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Frankie Nevin

Professor McLoone

Composition 1

1 May 2018

Emotional Intelligence: The Pros of Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in the Evolving

Workplace

A successful company is one that is able to create and innovate creating for the

long term. One thing that these successful companies have in common is consistent

implementation of creative and innovative ideas. This risk-taking environment idea is

where employees are given the opportunity to not just win but also to fail is what creates

important new ideas. In the modern workplace, a successful company must have more

than standard intelligence that crunches numbers or delivers a slightly updated model

each year. For a company to thrive, nurturing and encouraging the growth of emotional

intelligence is the key to a productive and successful work environment.

Emotional intelligence, often referred to as EQ, is the ability to think divergently

-- to see different paths that solve problems in ore creative ways. As put by Robert

Sternberg in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers it is “the particular skill that allows you to talk

your way out of a murder rap, or convince your professor to move you from the morning

to the afternoon section.” Sternberg continues by noting that emotional intelligence

includes things like "knowing what to say to whom, knowing when to say it, and

knowing how to say it for maximum effect." Though it is useful to utilize these skills it is

still necessary to be traditionally intelligent. In the article Why Do Smart People Fail the

author provides an example of what happens when someone has traditional intelligence
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but no emotional intelligence. The authors, Victoria James and Connie LaMotta, focus on

John who was a brilliant database manager who could fix any technical problem. After a

couple of years of notable success, John was promoted and he continued to impress his

superiors with his technical prowess. When the vice president of information technology

left in the middle of a major database system upgrade, management was seeking to fill

the position and John was the obvious choice. That story might be seem like one you

have heard over and over again - John worked hard and was promoted to his level of

ability. But what management missed in choosing John was that while he was technically

proficient, his emotional intelligence was lacking. For example, John only communicated

through short and to the point emails. He even berated and put down employees and

coworkers who did not measure up to his level of technical intelligence. What’s

important to understand from this example is that a story like John’s is not unusual, but

common in the business world. Many people with high IQ’s are found to have low EQ’s.

To move forward in business while neglecting creativity in the workplace is a

risky strategy. In fact, the need to be creative might seem obvious, but while being

creative demands risk-taking, not being creative is even more risky. To produce

something new requires innovation. It could be almost detrimental to a company’s future

to not think creatively to develop new products. According to Stanley S. Gryskiewicz,

many leaders of big companies use words such as “innovation” and “creativity” which

might keep the status quo changing but keeps the company energized and moving

forward. John Sealy, the director of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for Xerox a

company known for its ability to utilize creativity in the workplace, points out that “the

way forward is paradoxically not to look ahead, but to look around,” which I find a very
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compelling statement (Gryskiewicz, “Cashing In on Creativy”). What he means is that by

just using traditional knowledge you are actively not cultivating the creative skills of your

staff and potentially missing opportunities to innovate. More importantly, companies can

fail by desperately seeking what they think is the future when creative ideas are all

around them if they only look and if they fill the workplace with employees with a high

EQ. In today's world, it is not good enough to just be technically smart. Successful

employees need to be able to create new things that do not just push us forward but shake

up what we already have.

How many children are born with exceptional intelligence but because the talents

went uncultivated they go to waste? That is the question Nancy Andreason asks in her

article In search of creativity: in an excerpt from The Creating Brain, a leading

neuroscientist explores the role of nature and nurture in the evolution of extraordinary

creativity. Andreason wonders “how many geniuses had been born--had been given the

creative nature--but were unable to realize their gifts for lack of nurture.” Cultivating the

plethora of divergence in our younger generations has untapped potential. The idea of not

wasting the creative nature of people can be used in regards to the workplace.

Andreason’s mission to cultivate the creative nature of children could inspire the leaders

in workplaces to utilize the creative talent they have in their offices. I think that Carlan

Flora puts it best when she says that "everyday, we use language to speak sentences that

have never been spoken before. We express thoughts that have never been expressed.”

She claims that creativity can be found in the way we form sentences not just what we

can create with our hands. She also points out that innovation is great but innovation
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means nothing if it doesn't lead to solving a problem. Flora encourages the use of a team

effort so that each team member may be able to build off the other’s weakness.

One thing found in many successful companies is their use of innovation and

creative thinking. Something that proves the success of a company is its longevity. Steve

Herman gives a perfect example of that in his article Creativity and innovation:

innovation means looking at the world in different ways. Herman talks about how Henry

Ford revolutionized the mass production of cars by developing the assembly line. Ford

has been quoted saying that if he just listened to what buyers were saying he would have

just invented a better horse. Ford’s technical innovation reduced the price of the

automobile to put it within the reach of the common man. But there was just one catch --

the vehicle had to be black. What was the result of this lack of creativity? At one point

Ford Motor controlled 60 percent of auto sales nationally but was dethroned when

General Motors started selling cars with color options. If Henry Ford thought people

would want different colored cars they might have been able to stay on top but one little

thing such as paint color let Ford Motors share of the national car market slide to a

measly 20 percent. With the example of Henry Ford we can see that innovation was key

to their initial success but a lack of consistent, creative thinking was disastrous for sales.

Today, just imagine if Apple were still selling the first iPhone and only in white, and you

get the picture.

No longer are we faced with the traditional nine to five job where you sit at your

desk all day and people just tune in for the paycheck. Unlike the generations before us,

workers seek more than just a paycheck from a job as they have watched the generations

before them settle just so they would have an income. According to Mariah DeLeon,
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investing in emotional intelligence has “brought [her] company more engaged,

committed employees, and [will] continue to put a premium on this effort moving

forward.” By incorporating emotional intelligence, the workplace can be a place for

creativity and innovation to grow to create a stronger company. DeLeon also credits self-

awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and people skills as the tools for

cultivating a creative and innovative working environment.

The workplace is no longer just a place you can just sit back, keep building the

same widget over and over, and collect a paycheck. Being able to innovate and be

creative are crucial factors leading to success in any industry. You can have as many

degrees and on-paper qualifications as you want but without emotional intelligence, long

term success will elude you. Likewise, companies that are successful over the long term

offer employees an environment where their creativity and emotional intelligence can

thrive.
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Works Cited

Andreasen, Nancy. “In Search of Creativity: in an Excerpt from The Creating Brain, a Leading

Neuroscientist Explores the Role of Nature and Nurture in the Evolution of Extraordinary

Creativity.” Saturday Evening Post, 2006, p. 14. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A154908319/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid

=ITOF&xid=6239b661. Accessed 4 May 2018.

DeLeon, Mariah. “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence at Work.” Entrepreneur, 8 May

2015, www.entrepreneur.com/article/245755.

Flora, Carlin. “Everyday Creativity: We All Marvel at Other People's Artistic Achievements

and Ingenuity. But Most of Us Fail to Nurture Our Inner Innovator. Start Living

Creatively, and Reap the Benefits--Including Fewer Relationship Headaches and More

Fulfilling Workdays.” Psychology Today, 2009, p. 62. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A210724538/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid

=ITOF&xid=0247178a. Accessed 4 May 2018.

Grund, John M. “The Thinking Race: Oregon's Economic Future Depends on How Well

Business Manages for Innovation and Creativity.” Oregon Business, Dec. 1996, p.

54. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A19045611/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid=

ITOF&xid=1e160e35. Accessed 4 May 2018.

Gryskiewicz, Stanley S. “Cashing In On Creativity At Work.” Psychology Today, Sept. 2000, p.

62. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A66380420/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid=

ITOF&xid=b6f6735f. Accessed 4 May 2018.


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Herman, Steve. “Creativity and Innovation: Innovation Means Looking at the World in

Different Ways.” Global Cosmetic Industry, Sept. 2009, p. 51. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A221022577/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid

=ITOF&xid=b2bd9102. Accessed 4 May 2018.

Perez-Franco, Roberto. “The Real Keys to Innovation: Knowledge and Creativity.” Logistics

Management [Highlands Ranch, Co.], Dec. 2017, p. 12. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A521590902/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid

=ITOF&xid=97f438f2. Accessed 4 May 2018.

Sternberg, Robert J. “Testing for Better and Worse: Our Testing Culture May Be Making Us

Smarter but at the Expense of the Wisdom and Creativity We'll Need to Flourish in Our

World.” Phi Delta Kappan, Dec. 2016, p. 66. General OneFile,

link.galegroup.com.lcc.idm.oclc.org/apps/doc/A477340486/ITOF?u=lom_lansingcc&sid

=ITOF&xid=89ca44f0. Accessed 4 May 2018.

“The Trouble With Geniuses Part 2.” Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, Penguin, 2009, pp. 91–

115.

Weiss, W.H. “Demonstrating Creativity and Innovation.” American Salesman, Feb. 2002, p.

6. General OneFile,

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ITOF&xid=05e167c4. Accessed 4 May 2018.

“Why Do Smart People Fail?” Direct, 1 July 2002. General OneFile,

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ITOF&xid=0a5ae705. Accessed 4 May 2018.