Those of you who have heard my story or read through my website are likely familiar with the origin of EQ Improved. I had a courageous manager who provided me with difficult feedback on a Friday afternoon in 2016. Meanwhile, it was my wife who helped me turn that challenging moment into something positive, which has led me to where I am today.

I will always be grateful to both of them for inspiring me to be better.

Which leads me to today’s topic: where would I be if that fateful day never happened?

Possibility #1 – I would have been fired

As I’m sure you can imagine, for a manager to tell you ‘You are not emotionally intelligent and we have a problem,’ you must have done something wrong. To put it mildly, I wish I had only done one thing wrong but I’ll share one embarrassing story.

I was working with an account manager who had just returned from a two week vacation. Here’s an excerpt of my first interaction with him on the Monday morning in September when he returned to the office:

“YOU’VE GOT TO DO THIS AND YOU’VE GOT TO DO IT RIGHT NOW. DON’T EVEN BOTHER TAKING TIME TO READ THROUGH YOUR EMAILS. RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE DON’T GO ON VACATION RIGHT BEFORE OUR TOUGHEST QUARTER OF THE YEAR.”

Had my manager not called that incident out, I likely would have done this again to the wrong person at the wrong time and would have deservedly been fired. There’s a good chance this incident would have permanently tainted my personal brand and I could have been labeled ‘unhirable’. 

Here’s the kicker: I have no idea if my wife would have been able to put up with me. It can’t be easy to put up with someone who was behaving like I did. Keep in mind: she was the one who set me straight that Friday afternoon. Who knows if she would be around in this alternate reality.

Needless to say, I’m grateful that didn’t happen.

Possibility #2 – my career trajectory would have stalled

The one objective truth in this whole story is I was a hard worker back then (and still am now). I was part of a sales organization and was crushing my numbers. From a business perspective, I was an asset.

I was also a liability.

It would be a significant risk to put someone in front of executive level clients, who is completely incapable of recognizing emotions and adapting communication. As such, if I was my manager back then, I would be very hesitant to consider promoting me. 

Needless to say, this wouldn’t be a great alternate reality. I’m certainly glad it didn’t turn out this way for me.

Takeaway for the week

I think it’s important to reflect back on those ‘ah-ha’ moments in your life. Where would you be if those points in time never happened? Would you be in a worse state?

If you answered ‘worse state’, take a moment to thank the people who contributed to guiding you down the right path.

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