emotional intelligenceOnce upon a time there was a farmer who was looking for a good farm manager. The 1st applicant came and presented his impressive credentials. Right away the farmer asked what he would do if there happened to be a pebble in his shoe. The 1st applicant said he wouldn’t bother with it and just get on with the job then proceeded to impress the farmer with his extensive knowledge of hydroponics.

The farmer met the 2nd applicant, who was a young guy with a fancy management degree. Asked the same question about the pebble, the 2nd applicant thought a bit and said he could endure the minor predicament. Then he and the farmer chatted about the future of bio-fuel farming until the cows came home.

Undecided, the farmer went on to pose the same question to the 3rd applicant, who didn’t get a degree from one of those fancy business schools but certainly had spent a lot of time working on farms and getting along with country folk in between school terms. Being a practical fellow, the 3rd applicant grinned: “I wouldn’t be comfortable on the job with a pebble in my shoe. Why I’d remove it right away!”  – “You’re hired,” said the farmer.

The farmer’s story illustrates the importance of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, according to David Wechsler is “the aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment.”