'There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.' – Eric Jensen
Let's slay the elephant in the room for blog 60. You cannot be an effective problem solver without strong EQ.
The problem solving myth
We have allowed this myth to go on for too long - let's put it to bed once and for all.
The myth is that problems are solved through high IQ people working alone in isolation to solve an academically phrased problem. This idea does not hold true even in cryptocurrency or AI. For the most mathematically advanced technologies in this world, it is not the most elegant solutions that win.
The best problem solvers i) understand the problem and people they are helping ii) persuade others with their views, iii) are a part of cohesive teams, iv) influence decisions around them, v) frame positively the opportunities to keep their motivation high, vi) respond well to changing environments and vii) make their solutions look attractive to others i.e. sell their ideas.
In other words, the piece of paper produced is not a solution it is an idea. It will not be implemented unless combined with high EQ people/systems. If you want to solve problems, work on your EQ!
Elon Musk (by many considered an example of a super-brain) might not have had the best EV solution, but he marketed incredibly well. He has consistently maintained a high profile and he is trusted by, and has strong relationships with his investos.
8 ways EQ can help problem-solvers
The Singh EQ 2x2 matrix
From my research, I have tried to distill much of what we have covered over the last couple of weeks into a framework:
- Awareness is your ability to understand the feelings of yourself and others
- Control is your ability to control your own feelings and influence those of others
The 4 quadrants are:
Child-like: Unaware of nor can control the emotional temperature
Wooden: Cannot find the emotional temperature but can remain calm
Sensitive: Feels and reacts to the emotional temperature
Wise owl: Feels and responds to the emotional temperature
Note the difference between 'reacting' (involuntary) and 'responding' (voluntary). The best problem solvers will want to sit at the top right but typically more analytical people naturally sit more to the top left.
How is this relevant to decision-making? Here are three take-aways before we pick it up next week:
1) The best solutions do not necessarily win. Problem solving is not like passing an exam. Complex problems require you to work with people to fully understand the issues and influence those around you.
2) EQ can help problem solvers create 'movements' that gets their solution implemented.
3) Whereas problem solvers are typically analytical and have high emotional control, a large dose of emotional awareness might help them go from purely ideas people to effective problem solvers.
Thank you for joining. Next week - 'EQ for leadership'. The week after - 'EQ a wrap'.
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Other blogs in the emotional intelligence series