culture places on all of us; Pressures like being the prettiest, the skinniest, the smartest, the wealthiest, and the most successful.  A lot of people today, especially our impressionable youth, feel this pressure and in the struggle to become something they desire place a lot of stress on themselves. This stress can be one of many routes to narcissism. The other half of Morrie’s quote is, “…And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” It would seem to me narcissists have the confidence to besomething their not, but lack the confidence to be who they really are.

The Neuroscience of Stress

there are many different kinds of stress, some can actually be good for us in small doses, however on the whole stres hurts people.

there are many different kinds of stress, some can actually be good for us in small doses, however on the whole stress hurts people.

Stress, it affects every single one of us whether we like it or not. Stress can stem from a variety of things: work, play, love, family, and the list can go on for miles. Anything that we’re emotionally invested in, directly and even indirectly, has the potential to cause us stress in our lives and often does. You cannot avoid stress. Eventually it will seek you out and hunt you down. So if you can’t avoid stress, you might as well be armed to better deal with it.

Like, are we Talking Good Stress or Bad Stress?

Actually, not all stress is the same. For anyone who has ever played a sport you’re probably familiar with butterflies – and I’m not talking about the animal formerly known as the caterpillar. What I am talking about is that queasy feeling that you get in your stomach right before the big game. However, a small dose of stress, like butterflies, can go a long way. Michael Jordan openly admits to having had butterflies before big games, but that didn’t sop him from performing at amazing levels throughout his career. It may have actually helped fuel him.

A stark contrast to butterflies is aversive stress. This is a serious form of stress that is debilitating, and can significantly hinder our performance. This type of stress manifests itself differently in every single person. In fact, neuroscientists struggle to link a single set of universal physiological responses to aversive stress because every person perceives stimuli differently and therefore reacts differently. Dogs may not frighten me; however dogs may scare the hell out of one of my friends leading to a stressful response. This is the type of stress I want to focus on in this post, aversive stress.

Defining Aversive Stress

University of Washing professor and author of Brain Rules, John Medina, describes this negative form of stress as having three main attributes.  1. There must be an aroused physiological response detectable by an outside party.  2. The stressor must be perceived as aversive, meaning if you had the choice of avoid the situation all together you would. 3. The person must not feel in control of the stressor.

A Stressed Brain is a Useless Brain

In relation to stress there are two key hormones at work in our brains, adrenaline and cortisol.  At low levels cortisol helps our brains function optimally by facilitating thought and cognition. In response to a stressor soaring cortisol levels paired with a boost of adrenaline can literally paralyze the brain’s critical abilities. In this stressed state we no longer focus on the task at hand, but instead we shift our focus and attention to the stressor which results in sub par performance of our task. In addition to how we respond, prolonged stressful states can actually negatively affect the way we learn and intake information. Furthermore, stress lowers our body’s ability to fight off illness because our immune systems weaken with our hormonal surges.

 stress relief

Control Freak

Stressors that are perceived as out of our control often do the most damage to our brains and bodies. When we perceive to have little or no control over a situation the hypothetical negative outcomes we tend to focus on are knock out punch. It’s simple. Human beings don’t like the unknown. In relation to stress, human beings hate the unknown, especially when the unknown is almost certain to result in a negative outcome. Our current economy is a prime example. There is no telling how bad our economic situation may continue to get, but because the future is unknown and laced with negativity it gives many people a reason to stress.

On the flip side having too much control leaves us too emotionally (hormonally) invested in things that may not be of actual concern to us. It’s important to learn what you can and cannot control in your life and more importantly accept it; by doing so you can deflect potentially stressful situations and the biological response that accompanies them. This is easier said than done and often requires you to pull away from your emotions in a heightened state to examine your response from a logical stand point.

How we deal with stress has a lot to do with our biology. Some people are just biologically better at dealing with stress than others. In fact, men, on average tend to be better at coping with stress than women. I will note that this does not make men more capable than women, because on average women are much better at perceiving other’s emotional states. It’s a give and take of social intelligence that balances out in the end.

Stress at Work

Whether you’re an entry level employee or an executive, you’re face to face with stress every single day in the work place. Stress has a trickle down effect from the very top of our organizations that can permeate the entire culture of a company. There is and always will be constant pressure to improve and achieve our goals. Sometimes this pressure is enough to cause aversive stress, and for many it does.

Leaders and bosses should be extremely mindful of stress formation and stress reaction amongst their employees. The pressure of constant improvement coupled with negative outbursts from a boss can be disastrous for professionals. Stress, like our emotions, is contagious. If the tone of management has become increasingly negative or perceived as hostile, you can rest assure the quality of work will suffer in the long run unless changes are made.

Bosses should make a conscious effort to focus on how they choose to motivate and communicate with their staff. If you’re in the unfortunate situation of working in a job that causes you great amounts of stress my best advice is to get out. There is no telling the toll that the stress may be taking on your brain and body.

Are You Socially Intelligent Enough to Lead?

 

more than likely this woman hates her job. how about you?

more than likely this woman hates her job. how about you?

 

Hate Your Job? Join the Other Millions of Americans…

 

A recent survey conducted by Entrepreneur Magazine suggested that 77% of Americans dislike their jobs.  Most of the people cited that office politics as well as their bosses were part of the reason why they disliked their current occupation. I found it really interesting that it was other people, and not job descriptions, that were given as the main reason for people hating their jobs.

 

Today’s business world is a fickle beast.  It moves at break neck speeds and demands everything from you and your peers.  In corporations there is a constant sense of urgency as you’re held to quarterly results and expected to reach your growth goals.  I have spent a great deal of time researching the culture of corporate America and it’s scary to see the negative progression of our supposed “productive cultures”. There is a growing demand for results and lessening of support. This current culture crisis in America would be enough to make anyone hate their job, yet most of the negativity is directed at our bosses.

 

Believe it or not, there are some vestiges where good corporate culture fosters success and growth. It’s really sad that these businesses are few and far between but they do exist and the reason they succeed is because of their management and social intelligence.

 

Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership

 

In September of 2008 Harvard Business Review posted an article that tackled this very subject. It was titled Social Intelligence and the Biology of Leadership and was written by Daniel Goleman, PhD and Richard Boyatzis. If you subscribe to HBR I would highly recommend checking out this article. This article was viewed as ground breaking and cutting edge by the business community.

 

Goleman, who is the leading expert in social intelligence, looked at management from a social neuroscience perspective.  He focused on the importance of empathy and understanding and becoming attuned to others moods. He stressed the importance of developing a genuine (that is the key word here) interest in and talent for fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need.  As it turns out certain people have a biological predisposition that allows them to be more emotionally attuned and aware. However, it’s important to note that these skills can be developed over time.

 

In the past it has been common practice to promote a worker based solely on results. Promoting based only on results seems to make perfect sense, however more often than not this decision to promote based on numbers backfires.  Sales is a prime example. I have seen numerous sales reps promoted to managers, and at the same time I have seen a vast majority of them fail in their new position. The reason being was though they could produce sales results they do not have the social intelligence to enable their staff to produce the same results. Sadly most do no understand the nuances of understanding and communicating so they try to force results and goals on their staff and that’s where rifts start to form. Results are important when selecting a manager, but along with results social interactions should be looked at heavily to ensure you’re getting a person who is skilled in understanding and communicating with others.

 

A Happy Boss is a Great Boss

 

Research suggests that top performing leaders elicited laughter from their subordinates three times as often as mid performing leaders. A reason for this is that being in a good mood helps people take in information effectively and respond nimbly and creatively.  Laughter is paramount to social intelligence. It’s been said that when communicating with another person laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

 

There is a line though when it comes providing a positive environment. There are strict bosses out there and conversely there are bosses that are not strict enough. A good manager and leader will know how to handle that line because they will have understood how to interact with each individual employee to get the most out of them. Leaders have to be demanding but in ways that foster a positive mood.

The carrot on a stick method doesn’t make neural sense.  If you want to succeed in the long run you need to break away from the trite management strategy that would have you threatening your staff and scaring them into results. It might produce some short term results but it comes at a high price in the long run – the loss of trust from your staff. Become a socially intelligent leader; genuinely understand the strengths, weaknesses, goals, and talents of your staff and yourself. Enable your staff for long term success and have fun while doing it. Accomplish this and the results might surprise you. After all, research in the past decade has confirmed that there is a large performance gap between socially intelligent and socially unintelligent leaders.

Monkeys, Ice Cream Cones, and Mirror Neurons: The Three-Way That Gave Way to Social Neuroscience

work those mirror neurons baby monkey. work it!

work those mirror neurons baby monkey. work it!

A Macaque monkey sat in his cage in the corner of a neuroscience lab in Italy during a hot summer in the mid 1990’s. The monkey looked a bit goofy wearing a helmet type device that was rigged with electrodes that were supposed to detect a neuron that fired when the monkey raised its arm. As one of the Italian researchers entered the room the monkey sat with its arm at its side. The Italian researcher, like most people during a hot summer’s day, was enjoying an ice cream cone.  He turned and inspected the monkey’s cage and noticed that nothing was going on. The monkey was just chilling with its electric rigged hockey helmet and its arms still at its sides.  What happened next was amazing. The researcher raised his ice cream cone to his mouth and the electrodes starting registering that the monkey’s neuron was firing. However, there was one problem: the monkey didn’t raise its arm.  As the researcher raised the ice cream to his mouth again the neuron fired once more. Something was up…

 

 

 

Like most great discoveries this was a complete accident. What the researcher and his monkey counterpart stumbled upon was called a “mirror neuron”. A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another animal. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were itself acting. Though the monkey didn’t actually move it’s arm the neuron still fired because it mirrored or made a connection with the researcher when he raised his arm.  Currently science has only found mirror neurons in humans, primates and some birds.

 

This very discovery was the seed that would eventually grow into Social Neuroscience. Social Neuroscience functions on the principle that we are wired to connect. Mirror neurons amongst many emerging discoveries are proof our brain’s very design is to be socialable. This means that every person we encounter has an affect on our brain, and that in turn, affects our bodies. Dan Goleman, author of Social Intelligence has this to offer:

 

“To a surprising extent, then, our relationships mold not just our experience but our biology. The brain-to-brain link allows our strongest relationships to shape us on matters as benign as whether we laugh at the same jokes or as profound as which genes are (or are not) activated in T-cells, the immune system’s foot soldiers in the constant battle against invading bacteria and viruses.  That link is a double-edged sword: nourishing relationships have a beneficial impact on our health, while toxic ones can act like slow poison in our bodies.”

 

Think about it this way: Can you ever recall a time when either you or a friend was in a particularly bad relationship with a significant other? At the end of the relationship did the constant fighting and ill tempered interactions affect your biological state, as in you felt sick, tired, or even nauseated from having to deal with that person. That’s Social Neuroscience at its worst, however, it gives a stark introcuction into how social relationships and interactions can truly affect you both in the short term and the long term.

 

Social Intelligence is an advanced companion to emotional intelligence. Now that I have somewhat introduced both I can begin to give some more examples of situations and people you might encounter or have encountered and how to get the most out of those people and situations.

The History and Possibilities of Social Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is a phrase coined by Daniel Goleman, a Harvard University professor who specializes in the emerging field of Social Neuroscience. He has been at the forefront of emotional intelligence for many years now having published three groundbreaking books on the topic.  Here is a brief excerpt from an insightful book he wrote, it’s called Working with Emotional Intelligence.

 

“The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yard stick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training or experience, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other.”

 

Let’s look at business for example. Today’s market place is continually evolving.  As competition grows and the intelligence of the customer continues to expand, the end result is that people, not products, will be the deciding factor in successful business. At this point in the game every company out there has a product that is similar if not “better” than the others.  However, people are what differentiate a product in the market. People are what make the connection between companies and organizations. People help bridge the organizational gap and drive business.

 

 

EQ – The New Kid on the Block

 

Since the IQ test became common practice it has generally defined the intelligence of a person, but as it turns out, only in part. The funny thing about IQ is that it’s a static form of intelligence. That’s right, static. It remains the same over time.  In fact your IQ will more than likely remain the same well after your teen years.

 

I would like to introduce EQ – IQ’s emotional counterpart. It’s your emotional intelligence, and it is dynamic. You got it, dynamic. Your emotional intelligence is ever changing and always developing through out your life time.  It’s completely up to you how much you’re willing to develop your EQ.  There is no correlation between IQ and EQ.

 We've all seen the iceberg analogy.

Some of you might be wondering if there is a difference between men and women in EQ as women tend to be viewed as more “in touch” emotionally. Actually women and men are equal in terms of EQ because the strengths and weaknesses balance out: Women are more emotionally aware and men are more resilient to stress. Emotional Intelligence is how you handle yourself. Social Intelligence is how you handle yourself and others in social situations.

We’ve all seen the iceberg analogy.

 

 

 

Forecasting: our nation’s youth continue to get smarter and smarter; however their social skills are rapidly declining. One researcher commented that “Kids today just can’t take criticism.”  In our society we attribute a high IQ to automatic success. That is false. Not all geniuses succeed in life. It has been proven over and over again that the main determining factor in success is EQ, not IQ (though it should be noted that one must possess an adequate IQ). Emotional Intelligence is what can make the difference between an average performer and a superstar.  

My vision is that by making people cognizant to way they perceive and act they will gain a better understanding of themselves and in turn also gain a better understanding of the people they interact with.