Relationship Intelligence by Jim Cathcart

by Jim Cathcart

Relationship Intelligence…is something that is sorely needed in this world. Here is the premise: Intelligence takes many forms. We’ve all been familiar with Intelligence Quotient, IQ, and in recent years such concepts as Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence have been popularized by Daniel Goleman among others.

We’ve stopped asking the dysfunctional question “How Smart Are You?” and begun to ask the more useful question, “How Are You Smart?” There are multiple “smarts” as Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg and Thomas Armstrong have shown us in their books: Frames of Mind, The Triarchic Mindand Seven Kinds of Smart, plus their subsequent works. We now accept such concepts as: Intellectual Bandwidth, Physical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, and more.

I’ve found, in my work with over 3,000 audiences over the past 40 years of teaching, consulting and lecturing, that there is also such a thing as “Relationship Intelligence®”. This is the capacity for understanding and operating successfully within the context of a multitude of human relationships. Individuals with a high Relationship Intelligence (RI) have much greater success in all types of dealings because they see beyond the momentary human interactions to the desired outcomes of the relationships. This is not just “people skills”, it is understanding human interaction within the context of continuing communication and commerce.

It is, as I say in my works on Relationship Selling, seeing Relationships as ASSETS and managing them accordingly.

The business community has come to embrace this concept more and more each year. One tool that has helped in this respect is CRM software. Customer Relationship Management systems have become so commonplace that an entire subculture has grown up around them. They now have international conventions strictly for the exploration of concepts and practices that establish, expand and sustain relationships over time.

What used to be simply a Rolodex of information, or a “data base” has now become a complex system among systems for keeping people connected. We’ve advanced into understanding and anticipating people’s needs and interests so that it is today virtually a science.

Here is The RI Formula (c): Relationship Intelligence equals Awareness Factor times Communication Skill over Desired Outcome.

RI = AF x CS / DO

The “Awareness Factor” consists of reading people and reading situations, in other words: Emotional Awareness and Context Awareness plus Self Awareness.

AF = EA + CA + SA

“Communication Skill” as used here consists of self presentation (self expression) and adaptability quotient. Adaptability Quotient measures one’s capacity for adapting to differences in people and changes in circumstances. CS = SP + AQ.
All of this is meaningless until you factor in the Desired Outcome.

A relationship with no desired outcome is not a relationship at all. It is simply a momentary exchange between people. Add a desired outcome; such as a business agreement and suddenly the expectations and requirements on both parties reach a much higher level.

For example: when two people make eye contact in a hotel lobby (in the USA) it is natural for them to smile, say “hello” or acknowledge each other in some way. That is not a relationship. Assuming they ride together on the elevator and exchange comments on the weather, they are still simply in “transaction mode” re: each other. But let’s assume that they soon discover that they are both headed for a boardroom wherein they will be introduced to each other and engaged in a discussion of a new business agreement, then a relationship develops.

Once they make this discovery their dialogue will take on a new dimension. They will become significantly more interested in each other. They will listen more carefully, interact more intentionally and take the entire experience more seriously. This is because they are now “invested” in the relationship. Meaning, if it goes well they stand to gain something and if not they stand to lose something.

In a business scenario this usually revolves around money and in a social scenario it revolves around feelings.

The more Relationship Intelligent each party is the more likely the relationships will be successful. If one is Emotionally Aware, meaning they understand feelings and the factors that affect feelings, then they’ll tend to be more sensitive to others and better at tact, diplomacy, persuasion, etc.

If they are Context Aware then they will understand that the situation is part of the relationship. Dealing with a CEO is not the same as dealing with a receptionist. Dealing with an urgent situation is not the same as dealing with a routine one. And so on.
To be Self Aware means to know how you come across to others and to understand what is going on within oneself. If you don’t know you, then chances are that you don’t understand others very well either. It is vital to “know thyself” as Socrates told us. This leads to self acceptance and self improvement.

Assuming a high Awareness Factor, the next category is Communication Skill. Just knowing is not enough, people must also be able to USE their knowledge to achieve an outcome. Communication Skill is Self Presentation, the ability to effectively express one’s ideas and listen well to responses, plus Adaptability Quotient. AQ is the combination of knowing how to communicate differently with different people and knowing how to adapt to changing situations. One might be great at getting along with people of all types but unable to cope with change and consequently they’d be handicapped in that relationship. Likewise the reverse, we can be good at adapting to change but inflexible in dealing with people and encounter many obstacles to success.

All of these are learn-able skills. You can learn to notice more and thereby increase your awareness. You can learn to listen well and communicate clearly. You can learn to read people and know how to customize your responses to the way each person would best receive your communication. Also you can learn to cope with and adapt to change.

What Relationship Intelligence does, is, for the first time, it puts all of these elements into context. It shows how they interact and combine in ways that will achieve the Desired Outcome.

The organizing factor here is the Desired Outcome. One simple way to make your relationships more productive today is simply to restate and agree upon the Desired Outcome at the beginning of each dealing. Just say, “To put today’s discussion in context let’s review what we are hoping to achieve through our dealings.” Then as each person states and clarifies their hopes and goals, you increase the focus and eliminate much of the irrelevant discussion.

Extraordinary Lifestyle Entrepreneur Challenge (7 of 8)

Running out of time to do what you want to do? Feeling close to burning out? Want to learn how to grow your business while maintaining a healthy work/life balance? Watch this video to learn the secret strategies of the super efficient, effective and massively successful lifestyle entrepreneurs.

Want to join the remaining sessions of the challenge? Click here!

Extraordinary Lifestyle Entrepreneur Challenge (8 of 8)

Jim Cathcart, a best-selling author and one of the top award winning motivational speakers in the U.S., and David Bush, Extraordinary Results Coach, share simple tips to help you take your life and your business to an extraordinary level of success and significance.

In this video you will...

- Learn the secret to overcoming complacency
- Discover Self-motivation tactics to get and stay motivated to work outside your comfort zone
- Uncover why you may be doing less and working more
- Understand how to overcome the mental barriers you've created to succeed at the highest level

Want to join the remaining sessions of the challenge? Click here!

Extraordinary Lifestyle Entrepreneur Challenge (5 of 8)

In week 5 of our Extraordinary Lifestyle Entrepreneur Challenge we discussed strategies of Self-Motivation and how to create the success and life your want to create. Learn how to go beyond desire and dreams to get into action!

Want to join the remaining sessions of the challenge? Click here!


Are You Emotionally Mature?

Written by Jim Cathcart,

As you grow older your physical maturity becomes obvious. Men develop a beard. Women take on interesting new shapes. People get taller and their voices change. But what about emotional maturity?

It turns out that emotional maturity is even more obvious! A lack of it is evident in behaviors like: whining, blaming, rage and denial. People lacking this type of maturity are “high maintenance” in the worst way. They demand extra attention, recognition, consideration and privileges that they haven’t yet earned. They throw tantrums, yes even the adults, and they carry grudges. They have difficulty forgiving. Some say, “I can forgive but I won’t forget!” (If you don’t forget then you haven’t forgiven either.) Small setbacks or difficulties throw them off track and they exclaim, “That’s not fair!”

Their problem is not the world around them; it is the world within them. They live in fear, indignation and dependency. Their prevailing attitude is that someone else should solve their problems or provide their desired outcomes. Who knows the source of their entitlement mentality, maybe they are carrying old hurts unresolved into each new experience or maybe they simply never learned how to solve their own problems and deal with disappointment.

I say it’s time that we make emotional maturity an important goal of our society. Let’s measure it on school report cards, in employee reviews and as we chart our own development. At work and especially at home we need to sustain a culture in which all the rewards go to those who learn to become self-reliant. Treat it as you do when encouraging a baby to take its first steps. “Yay! You did it. Now try it again.” Let’s celebrate the ability to deal with problems in positive ways. Let’s make heroes of the people who can keep their cool under pressure, remain calm while others panic, and think when others only feel. Give me James Bond over The Incredible Hulk any day.

It is only those who have become self-reliant that are able to reach out and help others. The dependent people take from the world while the self-reliant give to it. When’s the last time you saw a destitute person hold a charity event? How many immature people step up in an emergency to make things better? If you can’t take care of yourself then how will you be able to help anyone else? By the way if you can’t lead you, please don’t try to lead me.

“The Greatest Generation,” who fought in World War II, often had to continue to work long after they were tired, and learn to create makeshift tools, repair everything, perform first aid, fight against overwhelming odds, endure ongoing pain, deal with terrifying fear, yet still “get the job done.” When they became parents many of them said, “My kids aren’t going to have it as hard as I did.” And so we didn’t. We were given much more freedom of expression and much less day-to-day responsibility than our parents had. Therefore many of us became emotionally weak. The 1960s bear abundant evidence of our immaturity.

Thankfully most of us got over it and grew up. But there were plenty of hold-outs. And succeeding generations have had ever-increasing percentages of entitlement junkies and emotionally immature people. You can measure the number of emotionally immature by tracking the metrics of entitlement programs like welfare, food stamps, public housing occupancy, and other handouts. These were meant to be “a hand up” to lift people back to self-sufficiency. Instead they have become “hand-out” programs where dependents continually line up with their hands out. You can also measure the number of laws designed to protect “the weak”. More ‘fairness’ laws = more weak people.

In a society where there is a high level of emotional maturity there isn’t much need for laws to assure “social justice” or “civil liberties” or to create “a level playing field.” With emotional maturity everyone is equal in opportunity but still different in personal ability. Of course, we should provide access for disabled people and services for the severely disadvantaged. But we should not be applying different rules that alter the “game.” That’s like giving short, light weight people the opportunity to play in the National Football League against opponents who weigh 250lbs and stand 6 ft 5in. They’d be crushed. It’s not fair to them and it alters the game for everyone else. There is always some field for which a person is not suited.

There are two important measures: The number of people receiving entitlements and the number of laws on the books to protect “the weak.” Our goal should be to reduce the numbers in both of those measures year by year. We should measure and publicize this like advertisers do for the National Debt.

When people aren’t required to produce good results then they become emotionally weak. If we reward or accept “effort” instead of “outcomes” then people learn to measure and value themselves by whether they tried, not whether they succeeded. At work they give up early. “Hey boss, I tried. It just didn’t work.” At home they find excuses for their lack of performance. “It was raining” or “I didn’t know where the tools were” or “I’m not good at that. You should do it.”

Several years ago I went to a basketball game in which my 9-year-old grandson was playing. At half time he exclaimed, “We are ahead by two points!” His teacher said, “We don’t keep score. It’s good that everyone just enjoys the game.” I thought, “What! It’s only about process (playing) and not about outcome (the score)? How do you learn anything from that?” The kids were keeping score even though the well-intentioned adults discouraged it. A score is a factual reality; one side always has more than the other. It’s natural to have a score in a game and for some people to win and others to lose. We don’t need to protect the losers, we need to encourage and train them!

If a person is shielded from the disappointment of losing then they will never develop the emotional maturity to deal with failure, difficulties and frustration. I cannot do your exercises for you in order to make you strong. If you are protected from hardships then you become a “hot house flower” that cannot withstand changes in the weather. Therefore you can never venture out from your protected environment.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Thank God you have problems! The only people without problems are in the grave. If you don’t have problems you should ask God to give you some. That’s how you grow.” He’s right. Emotional strength can only be developed through dealing with resistance. We need to encounter difficult and scary people in order to learn how to deal with them. We need rejection, criticism, unfair treatment, accidents, set backs, disappointment and failure. If we don’t get it then we don’t develop the thinking, the skills and the emotional endurance to overcome them.

A dear friend of mine loves cardistry, the artful juggling of playing cards. He carries a deck of cards with him everywhere and is constantly trying new techniques. He fails more often than he succeeds and yet each time I see him he has mastered a new technique. He once told me that he enjoys the practice almost as much as the performance. That’s the attitude all of us need. Let’s learn to value the difficulties as training toward our goals.

Nobody else is to blame and nobody else should solve your problems. Many people would consider that statement outrageous. They’d say, “Of course others are sometimes to blame and should solve our problems. Otherwise that’s unfair.” You see, “Fairness” is the problem. This is a great concept but not a reality. Life isn’t fair. The world, nature, etc. are not fair. Fairness is a human concept that people try to impose onto the world, but it doesn’t stick. People are created equal in the eyes of God but not equal in nature. Some are tall, some are gifted, some are intelligent, and some are weird. So societies are formed to help meet everyone’s needs. We agree to rules that allow us to get along and we create solutions and resources that can be shared in commerce for everyone’s advancement. But it can never be “fair” for everyone and that’s OK.

I accept my age, size, intellectual ability, appearance and current circumstances. But I continue to learn to do things that diminish my disadvantages and exploit my best qualities. I cannot change who I am but I can improve who I am! So can you.

Join me in the quest to evolve our culture so that emotional maturity is achieved by everyone. Let’s measure it, publicize it, celebrate it and collaborate to increase it on every front. And wherever we fail, let’s learn to get over it.