What is it that everybody knows about you, but you?
This past week we held our all staff retreat and we were treated to a seminar on the subject of Emotional Intelligence by our very own Kevin Sieling. Most of us understand the concept of our IQ’s, but not so many our EQ’s. Our IQ is the measure of our intellectual capacity. Our EQ represents our Emotional Quotient, which is a measurement of how much awareness and control we possess in dealing with our emotions. It is our ability to correctly perceive what exactly is happening around us, and to respond appropriately. People with high EQ’s tend to respond well to people and make proper assessments and adjustments when needed.
All of us have both of these intelligences in some measure. It’s been said that our IQ will help us to get a job, but it’s our EQ that will keep us employed. Our EQ guides us and informs us when we need to make adjustments to the way we are being or behaving.
Most people agree that whatever our IQ is, it just is. We aren’t going to increase it much, no matter how hard we try. Our EQ, however, is not set; it can grow or diminish. We can actually learn how to have greater amounts of emotional awareness. And this is great news.
Over the years, I have observed one area that most accurately reveals a person’s EQ. It’s in how they handle this one thing that provides a true glimpse of what’s going on “behind the scenes” in their minds. What’s this activity? Ready? It’s simply in the way they receive feedback. Yep. That’s where you’ll see a person’s EQ fully on display. It’s the true reveal.
Let me explain why this is. In Proverbs 9:8-9 we read these words,
“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”
Dr. Henry Cloud explains the difference between a wise person and foolish person in this manner. A wise person “leans into” corrective feedback. A foolish person “leans away”. A wise person opens themselves up to instruction; and a fool thinks he has nothing to learn. A wise person is drawn to the light that feedback can bring; a fool is repelled by the light, denying there is even a problem to discuss.
Here’s the kicker: the more you want to disagree with a qualified person’s feedback, the less EQ you most likely possess. Why? If you had a high EQ, you would most likely already be aware of the issue being discussed and you wouldn’t have a tendency to deny it. You would acknowledge it’s a problem and simply seek help in knowing how to grow beyond this limitation. This is why I always tell people the more you don’t “see it” the more likely it’s something you need to become aware of. Of course there are always situations where you are not being given honest, or kind, or helpful feedback, and you are probably not wrong for holding your ground. I’ve just noticed this injustice seems to happen far more frequently to those who struggle with their EQ.
The bottom line is this. We are all works in progress. All of us have people God has placed in our lives to help us become better people and develop characteristics similar to Christ’s. They love us and they sincerely desire to help us grow. They don’t want to see us fail, and, unlike many others who call themselves “friends,” but would never tell us the truth, they will risk “telling it like it is”, even if it causes them a great deal of personal discomfort. They love us too much to stay silent.
But the question is, “How will we respond?” Will we cross our arms and deny there is any validity and tune out their input? Or will we open ourselves up and actually lean in and learn something? Our EQ will determine the answer to this question.
Why do people with high EQ’s do better in life, in their jobs, and in their relationships? Because they have a habit of leaning in and learning! They get better with instruction.
So what is it that everybody knows about you, but you? My guess is if you lean into the honest words of those who are sincerely trying to help you, you will discover whatever it is. And, along the way, you will increase your EQ and become a better person for having been told what you never knew about yourself.