What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why Does It Matter?

Emotional Intelligence


Emotional Intelligence is how we see ourselves and how we come across to others.  That's the simple Jeff Snyder paraphrased definition of Emotional Intelligence. 

While sharing a conversation with a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) yesterday, a statement was made while the CISO was telling me a story.  This statement quickly caught my attention. 

The statement went like this:

“You’d be more effective to me if you didn’t piss off everyone in the room”

The CISO made this statement to the smartest person in the room.  The smartest person in the room in this case was a Security Architect who reported to the CISO.

The Security Architect’s response to the CISO’s statement was one of confusion and disbelief.  What the CISO was trying to tell his Architect was that it was okay to be the smartest person in the room but it wasn’t okay to always have to let everyone in the room know how smart he is. Doing so was making everyone in the room uncomfortable.

As the CISO continued telling me his story, he emphasized that after trying to explain his position to the Architect from several different angles, the Architect still didn’t get it. 

A while back, I tried to capture this type of situation in an article I wrote called The “Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”.  As a Security Recruiter, I find myself working with the smartest people on the plant quite often.  These are the people who are frequently attracted to Cyber Security Careers.

The most successful of these people are the ones who invest the time to develop the side of their brain that hasn’t been developed by focusing solely on IQ development.

The other side of the brain in this case is the side that drives one’s Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence often comes out in one’s behavior.  If someone is pissing off everyone in the room as the CISO stated, they very likely are not aware of how their behavior is coming across to others. 

This is why having a clear understanding of one’s unique level of Emotional Intelligence matters and why everyone should at least consider Emotional Intelligence Coaching.   This type of coaching is often an eye opening and paradigm shifting experience for those who engage in the coaching.

Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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