Saturday, September 26, 2009

Emotional Intelligence

There is a monthly forum scheduled by management where all analyst or project managers can meet and exchange views. There was one session where I attended this morning. It’s an interesting meeting where everyone is expected to share their views and experiences. I have been attending for past few months sometime remotely by phone. I like the meetings because I can speak and share my thoughts. I think I can express my ideas better now after my experiences in Toastmasters. I can also relate my experiences with the topic at hand because of the many challenges I had faced in the past. I am afraid that I may come across as a ‘know-it-all’ if I am not careful.

I like the whole idea of having these forums as a place to meet and exchange ideas. We never had this opportunity in the past. Oftentimes these meetings in Asia result in political battles where everyone draws his sword and fights. I can never shake out that feeling so I often come into the offensive, looking for other people’s faults and mistakes and striking at the jugular. But in fact, it’s a friendly meeting and I am afraid that I would say the wrong thing. In fact I kind of mocked the lady who was working on the business process. I liked her and I made a cheap comment just to get a laugh. I should not have done it for cheap thrills. I guess I am a marked man because of this statement as she is well-liked.

In fact, I liked her and she is often the person I can turn to because she is open and friendly. I have attended a lot of her classes and learned a lot from her. I realized that ones comments and actions are really taken into consideration by the people here. So one must be very careful in making statements or in doing things in the office. This is a rural place after all although someone from Asia may not think so. So I have to lower my profile and keep my head down. I think my intention is to make myself known and show my intelligence. But I have to be careful because it maybe mistaken for arrogance instead of a desire not to appear dumb.

I guess I am trying to say that the company did not make a mistake in investing in my transfer. I am trying to portray myself as being intelligent and competent perhaps at the expense of others as I have done in the forum. I guess that is the natural inclination. But I think the right strategy is to speak simply and not to make an effort to impress. I guess this is the normal challenge in trying to adapt. Most of the people freely express their opinions and I guess I try to analyze and make a smart answer or analysis. I guess I should stick to the expressing one’s experiences. The forum is a good exercise for me to express myself better though as I said, I should restrain my tendency to grand stand and dominate.

There is a difference between speaking freely and trying to grand stand and I often mistake the two and tread into the wrong line. I realize that this is what is perhaps called emotional intelligence and I should increase this intelligence plus the ability to express this skill correctly. For instance, I should have made a public apology to the lady just to acknowledge my mistake and assuage her feelings. I guess these are the social graces that indicate one’s emotional intelligence. This can only be made known by expressing oneself correctly. Perhaps this is the facet that I need to develop instead of speaking skills because I wonder if I still need to attend Toastmaster when I now speak well but lack the ability to express my EQ.

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