April 2015


A key EQ skill is flexibility - the willingness to stay open-minded and agility to move in a direction that is different than originally planned. So the readiness to change your mind is a true test of EQ vs Ego. Those with higher EQ do not lock into one approach or point of view and are not offended by alternative opinions that threaten their ego.




All the best,


I Know Best . . . REALLY?


Ego says: "I always know the best way; I've been doing this a long time."


EQ says"I have a lot of experience but I should still run this by others who think differently to get other perspectives."  


Consider this scenario: There are two managers of a Customer Service Center, Tom who manages the service technicians and Katherine who manages the customer service representatives (CSR's).


Tom's leadership style is commanding and authoritative so he often appears closed-minded (as exhibited by his refusal to discuss or accept ideas from anyone). 


Katherine practices a collaborative approach to management which invites her team to openly discuss issues and agree upon balanced and innovate solutions. This approach encourages employee engagement.


Take advantage of the talent on your team - be the beneficiary of their experience.  Use another EQ skill - self-control - to pause before making a decision to consider who else should weigh in.   

There's Strength in 

Asking for Help

Ego says: "I will look weak if I ask for help or input from others."


EQ says"I can avoid making bad decisions or being surprised by consequences if I consider all angles of the problem." 


Continuation of our scenario with Tom and Katherine:  They meet weekly to coordinate the operations of the call center. 


Prior to meeting with Tom, Katherine meets with her staff to gather ideas and suggestions from them realizing that these are the people on the front line who have a solid understanding of current customer needs and where improvements can be made.


Tom rarely meets with his staff. He works from an ego-intrinsic thought process that results in single-minded solutions to problems. If Tom would move toward a more EQ mode of management - by simply asking for input - he could obtain valuable insight from his staff which could result in more efficient and safe work processes and cost savings to the company.


Just like problems come in many forms - resolutions can also be varied. Looking at issues through the eyes of others can bring you to more multifaceted and dynamic resolutions.

Challenging Others Makes Me Look Stronger

Ego says: "Chronically challenging the opinions of others that I do not agree with makes me look stronger and tests the validity of their argument."


EQ says"When I chronically challenge people I don't agree with, I risk shutting down good ideas before I even hear them."

Back to Tom and Katherine: This week's meeting dealt primarily with a proposal to provide service calls after 5pm.


Katherine presented her analysis on the proposal including the input from her CSR's who had been taking a number of calls from customers requesting service after 5pm.


These service calls are done at a premium cost to customers and are currently handled by service techs putting in overtime hours.


By hiring a service tech to handle an evening shift thus eliminating costly overtime, the company could realize savings as well as gain a more satisfied customer base by eliminating the premium fee currently charged for "after-hours service."


Tom adamantly refused to consider Katherine's proposal after berating her for even suggesting this idea. He said, "I speak for my service techs when I say this will never work, our method of handling these calls is how we've always done it and we're not going to change." 


In addition to the unintended effect of silencing the free flow of ideas, a leader who continually challenges others eventually risks losing credibility and being seen as a bully.


What do you do as a leader that demonstrates openness to change?

  • Do you formulate decisions based not only on your thoughts and experiences but also on the ideas and opinions of others? 
  • Do you view asking for help as a strength or a weakness? 
  • Do you only welcome ideas from others who you know will mostly agree with you?
  • Is your reaction to others a chronic challenge that results in their withdrawal and ultimately their silence?



"Just like problems come in many forms - resolutions can also be varied. Looking at issues through the eyes of others can bring you to more multifaceted and dynamic resolutions."

Welcome New Subscribers!


Penumbra Group Inc.
3 Executive Park Dr
Bedford, New Hampshire 03110