Emotional Intelligence | Stevehein.com


I used to work in marketing and I am used to pretending. That is not human. You have to care about people.

Usually the companies want an improvement on the company, but I don't think that is the main goal. Yet if you improve the people the company improves, too.

I met a very interesting guy on a plane in Peru in April 2005. He was a consultant for a firm with an office in Monterrey, Mexico. Something Consulting Group, I don't remember the exact name now. The headquarters are in England. His name was Pablo. He was consulting at a mining country about four hours from Arequipa. He was in his mid to late twenties.

Here are some of the notes I took while he talked. He said I could publish them, but he said he was only speaking for himself, not the consulting firm. I am not sure if I still have his business card anywhere in Peru, but I know I don't have it here in Argentina. Since I don't want to forget to publish something later, I will post this much now. There was so much truth in what he said and he said it so simply. He spoke fluent Spanish and English. Here are some of my notes, cleaned up a bit.

S. Hein
March 3, 2006
Salta, Argentina

On the plane I met a business consultant from Mexico. Like me, he has an MBA degree. Here is some of our convo:


What advice do you give to managers about listening?.


I tell them you have to listen to be a good listener. And I tell them to shut up. Callate.

They get surprised bc they are always expecting a more complex answer. They just stare at me and say 'what'?

I tell them everybody has something to say. Everyone has a story and that people have more interests than just work... families, friends, sports.


Do they sometimes argue with you?


Sometimes, but the most common thing is the older people think they know everything or they say they do things that they don't do. They say "Oh yeah, I listen to people. I talk to them."

But when they learn to start showing interest in people as people I get great feedback from them. One guy told me "I've been working with this guy for 25 years and I didn't know he likes the same soccer team as me, and I have never met his family."

Then I ask them if them if they think it is possible for someone to follow a leader if the leader doesn't care about the person.

I once read an article... it sounded kind of weird, and I don't realy believe it but they took a two bowls of water and put seeds in them. Then .people cursed at one of the bowls.

(Unfortunately I didn't catch all of what he said next. But I wrote down the number 98. I think the idea was that 98 percent of the seeds in the bowl being cursed at died. )



Do the managers sometimes really appreciate what you try to teach them?


Yes, sometimes.


What do they say, for example?


It is kind of a process. They start asking what can I do here, what can I do there.

The best sign of appreciation is when I get a contract for two months and they want me to stay six months.

But besides that the most important thing is building bonds. The bonds last longer than the contract. They go way beyond that. You get a sense you are planting little seeds in the people - not the company, but the people.

Usually the companies want an improvement on the company, but I don't think that is the main goal. Yet if you improve the people the company improves, too.


More things Pablo said:

I consider myself rational and think there is a logical explanion for everything, but with human science 1 and 1 is not always 2. Science can give you a guide but you can't measure humans like that.

The worst mistake is people forget the sense of surprising themselves every day, like kids do. We forget about being curious

We build our own comfortable world where we stop trying new things. People get scared to try new things.

People forget to surprise themselves and be amazed one more time.

If people didn't forget about that part of human nature they would look at themselves in a whole different way.

I ask the people I work with each day which sock they put on each day in the morning. Most people don't remember. And they are surprised when I asked them that. And I tell them they have been doing that all these years.

I dare them to try to do it differently.

Especially here in Latin America people do things just because they always have.

And they say "We should do this, we should do that", but they do nothing.

They talk about how bad the government is but they don't do anything to change it.

No one has the balls. Too many people have opinions but do nothing.

It doesn't matter how much you know, if you know how to do it, or if you want to do it, but what matters if you do it.



People have two things: satisfactors, motivators

s - salary, good place to work - they make you satisfied but they don't make you better at it.

m - self-realization, accomplishment, respect, empowerment, affiliation, respect.


I sometimes equate respect with being heard.


There must be a personality bond.


I used to work in marketing and I am used to pretending. That is not human. You have to care about people.

To sell something:

1 You have to believe in it

2. You have to want to do it

3. You have to have the knowledge

4. It has to agree with your values

Then you will have your best sales team.


When I asked: Did you learn these things in your business classes or in your consulting company? He said: Neither. You just learn it on your own. Street smarts.