It’s the new skill set of choice for corporate leadership. But is this just the rebranding of something else less socially acceptable? Is there a better choice?
Psychological Manipulation Anyone?
In our list of “spiritual axioms,” we have one that applies here, the duck principle. If it walks like a duck and has webbed feet like a duck and quacks like a duck— it’s a duck by any other name.
You rename or rebrand things to disguise them and make them marketable. Changing the name of things doesn’t change what they are. It masks it so that you can sell something that would otherwise be inappropriate.
The same thing applies here—spoiler alert. Emotional Intelligence Tactics (EI) are the result of a rebranding effort. The use of manipulation techniques is something our society finds unacceptable. So, let’s review the details of EI and see what it’s all about. We’ll also provide a better way, something known as self-awareness practices.
Psychological Manipulation in Relationships
Psychological techniques which deceive and control have long been discouraged by our society. Even if these tactics are effective, their effects on other people are harmful. Being deceptive is a sign of an unhealthy personality. Their use creates a slippery slope. The more you learn to deceive, the more you will use them, which leads to other destructive behaviors.
Psychological manipulation (PM) or Cognitive Deception Tactics are a set of deceptive social influencing skills. These tactics fall into three areas.
- First, they learn to mask their emotions while projected a false “emotional effect.”
- Second, they enhance observational and perceptive abilities.
- Third, they use these deceptive skills to persuade others. These tactics are manipulative and socially unacceptable.
One example of psychological manipulations is the con man. Short for confidence artist. The individual learns to conceal their outward Emotional Affect (1) while muting their moral compass to deceive others. The con man develops skills to gain others’ confidence to manipulate them.
Most people have a moral compass that rejects these types of practices. But, those who are sociopathic or narcissistic can override these moral objections. These tactics enable someone to exploit human psychological, emotional, and financial needs. It often results in decision-making based on greed. Often con artists work in teams to leverage their deception.
Another example is the professional card shark. Card sharks practice concealing their actual “emotional affect” while at the same time projecting a range of others. One accomplishes this kind of emotional smokescreen through various verbal and non-verbal tactics. The tactics that cardsharks and con artists employ are proven psychological manipulation (PM) skills.
Again, this tactic requires one to conceal their feelings and intent while manipulating others in making decisions. People adept at this can fool lie detector tests (2) that measure EGK and other physiological measures. People who train to mask their emotional affect also hide their physiology.
We want to make sure you do not confuse EI with the natural ability of an Empath. An empath is a person with a sensitivity to others’ emotions. This sensitivity to energy is a function of expanded awareness. It is not a psychological technique.
Emotional Intelligence Tactics
So, it’s evident at this point, the goals of psychological manipulation and EI are similar, if not identical. But, we need to understand the skills behind these goals. First, let’s how EI and other similar techniques are measured.
Now let’s look a little closer at EI. It starts with masking one’s own outward “affect” while deciphers others’ subtle non-verbal cues. Then, use this information to influence others’ thoughts, decisions, and behaviors.
Rebranding Psychological Manipulation
The marketers of IE need to associate their tactics with something positive. So, you would not openly describe your tactics as anti-social, narcissistic manipulation tactics. Instead, you associate them with socially acceptable terms close to Intelligence Quotient. Thus, you end up with a more holistic name like “emotional intelligence” (EI). And, this is how unacceptable social tactics become acceptable and marketable.
Rebranding these tactics makes these tactics sound positive. None of the tactics have changed. They give the skills a new name to fit into corporate jargon rather than abnormal psychological traits.
There are several names for EI, including Emotional leadership (EL), Emotional Quotient (EQ), and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ).
Measuring EI and Other Similar Sounding Tools
Intelligent Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) (3) is very different from EI or Emotional Quotient. Although they sound similar, they assess two completely separate things. The psychologist William Stern (4) is the first to use the abbreviation “IQ.”
The standardized IQ test measures learning capacity; this includes short-term memory measurements, analytical thinking, mathematical ability, and spatial recognition. Yes, your IQ can change over time but not substantially. The older you are, the more stable your test score will be. The most volatility in IQ scores is in childhood, mostly in adolescence.
We see how the Intelligent Quotient differs from the rebranded Emotional Intelligence. IQ measures the capacity to learn. EI is about regulating your feelings while deciphering others’ subtle emotional cues.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
The standard for measuring mental health is The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory< (MMPI) (5). The MMPI is a standardized psychometric test of adult personality and psychopathology. Psychopathology (6) is the identification and study of various mental disorders.
As such, some versions of the MMPI can be a valuable tool to identify an individual’s psychological manipulation (PM) tactics. As we’ll see in a moment, EI tactics are the same tactics associated with PM. There are ways to measure EI. For example, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT.) These types of tests measure the ability to perceive, use, understand, and regulate emotions.
People with narcissistic and anti-social disorders can quickly master these psychological manipulation tactics. Manipulating people comes naturally. However, if you don’t come by these tactics naturally, now you can learn them. These skillsets are necessities for grifters and corporate executives. If nothing else, some companies teach them to their leadership to guard against being manipulated by others.
One this is for sure, in today’s corporate marketplace ranking high on the EI scale will enable you to rise through the corporate ranks. These anti-social skills are now the measure of the top-ranking executives.
Rebranding Emotional Intelligence Tactics
The corporate training for EI involves tactics in five major categories. These include Managing Self-Perception, Managing Self-Expression, Interpersonal Skills, Decision Making, and Stress Management.
All of these tactics correspond directly with behaviors associated with psychological manipulation (PM). These are the trademarks of narcissistic and anti-social behaviors. Now, let’s look at how the specific tactics and the new name making them more socially acceptable. We’ll describe the PM tactic and then the new name rebranded name for EI.
- The first PM tactic is learning to project confidence and dominate. They use this when This is a tactic even when the facts don’t support your position. It requires the ability to ignore others’ facts and reactions, mute empathy, and decisions’ social impact becomes Bolstering Self-Confidence in EI.
- The next PM tactic is compartmentalizing feelings and learning to ignore individual and social concerns. This one becomes Prioritizing Shareholder Value in EI.
- A fundamental PM goal is to value profit above individual or social concerns. This tactic becomes Prioritizing Bottom Line Results in EI.
- PM’s core skill set is learning to ignore your emotions; they relabel it “Controlling Outward Emotional Affect” in EI.
- PM learns how to disengage from emotions. That way, they don’t have empathy for individual or social concerns. The new name for this Tactics to Increase Assertiveness and Independence in EI.
- PM’s core skill set is monitoring and masking verbal and non-verbal communications. This tactic becomes Controlling Outward Emotional Affect in EI.
- Con artists and cardsharks enhance their observational skills to recognize the non-verbal cues of others. This way, they can identify hot buttons, fears, “tells,” and the concerns of others. They use this information to gain the upper hand and decide “the mark.” This vital skill set becomes Learning to Observe and Identify the Emotional State and Needs Of Others becomes in EI.
- PM’s common grifter technique is manipulating with bartering or collateral, which becomes “Cultivating Effective Work Relationships” in EI.
- PM commonly uses coercion and deception to manipulate others. Deceptive manipulation tactics become Effective Problem Solving Tactics EI.
- They discount and reject empathy for others and the environment. Its new name is Impulse Control in EI.
- Disengaging from personal and social and the impact of your actions is a PM requirement. It becomes Flexibility – adapting to change effectively in EI.
- Numbing the conscience is necessary to take advantage of people and the environment. But ignoring our conscience means we live in a state of cognitive dissonance. They must learn to communicate misleading information to manipulate others without feeling guilty. The tactics to achieve this become Managing Work-life Balance in EI.
- Disengaging from the emotional impact on individual, society, and environment becomes Stress tolerance – successfully coping with stressful situations in EI.
- Finally, masking emotional “affect” becomes Maintaining Optimistic – having a positive outlook in EI.
Summary of Emotional Intelligence Tactics
What is essential is to look at the skill set, not the fancy rebranding name. Rebranding unhealthy behaviors and tactics do not make them healthy or socially acceptable. Learning these tactics is a slippery slope because they are harmful manipulation skills. If you acquire them, they will shape your paradigm and personality traits. These tactics become a part of your normal behavior. Once learned, they become a part of how you interact with everyone.
Unintended Consequences of teaching EI tactics
Learning tactics that are “inherently disingenuous” will lead to other unhealthy thinking and behaviors. They divert us from positive values. Once learned, they tend to become a part of your learned behavior. These harmful tactics become a part of your psychic structure. You will practice them in all social settings, personal and business alike, without thinking about it. It’s the slippery slope leading to narcissistic and anti-social thinking and actions. It has a detrimental impact on health and well-being and all relationships.
Why has something so inherently destructive been rebranded for corporate consumption? That is simply because these techniques work in the short term. People who manipulate others achieve the goals they set out to accomplish. Profit becomes the bottom line over the cost to the individual and humanity.
As a result, companies must also then emphasize training in Ethics. That’s because when you teach people to manipulate others to meet company objectives, they will also use these same skills to achieve their desires. For instance, EI training makes sexual predators more skillful at hiding their actions. It helps those who coerce or threaten others be more proficient at covering their tracks.
How Self-Awareness Differs from EI
Many people think there is a better way. Instead of learning tactics to mask our feelings and manipulate others, use the same effort to practice things that positively impact ourselves and others. Practicing EI tactics makes us less aware of our impact on ourselves, others, and the planet. EI gives a short-term gain at everyone’s expense, which is why enhancing our awareness is a much better choice.
Self-Awareness Practices, a Better Way
It’s the capacity to see the big picture. It’s the ability to recognize oneself as part of a larger whole. It is our awareness that links us all together. It helps us comprehend our humanity and our need to care for others and the planet. Furthermore, awareness is the gateway to the virtues of the spirit. It’s what gives us empathy and motivation to act from an internal sense of right action. Some say this is where the concept of Oneness originates.
Increasing our awareness gives us a perspective to understand our decisions’ long-term implications. So, rather than enhancing and encouraging narcissistic, anti-social tactics, you can learn to get in touch with the higher virtues of our spirit. This way, you become more self-aware. There are many types of healthy self-awareness practices that you can tailor to fit everyone.
Instead of learning to mask your emotions and conceal your behaviors’ impact, you can learn to embrace them. You can learn to enhance awareness. It helps you see the implications of decisions that affect people and the planet.
Instead of learning to ignore your feelings and mask your Emotional Affect to influence others, you become more genuine. You find out how to express empathy and emotions positively. You learn to accept and work with others with different points of view.
Learning and integrating self-awareness practices into your daily routine is not hard. That’s because they are suitable for you and everyone in your circle of influence. Mindfulness Meditation is an excellent way to move toward this healthier mindset. Another way is walking mindfulness, which is called “Forest Bathing.” Additionally, there are better alternatives to cope with stress and increase your overall health and wellness. Moving toward a greater awareness of ourselves enables us to make decisions based on individual and social concerns rather than sacrificing them for corporate profit.
We hope this article shows why self-awareness practices are a better choice. It helps us make decisions that consider other people and the environment rather than corporate profit. It also makes us healthier in the process.
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(1) Emotional Affect, Wikipedia
(2) Lie Detector Test, Wikipedia
(3) Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Wikipedia
(4) William Stern, Wikipedia
(5) Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Wikipedia
(6) Psychopathology, Wikipedia
(7) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia