Recently, I came across an story in social media about Jai Singh, King of Alwar, Rajasthan, India. Once the king was in London when he visited a Rolls Royce showroom to enquire about the luxury vehicles. The salesman who had no idea who the visitor was, showed him the way out. Humiliated, the king returned back to his hotel and told his servants to call the showroom telling them that the King is interested in buying the cars. The visit was arranged and six cars were purchased in cash.
Once the cars arrived in India, the king handed over the cars to Municipality to use these luxury cars to collect city garbage. The news spread like wildfire and the company sales dropped down rapidly. Realising their initial mistake of not treating a customer like the way he should, the company apologized for their mistake and also offered him six more cars.
Above story is a good example which shows how the lack of emotional empathy can lead to unwelcome consequences. Our Emotional Intelligence competencies can sometimes be a line that separates our successes to our failures. In this case the salesman clearly failed in emotional empathy to understand how the king felt. If the salesman could have paid attention to King’s expressions or simply had looked into king’s eyes, he might had felt how king’s felt. Failure to observe and understand king’s body language resulted in king’s emotions to full bloom which costed the company a fortune. Instead of focussing his attention to caste/creed/religion, only if the salesman had his attention on the common ground with the king, the company could have saved the damages incurred.
The good news about emotional intelligence is that it can improve through life (Goleman). Emotional Intelligence Competencies are though unwritten but when navigated constructively not only will help us to build desired relationships but also leads to required productivity. Dale Carnegie said it best, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
We all want to navigate our way through the social world, we all want to be loved for who we are, to be seen and understood as we are. For this to come true the only way is through Empathy. Empathy is the glue that connects us together. Alfred Adler once said, “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of the another.” Though Empathy is present everywhere, yet hidden from our conscious noitce. Only when we intentionally start looking, only when we know what to look for, can we see Empathy everywhere.