(This is Part 6 in The Liberating Leader at Work series. Read Part 5 here.)
My son reports about a new hire at the place he works. They thought he’d be a good addition, but the early reports aren’t so sure.
The New Guy, The Know-It-All
The new guy has the right pedigree; he’s got the diploma and the other attendant skills which fill up the resume. But speaking of “fill up”, the report is that the new guy is “full up”–full of himself. And everyone else knows it, sees it, and talks about it behind his back. The guy is a know-it-all, and he’s undermining his influence without even knowing it. Let’s call him Joe. Apparently every time Joe is told anything his trigger response is “I know”.
So people talk about him tongue-in-cheek: “No problem. We have an expert around here who knows everything.” “That shouldn’t be difficult for Joe because he already knows.” He’s a caricature of insecurity.
Don’t Let Self-Sabotage Lead to Group Sabotage
In GiANT we talk about the CORE of each individual: Their IQ (Intelligence Quotient; competencies), their EQ (Emotional Quotient; ability to connect with others), and PQ (Personality Quotient; knowing themselves and their tendencies, or self-awareness). And here’s my observation. People around us rarely talk behind our backs for our lack of IQ, but they constantly do about our lack of EQ and PQ.
When it comes to IQ, if we need to learn a skill or other competency, others normally don’t have a problem showing us what to do. The fact that we need to learn something is at least an admission of humility.
But with EQ and PQ, if we resist humility we will pay a price. People will talk, and more than that our own self-sabotage will eventually lead to group sabotage. And any form of sabotage means that productivity suffers–often massively.
How to Get Fired
Think about it. We don’t like working with others who are know-it-alls, can’t laugh at themselves, are virulently self-protective, and who show no cracks in their armor. We avoid them whenever possible. And others don’t like working with us when we’re the same way.
The story is as old as the hills, and it repeats itself on a daily basis. People are hired for IQ, but they are fired (or demoted, or at least prevented from advancement) when they won’t grow in EQ and PQ.
How are you doing? I can help you win. Next time: growing in our Emotional Quotient…our ability to connect.