Lets be honest. Creativity can be a cranky, moody, tempestuous individual at times. Never satisfied. Always looking for the different angle, always searching for something new, quick to judge and often speaks before applying a social filter.

Conversely, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can be a stable, happy, and diplomatic person who does their work, doesn’t rock the boat and follows the company line. They are a jolly bunch even when things aren’t going so well. EQs are admired by workmates because of their serenity and ability to remain cool under pressure. They are the perfect employee…

Or so we thought.

Based on the above description, Creativity and EQ are never going to consummate a harmonious relationship because by and large they are polar opposites. Unfortunately though, enterprises want EQs to keep the company moving but they need Creativity if the company is going to change and adapt.

One cannot exist without the other. If there are two major strengths that organisations need right now in this disruptive workplace environment, it is the EQs who can steer the ship and Creativities that can suggest new routes to traverse in the hope of finding that new pot of gold.

So while we need EQs, espousing traits like:

  • Reliability and dependability
  • Great levels of organizational citizenship
  • Trustworthiness and ethical behaviour.
  • Ability to work autonomously
  • Management potential

These EQs will also potentially present with traits like:

  • Lower levels of creativity and innovation potential
  • Difficulty giving and receiving negative feedback
  • Reluctance to ruffle people’s feathers
  • A well-developed ability to manipulate others
  • An aversion to risk

It is suggested that the weight placed on the importance of high EQs in organisations has been too much of late. Whilst high EQ will provide personnel who are well-adjusted, who will always do right by the company, they will largely only follow. They will be good managers and will ensure that the organisation meets goals and targets. Like everything though, high EQ must be tempered with Creativity and risk. Moderation of the two poles will present an organisation with the best of both worlds.

The skill is in finding the right balance. Those high in EQ will be frustrated by the creatives and the inverse will also be true. This is where the skill of a true leader comes into play. Not only must organisations employ those who are strong in either traits, but leaders must be able to identify these traits not only in the personnel but in themselves as well. This will enable leaders to decipher the working relationships of the people involved and guide them appropriately for the betterment of the company, but most importantly for the betterment of individuals and the teams in which they work.

It’s a tough gig, but these strange bedfellows will ultimately attract if faced the right way and shown the synergy that their attraction can provide to the workplace and workplace relations as a whole.

We will always need great followers and good managers, coupled with visionary leaders and change agents especially if they are all one and the same person!

This post was inspired by the following:

The downsides of being very emotionally intelligent

Shane Mallory

Shane is a performer, emcee, host, communicator, creative, mentor and innovative theatre director. He lives in Ipswich, Queensland with his wife Natalie, who are almost 'empty nesters' providing a home for their two daughters' dog and two cats.


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