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The five tenets of EQ - emotional intelligence  

2014-03-13 14:53:32|  分类: The Truths |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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        At around 4 pm Feb 5, 2014, a sixty-plus Chinese man came to my shop, picked up a few pieces of gem stones, took a good look and put them down. His expression indicated to me, he was not keen to buy any one of them. I walked over to him and said, "These are the remaining stocks, each costs about two hundreds Ringgit."

He did not respond. Understanding that he is not interested in these gems, I walked back to stand behind the counter and watched his actions, patiently. I thought to myself, "Is there a message[[2]] that he wants to convey to me?"

He hesitated a moment, then walked right into my shop and stood in front of the counter. He raised his head slightly and turned towards his right where several big pieces of jadeite Buddha and Guanyin statues were displayed. Without turning his head over to look at me, face-to-face, he said, "I am a Buddhist. I do not believe there is God."

In my heart, I could feel that he is trying to tell me he is high and mighty, while his tone expressed an air of snobbishness. Defying etiquette, he dared to make such a brash declaration right in front of me. To him, I am a complete stranger. There is absolutely no necessity to say something like this to me. I thought to myself, “This guy must have the backing of somebody high up the hierarchy. And I can tell … he has an intention to taunt a challenge.”

I am, always calm at heart. I ignored his sneering challenge. I said, “Let me tell you something about my youngest daughter. Last July, she graduated from Fudan University, Shanghai. She studied law. Early September, on the night before she reports to work for the first time in her life, she asked me, ‘Dad. Before I embark on my career journey, please give me a word of advice.’

Without second thought, I replied, ‘You should take my best buddy-partner, Bhat, as an idol. From the first day of the year to the 364th day, you just focus on your job and get things done. On the 365th day of the year, you make an assessment of your job performance and decide whether the company's year-end bonus that you received commensurate with your work performance.'

She nodded her head, indicating she had understood my message.”

He interrupted and said, "I agree with the way you teach your daughter. There is nothing wrong with it. However, I strongly, do not agree with you. It is a wrong approach!"

Softly, I asked, "What? It jangled with stark contradictions."

He explained, "The approach in which you taught your daughter will only make her sink to the bottom-tier of the social hierarchy. My three sons are at the top of the social pyramid."

I immediately said, “Congratulations! You should be a proud father.”

He beamed a broad smile, smirked with self-gratification.

I whispered softly, "My daughter's IQ is 160. I do not think she is, any less promising! Here I am, teaching her the most fundamental element of EQ, or emotional intelligence. If, she were to make an assessment on every task assigned to her, such as, how difficult it is, whether it consumes lot of time and/or effort, short deadline, or why other colleagues are slacking while she is often laid with task after task endlessly, she is the main culprit, the root cause of her own downfall, through self-demoralization. Will she succeed, one day? "

I looked at him, straight into his eyes, waiting for an answer. I saw his inner self was besieged with a tough struggle, as if someone is wrestling with his soul, real hard. Suddenly, he broke out and said with a raised voice, “This was how I taught my sons, 'To get what you want you must be ruthlessly heartless. Be it, cheating, bullying, intimidating, tormenting, oppressing, terrorizing, distorting the truth, misleading, stealing, looting or robbing,  if necessary, you must execute it with nothing left to chance – everything must be clinical[[3]]. Your eyes must be set firmly at your goals. Here, you are teaching your daughter …"

I saw the corner of his mouth quivering, as if he was still grasping for his very best to control an imminent out-break of his uptight emotions that is almost bursting from the seam of his heart. 

I was caught by a big surprised!

He was singing unashamed, lofty praises of Lee Kuan Yew, the tyrannical leader whom I bashed repeatedly, right in front of all 98 members of the Parliament of Singapore. I said to myself, "Hey! Here is a die-hard fan of Lee Kuan Yew."

I took a quick, second close look at him. He was still struggling hard to control his unsettling emotions. Perhaps, the way I placed primary importance to the cultivation of one’s EQ had painted his approach was totally flawed, and mindlessly lacking in EQ.

I recalled these were the exact words I told my daughter.

I said, “Pushing your IQ alone to its limits only makes you an efficient executor, but heartless. IQ without EQ does not make you a complete person. This is why I am emphasizing the importance of EQ.

YinLin, this is a great case study in Chinese history. After founding the Han dynasty, Liu Bang made an assessment why he emerged victory against Xiang Yu, a much more formidable and fearsome foe. He said, ‘得人者,得天下;失人者,失天下 (pronounced as de ren zhe, de tian xia; shi ren zhe, shi tian xia) meaning, he who wins the people over shall take the empire; he who loses people, shall lose the empire.

However, I do not think what he said was absolutely correct. It should be ‘得人心者,得天下;失人心者,失天下 (pronounced as de ren xing zhe, de tian xia; shi ren xing zhe, shi tian xia) meaning, he who wins the heart of the people shall take the empire; he who loses the heart of the people, shall lose the empire.

It is EQ that helps you to win over the hearts of all the people who are working with you, or against you.”

I took great pity on him. I swallowed those above words that are in italics.

Instead, I switched the expression of my eyes to meek and then, compassionately, I gently asked, “In the early twentieth century, there was an incredible Chinese writer, Lu Xun. Do you know who he is?”

He replied immediately, “Yes, I do.”

Immediately, I sensed from his reply that his distressing emotion has calm down a lot and it has willingly switched on to a listening mood. I continued, “He wrote about the ills of a society. He wrote the ills of the Chinese society. For example, in his masterpiece, “The true story of Ah Q”, the theme of this book is a classic, Chinese idiom. Do you know which idiom is that?"

He asked earnestly, “Which idiom is that?”

Resolutely, I replied, “自欺欺人 (pronounced as zi qi qi ren). It means, first cheat your own self, after that go on to bully others.”

He was totally stunned. From his bewildered expression, I knew I had driven a pike right into his heart.

I continued, “All his life, Lee Kuan Yew has been zi qi qi ren. I don’t find it a surprise at all, his cronies teach their children in exactly the way you have described to me, just now.”

Again, I conscientiously read his emotions, though his chest was still ballooning ups and downs like a toad, after a while, he slowly drooped his head in disbelief and murmured, "Yes. That’s absolutely right. zi qi qi ren."

From the pocket of my trousers, I pulled out my passport and lightly flagged it in front of him. I said, “I am a Singaporean. What about you?”

He nodded his head.

I said, "Two days ago, a Chinese man who migrated to Australia three decades ago, came here. He said, “I graduated from Han Jiang High School, Penang. This is my first trip back to Malaysia.’ Since he was not interested in buying, without much ado, he brazenly said to me, 'The Chinese language is the most highly developed language in the world. It does not even need to import any words from the other languages.’

I asked, ‘What does 逻辑 (pronounced as luo ji) or logics means? What about 罗曼蒂克 (pronounced as luo man di ke) or romantic means to you?’ He immediately bowed down his head. His flagrant behavior a while ago, was immediately gone.

I added, 'This could be an overt strength, explicit among the Chinese people, but it is also their most fatal weakness.'

Do you agree with me?"

He replied, “I agree with him. Chinese is the most erudite language. What is its weakness?”

I said, "You and I are Singaporeans. In Singapore, almost half a million people who came from China are now Singapore permanent residents. Among them, many are holders of doctorate degree. Let’s us focus our discussion on these Chinese PR’s[[4]].”

He replied, “Okay.”

I asked, “Do you know the meaning of the Chinese idiom, 骄兵必败 (pronounced as Jiao bing bi bai), don’t you?”

He replied affirmatively, “Yes. It means the self-conceited troops are destined to defeat.”

I asked, “Do you think these Chinese doctorate holders are extremely proud of themselves?”

He stared at me. He did not say a word. From his expression, he was puzzled and visibly confused.

Unhurriedly, I put my point across, "The abbreviation for a doctoral degree in the English language is PhD. To me, PhD means, Permanent head Damage. Do you find this phrase demeaning to someone who had put in much effort in a particular field of study? Perhaps, it is a great insult. However, I am resolutely firm in using this ingenious turn of phrase. "

Conversely, he hesitated.

I elaborated, "The Chinese people on the whole, exhibit three fatal weaknesses. First of all, they do not appreciate the talents of others. For example, one of my best-buddy is a professor in physics. Once, when I explained to him the fallacy behind the recent Quantitative Easing policy, QE1 and QE2, he replied, ‘though your explanation is very clear, yet, I find it 很玄 (pronounced as hen xuan), which means, smudged with mysticism. I do not understand at all.' Short of indicting him, I said, ‘When you do not understand a subject matter and yet, you immediately strike it out under the veil of the word, 很玄, you are deceiving yourself, ain’t you? "

He replied, “I agreed. Not appreciating other people's talent is a fatal weakness.”

I went on to explained, "This is the second weakness. Do not bow down in humility is the second weakness. During the late Qin dynasty, Zhang Liang humbled himself thrice to an old man, Huang Shigong, at an arched bridge before he was presented with a book on the art of war. With that, he went on to become the founder of the Han dynasty, Liu Bang’s most skillful and competent adviser. Together with Xiao He and Han Xin, they are the three founding fathers of the Han dynasty. However, ever since then, there isn’t a second humble Chinese person in the like of Zhang Liang. Can you identify one?”

He shook his head and murmured, “Humble! I have not heard of a humble Chinese, after Zhang Liang.”

I continued, “This is the third weakness, 不受教 (pronounced as bu shou jiao), which means, not teachable nor would he execute immediate corrective actions.”

He was caught by a little surprise! A moment later, he said, "The Chinese people learn very fast. Their learning ability is beyond questioned. And they are pretty agile too. Once they hit on a good idea, they act in concerted effort, swiftly."

I shook my head and expounded, “May I ask, ‘what do you mean by ‘earnest learning’? What do you mean by ‘had learned a lesson’?”

He looked at me with staggering eyes. Then he shook his head indicating, no.

I explained, “After having learned a lesson, he must execute the corrective action and preventive action plans, immediately.”

Again, his eyes stared at me, a little shocked and in a state of total loss of words.

Unhurriedly, I elaborated, “I am a management consultant. Let me use my 28 years of experiences to explain the truths behind these three attributes: appreciative of other people’s talent, humility and 受教 (pronounced as shou jiao).

Each time I took on an assignment, I did not spend a single minute talking to the CEO of the company. This is because in the first place, he did not appreciate the talent of his employees and have no respect for their individual talents, henceforth the employees felt that whatever they do, their effort is not going to be recognized by their boss. To make matter worse, most employees docilely considered themselves useless in the eyes of the boss who is always finding faults in them.

Throughout my distinguished career, I worked in a broad range of different industries ranging from wafer fabrication, the assembly of computer circuit boards or computer peripherals or auxiliary equipment, or steel smelting and its down-stream process right up to the construction of buildings and civil works, in full humility, I always admit on the technological front of each of these industries, I know nuts, meaning, I am willing to learn from their employees from scratch zero. Anyway, my mission is to improve the productivity by 30 per cent within a six-month consulting period. If, I do not appreciate every employee's talent, do you think I can succeed?”

He answered without second thought, "Let’s see who deserves the most credits. It is either you or them."

Straight-forwardly, I elaborated, "No! Every one of them is my benefactor. If they had not taken my suggestions and immediately executed the corrective actions and preventive actions, there is no merit to be shared. Credits must be given to all of them, and beyond all doubt, I make it a point to them, no credit is accredited to my name.”

He noted his head in concurrence. Perhaps, he had learned another lesson.

I continued, "Because I do not know what are the problems faced by each and every employee, serving with all humility in mind, I listened carefully to their complaints despite they are usually long-winded. At long last, I asked them for the solutions. It might be a big surprise to you, but certainly not me, in most of the cases, they already knew the root cause to their problems and they could even point out to me exactly which department is the source of their current predicament. Without much delay, I approached that department and steadfastly, get them to get to the bottom of the problem and eradicate the root cause of the problem.

I had never failed to apply all these three attributes: appreciative of other people’s talent, humility and 受教 (shou jiao). Each time, I would easily solve all their problems, which often were cross-departmental. Why?

Here is the answer. Within a company or just about any organization, the mother of all problems is people. 99% of the problems faced by them are man-made. The remaining 1% is technology.

Looking back to my distinguished career, appreciative of other people’s talent and humility is certainly not enough. The third attribute, 受教 (shou jiao) is most crucial.  The reason behind this is quite simple.

This is supposedly a truth. When an employee encounters a particular problem, and if the root cause of the problem can be resolved in his own department, he and his fellow colleagues would have long gotten rid of it. However, if the root cause of the problem arises out of another department, generally, he will report to his immediate supervisor, with an expectation that his supervisor would approach the other department and get rid of the persistent problem. However, time and again, his supervisor did not take action despite several reminders. Disappointed, they stopped bringing up the same issue and learned to live with it. Some employees feeling dejected with their supervisors’ repeated inaction, even though a fresh problem that they could not solved had arisen, they just do not bring it to the attention of their supervisors.

Wherever I walked, in the factory floors or offices, I see stark consequences of not taking immediate corrective actions and preventive actions. This is a harsh reality. Yet, most of the supervisors and managers simply failed their subordinates.  

All these years in consulting, I NEVER fail them, not even once. I always picked up the ball from them and ran to the other department and get its employees to make amendment to their current procedure, with an aim in solving the problems faced by the employees.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for most supervisors or bosses. They merely listened to their employees bringing up their problems as ‘passing the monkey back to the boss’. The gentle bosses may merely brush it aside quietly. The more abrasive bosses might insist their subordinates take on the responsibility to resolve their own problems. I often wondered if there is anyone, who would happily take on the monkey and work with the other department that is the root cause of the problems. In my consulting career, I found none.”

While I was explaining, I watched closely, his facial expressions. I noticed he was listening on all ears. I took a breather and looked straight into his eyes.

 He said murmured, "Appreciation, humility, take on the monkey and solve it. These are all too alien to me!"

I courteously asked, "Could these three attributes qualify as the fundamental elements of EQ?”

He did not answer.

I reiterated, “It was my soul that listened to their problems in full humility, appreciating each and every one of the employees for what they are good at (their own jobs), and when the need arises for me to take up the responsibility to implement the corrective actions and preventive actions, I charged ahead of all of them.

It was my soul that won over their heart. What do you think a person’s soul is?

It is the centre of command for one’s emotions!

Now, do you agree with me, all these while I have been sharing with you, the subject, EQ, or emotional intelligence, don’t you?”

Avoiding my question, he went on and asked, “What about, the fourth attribute?”

I shook my head in a little disbelief. Yes, he was still brash on his emotional side of it. However, he had subdued his arrogance and notwithstanding the fact that he was unabashed stranger who had taunted a challenge to me a short while ago, now in humility, he wanted to learn from me.

I went on to explain, "My second daughter is a business manager working in London. Two days ago, she asked me how to deal with disputes that had gone out of hand where both parties are shouting at each other. As a manager, I cannot steer clear, as if it is not a part of my responsibility in handling disputes.’

I enlightened to her, 'In a company, it is a place where people meet and work together to get things done. Quarreling, definitely, is not an acceptable behavior. Disgruntled customer shouting at your staff is another situation that is strictly not allowed. When you discovered one of your subordinates are in a heated argument or disputes with clients or staff from another department, your emotions begins to unsettle. It will continue rising if you were to find that the uncalled-for situation is escalating. If at this time you step in with an upset or ill at ease emotions right in you, it is likely you might drawn into the dispute. This is totally unsolicited. What you have to do first, is to say it to yourself, 'Forgive! I forgive them.' Because you had said ‘forgive them’, the swelling or surging emotions in you a split second ago had immediately died down. With a downright calmed down heart or emotion, you then walk over to resolve the dispute. Pick this up as a habit of saying, ‘Forgive’. It does miracle to the control of your emotions. This should be the first fundamental element EQ, or emotional intelligence, and definitely, is not the fourth in position. What do you think?"

I looked up at him. He was absolutely dumb-folded. A short while later, he whispered to himself, “All my life, I had never said it once, forgive. So does, Lee Kuan Yew."

I added, "There is an old Chinese saying: A major issue can be reduced to a minor issue, while a minor issue can be reduced to trivially insignificant. When an issue had blown up way out of proportion, none of the pretentious parties would ever want to be the first party to bow down and say, “Please forgive”.

On the other hand, when an issue is at its nascent state, it can be easily nipped at its bud, without bringing hurt or loss of pride to either party.  Both parties can sit down cordially to resolve all disputes, amicably. Why do I say so?

So long, one party had made the first move to ask for forgiveness, the other party would not want to be seen as the bullying party.  In this world, there is no budding issue that cannot be resolved amicably. On the other hand, once an issue has been blown-up, it has become a hot potato that nobody wants it to land on his plate."

He looked at his watch and abruptly said, “I am already late for the next meeting. For the first time in my life, I have learned with deep-felt understanding these five basics of EQ: namely; zi qi qi ren, appreciate the talent of others, humility, take immediate corrective actions and preventive actions, and forgive. I buy this bracelet to commensurate this mutual sharing session. I enjoyed it very much.”

       [1] This is a disclaimer. With these five tenets of EQ alone, I would never make it to be a highly accomplished person. Please read these two other books published under sections, "7 Deadly Management Behaviors" and "Buffer Mentality".   

[2] Since I am a recluse, I do not meet with other people. In addition, I hardly watch television or read any newspapers. In this way, I am cutting off news or in simple word, worldly affairs. If someone were to cross into my path, I am always on a look out what kind of message he or she is trying to convey to me.

[3] Clinical is a veil that cloaks a ruthless execution without feeling, coldly detached, or simply, actions that are totally devoid of kindness.

[4] In fact, people all around the world are the same. These three major fatal weaknesses commonly among mankind.

       [5] This article is translated from the original article  修心养性的五个基本心法
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