Experience and knowledge quickly lose their relevance and success in the workplace. Harvard economist David Deming studied occupational skills from 1980 to the present and found that those emphasizing social skills grew by 24% larger, while jobs requiring technical knowledge and expertise found little growth. Deming also found that wages have significantly increased jobs that place more emphasis on social skills.
With the increasing emphasis on social skills, those who have it stand out like a zebra in the horse industry. We all know the types: the one who will not stop talking when you try to meet the deadline, the one who unanimously takes credit for your ideas, or the one who brutally leaves you to drag everything to make amends. The list goes on.
There are a lot of smart people out there who can’t stop shooting themselves in the foot. Sadly, their ignorance and social skills are a serious threat to their careers.
Social skills and self-awareness are issues of emotional intelligence (EQ), and a TalentSmart study with more than a million people has shown that emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of work performance. Those without emotional intelligence are in serious danger.
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to convert is possible”
- John Wooden
There are certain types of people whose lack of emotional intelligence has damaged their jobs more than others. By reading them, you can avoid being one of them, and, if your reading experience matches my writing experience, you will see them in some of your profiles. Use that knowledge to build your self-esteem, make changes, and grow as a person.
- The coward. Fear is an extremely strong motivation. That is why presidential candidates are telling people that their rival will “destroy the economy” and advertisements warn that “smoking kills.” At work, people succumb to fear and turn to irrational and harmful behavior. Cowardly colleagues are quick to blame others and hide important flaws, and they fail to stand up for what is right.
- The dryer. In the series J. Harry Potter’s K. Rowling, Dementors are evil creatures that suck human souls out of their bodies, leaving them just human shells. Whenever the Dementor enters the room, it gets dark and cold and people start remembering their worst memories. Rowling said he had developed a concept for Dementors based on the wrong people – the kind of people who have the ability to enter a room and quickly drink life in it. Dementors suck life out of the room by putting indifference and hopelessness on everyone they meet. Their ideas keep the glass empty, and they can instill fear and anxiety even in the most dangerous situations.
- Presumptuous. Haughty people waste your time because they see everything you do as a personal challenge. Haughtiness is a false confidence, and it always hides great security. A study by the University of Akron found that arrogance is associated with the killing of problems in the workplace. Arrogant people tend to be low-key and less argumentative and have more understanding problems than the average person.
- Group expert. The thinkers of the group chose the path of little opposition and became famous for spreading the idea that “this is the way we have always done it”. If you find yourself getting distracted by what everyone else believes, be careful; the current situation has never led to greatness.
- Modified. Short transitioners are quick to blame their imperfections for lack of opportunities. While a lucky break can put a bit of air into the success of a successful sailor, they get to where they are with hard work. What short-term changers do not realize is that their attitudes change, not their circumstances.
- Meekness. Some people have no control over their emotions. They will scold you and express their feelings to you, always thinking that you are the cause of their illness. Mild-tempered people do bad things because their emotions get the better of them and their lack of self-control reflects their relationship. Beware of aggressive people; when Push comes to shove they will use it as their emotional toilet.
- The victim. Victims are hard to spot because at first you feel sorry for them. However, as time goes on, you begin to see that their “time of need” is always there. Victims actively remove any human responsibility by turning every speed bump they encounter into an unbreakable mountain. They do not see difficult times as opportunities to learn and grow from; instead, they see them as outsiders.
- They are not easily deceived. You can’t help but feel sorry for the kind that is easily deceived. They are the only ones who find themselves guarding the boss’s kids in the morning after a night’s work … Sunday! For whatever reason, easily deceived people (usually newbies) go with the flow until the gentle river becomes a rough sea. It’s okay to negotiate your salary, it’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to ask how things are done. You will gain a lot of respect if you stand up for yourself when the time is right.
- Apologist. Of all the people out there who owe an apology, there is one who often apologizes. People who lack self-confidence often apologize for their opinions and actions. They are afraid of failure and believe that an apology will serve as a safety net. Instead, apologetic apologies downgrade their opinions and make them less likely to stick with them. It is important that your tone of voice and body sense reflects the importance of your ideas. Putting an idea or opinion as a question is as bad as apologizing. If you really believe there is something to be shared, own it and share it with confidence.
Bringing It All Together
None of these behaviors are the death penalty for work because they can be eliminated through improved emotional intelligence. What you need is a little self-awareness and a strong desire to change.
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