Have you heard of the latest buzzword, ‘Emotional Intelligence’? I hadn’t either till I saw marketers using it all over Twitter last week.
What is ’emotional intelligence’? Or rather, what other idea or thing has been co-opted by this buzzword? As soon as I heard the term, my first thought was ‘Wait, they mean empathy, right?’
So I looked up the buzzword ’emotional intelligence’. Google tells me it means: “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
Now apparently, this buzzword has been around for at least a decade or so, but it seems marketers are now discovering it and it is the latest ‘it’ concept that companies, and the agencies that consult them, are rushing to. Marketers do this every year or two, they rush to the latest buzzword/concept in an effort to better connect with clients and position themselves. I get why it happens, I just get irritated that we sell buzzwords over concepts. Years ago it was ‘social business’ then it was ‘digital transformation’, now it is ’emotional intelligence’. I even got some industry peers upset with me years ago when I said they needed to stop marketing the buzzword ‘social business’ and actually start educating companies on what they think the concept is, and how it would impact a business.
As we did with ‘social business’ and ‘digital transformation’, we will now start to see a landrush of consultants branding themselves as offering to teach your company how to leverage ’emotional intelligence’ into all facets of your organization. And we will no doubt begin to have many executives that will start to see all these articles about the importance of ’emotional intelligence’ popping up and think they are missing the boat if they don’t get them some of that ’emotional intelligence’!
Look, I get it. It’s a tough world out there for consultants, agencies, and the executives they want to work with. Those of us on the services side need every advantage to stand out and get noticed. It’s not enough to just be talented, I know that better than anyone (#humblebrag #buzzwordbingo). And for executives and even mid-level managers, you don’t want to miss the next wave. You see your peers suddenly talking about a buzzword like ‘digital transformation’ or ’emotional intelligence’ and you think ‘Is this something I need to know about?’
It’s not about the hype, it’s about the solution.
Seriously, if you were a VP of Marketing, which sounds more interesting to you?
A – “I’m going to show you how to improve your marketing efforts with #emotionalintelligence
B – “I’m going to show you how to improve your marketing efforts by better understanding your customers.”
I’ve been blogging for 15 years. I think I can safely say that I can count on one hand the number of posts I have written about ‘social business’, ‘digital transformation’ and ’emotional intelligence’. Because I think discussing concepts and solutions has more value than discussing buzzwords.
Hype or solutions. Which is more important to you?