An extra-terrestrial (ET) from outer-space is alien to the human race and our culture and norms.
You wouldn't expect an ET--despite maybe their great technology that gets them here--to understand us Earthlings and treat us properly.
They may try and capture us and even harvest our vital resources (and organs), but no, they probably wouldn't be overly concerned with with how they act or treat us.
Hence, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is what differentiates us from ETs.
With EI we manage both our ourselves and our relationships--like (proper) human beings.
EI is made up of personal competencies and social competencies.
In terms of personal competencies--we need to be self-aware and manage ourselves with authenticity and self control--and not act like a bunch of unseemly aliens.
From a social competency perspective--we must extend ourselves to become socially aware and manage our relationships tactfully--so we don't go chasing and laser-beaming others.
There are a number of important social skills for us Earthlings to master if we want to live nicely with others:
- Listening--that's why G-d gave people 2 ears and 1 month (of course, aliens have the opposite--2 mouths and 1 ear).
- Feeling--showing empathy for our fellow human beings--understanding their interests, concerns, and perspectives (like no alien can).
- Giving--being selfless, giving, and nurturing to others personally and having a service-orientation to our customers.
- Teaming--developing and maintaining a breadth of interpersonal relationships and sharing and collaborating with them (this will help you fight off the invading ETs when they arrive).
- Managing conflict--deescalating issues and negotiating with others to reach agreements and resolutions (if only we could negotiate with the aliens not to eat us).
- Visioning--coming up with and championing a forward-thinking and compelling strategy.
- Managing change--influencing and leading others to adopt new ideas and change the status quo (we need to change, learn, grow, and improve--because it's a big intergalactic world out there).
These are a lot of critical and challenging skills to master and no one is perfect at all of them.
But as imperfect as we are, it is our trust and test in life to be more than warring Earthlings fighting each other over continuously scarce resources, but instead to become social creatures as well--where we lean to gracefully manage ourselves and our relationships.
Unlike ETs, we human beings are in so many ways--with EI--better than that! ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)