These days everyone is talking about artificial intelligence, or the ability of machines to improve upon the human capacity to understand and process signals of one form or another. It is great and useful stuff.
Butthere is another form of intelligence, the stealthier great-grandparent of artificial intelligence, whose absence will doom any collaborative effort: emotional Intelligence. Having previously navigated the dark underbelly of emotionally unintelligent organizations, I am amazed to ponder the consistency of human shortcomings displayed in these settings.
Do some organizations receive a memorandum from the government containing behavioral mandates? This is a memorandum I would prefer not to receive, as I suspect it would read like this:
Whatever you do, be nasty about it. Blame others for your life’s frustrations as if you are the target of a conspiracy hatched by jealous, short-sighted strangers. Be the person who whispers rumors and escalates negativity. Scrounge for credit and devote your energy to posturing and politics.
Divide and conquer are the tastiest beverages in your personal refrigerator -- drink them often. If someone is down, start kicking. If someone is perceived as powerful, kiss the ring, because stroking egos surpasses being smart and strong.
Please mistake kindness for weakness — being feared beats being respected. Keep the focus on you and start every sentence with “I.”
Obviously, anyone who disagrees with you is uninformed and should be ostracized, passive-aggressively if possible. Remember that breathlessly broadcasting your perfection is the recipe for building lasting relationships. If a project is failing, it’s more important to distance yourself from its inevitable doom than to labor to cure its shortcomings. If you see a “win” in progress, re-emerge on the scene with fanfare to remind people that you were its architect. Pivot and swiftly reinvent yourself if that changes.
Listen to a proposed plan of action, decline to comment or suggest alternatives, and then when the lights are off and the pressure gone, criticize the plan relentlessly. If possible, replicate this online under an assumed name.
Remember that you are the smartest person in the room. Interrupt. Say one thing; do another. If it’s not your job, don’t do it. Expect others to do your dirty work and then self-rationalize that this makes sense for all. Life is long, there is ample time to be angry about petty slights.
Thank yous are implied and need not be vocalized. Focus on the lush, weedless green grass on the other side of the fence. Be grouchy because other people need you as their additional problem. Care about uninformed opinions. Convey absolute certainty about everything -- despite the fact that we all live on a rock spinning around a fireball, yet none of us is too dizzy or too hot.