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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

"Emotional Intelligence" and Social Situations

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, no doubt you’ve heard of rap singer Kanye West’s MTV snafu.

To make a long story short, he interrupted Taylor Swift amidst her “magical moment” in an award acceptance. Essentially he was trying to give Beyonce recognition for her amazing work in this ill-planned action.
Truth be told, like Kanye, I dig Beyonce’s music, and like many other fans, have found myself chanting her lyrics or imitating her sexy dance moves.

But he really was in poor form, and later, did the right thing by extending his apologies via various media outlets.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that based upon his million dollar career and marketing savvy, he’s a smart dude. No doubt about it.

But this just serves to show that “intellect” doesn’t always translate into social savvy and proper discernment.

Here’s another case in point:

In my “former life” I worked for a successful woman who regularly ridiculed her staff in open settings with biting and belittling remarks. Though she was bright in cultivating an impressive client base she was clueless when it came to dealing with those of us she considered “children of a lesser God.” J

Her “social retardation” led to frequent turn-over, low staff morale, and detriment to her business and her bottom line.

And on a more familiar note… who could forget the mishaps of Don Imus and Michael Richards in their “straight from the hip” public remarks that caused devastation to their careers?

Are you feeling me on this?

In relationships, whether personal or professional emotional intelligence can break or make you.  Think of it as “political correctness” for matters of the heart.

Dictionary.com defines Emotional Intelligence as “Intelligence regarding the emotions, especially in the ability to monitor one’s own or other’s emotions.”

With this in mind, here are 8 signs of emotionally intelligent individuals, (in my humble opinion). J  For future references I will use the abbreviation E.I. for emotionally intelligent. 

How do you rate?

  1. E.I. people consider the impact of their actions upon others and the potential long term consequences.

  2. E.I. folks pay attention to body language and non verbal clues in assessing social and professional situations.

  3. E.I. people realize that “freedom of speech” is not absolute, nor should it give one carte blanche privileges in saying inappropriate things.

  4. E.I. people think before they speak---they are not bold and brazen unless the situation dictates it. They recognize that words have weight and act accordingly.

  5. E.I. people don’t take big stands on small issues. They choose their battles wisely.

  6. E.I. people don’t condescend to others whom they believe are not on their “level”.

  7. E.I. show empathy for others, and try not to judge without all the facts.

  8. E.I. people give other folks benefit of the doubt for their perceived transgressions.

Here are a few things E.I. don’t do:

  • E.I. people don’t sever relationships via the Email.

  • E.I. people don’t discard the input and opinion of others. They recognize that in this arena called life, we all have the capacity to be teachers.

  • E.I. don’t judge others by their color of skin or religion---and accordingly they don’t make off colored, hurtful remarks.

  • E.I. people know how to confront others without being confrontational.

Armed with this information, you will be able to win friends and influence people in your future personal and professional affairs!

For more information on this topic, consult the book EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman available at Amazon.com or leading book store outlets.


Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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