In a revelation that could garner a fair share of bad press for the smash-hit ‘Spectre’, the latest instalment of the Bond franchise, James Bond is probably not an ideal candidate to join the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).
The matter came up, as MI6 has launched a recruitment drive “hoping to attract spies who are sensitive and understand the human nature of this work.” An intelligence source was quoted by Buzzfeed, “James Bond would probably not be successful in joining SIS, if he were to apply. The service he represents is not the modern reality. Teamwork is central to SIS’ ability to deliver intelligence, and heroes working alone rarely achieve much. Furthermore, having a high degree of emotional intelligence is every bit as important to SIS as educational attainment. They want people with a real passion for human interaction, understanding others and dealing with the sometimes complex nature of human relationships.”
The issue brings to fore an issue, which isn’t talked about as much as it should be. An ideal employee in today’s world, in addition to having the transferable technical skills required for a role, must also have soft skills like Emotional Intelligence (EI), team spirit and must understand the importance and concept of communication in all its forms. Employers today take in candidates with sound emotional intelligence when hiring. Emotional Intelligence helps one connect and communicate with colleagues beyond superficially and goes a long way in fostering a sense of unity in the team. These skills help us establish strong and networked multi-cultural relationships, which extend outside office cubicles, departments and even organisations.
The emotional intelligence of a person is relayed through body language as well as verbal and written communication. An emotionally intelligent person is able to pick up emotions beyond the surface and successfully use that awareness to help establish more stable professional relationships, which is what forms the basis of today’s new age ideal employee. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence and success have a much stable and stronger relationship than skills (or experience) and success. Similarly, studies have shown that people would rather do business with someone they trust, and connect with emotionally, than someone they don’t, even if that person is offering a better product at a lower price.
Emotional intelligence is something that can be built and honed over time. Simple gestures like consciously engaging with others, reading between the lines, noticing others’ body language and reacting accordingly, using validating language instead of critiquing, and keeping judgements at bay, one can actually realise the difference it makes to be emotionally aware in a workplace. The fact of matter is, we pick up one most of these frequently, but choose to ignore them. The bottom-line is, you need to behave with your colleagues the way you expect them to behave with you. Additionally, like any other field, being aware of how, when and what you are communicating with the people around you means half the battle is won already. With a lot of sustained effort and practice, one can use the art to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups, to really catapult one’s career, networks, professional relationships, and also contribute constructively to the work place setting.
So maybe Mr. Bond does need a lesson or two on EI, if he wants to retain his 007 status!