What is it that makes people become a Triceratops?

This may sound like a strange question! But it was certainly one that pre occupied people when the Organizational Zoo met Emotionally Intelligent leaders. Still confused? At a mini workshop, the issue of emotionally intelligent leadership was explored. To do this we used some work by Alain de Botton around the creed for life or alternatively 10 Commandments for Atheists! The document Resilience explains the characteristics and these would seem appropriate when thinking about emotionally intelligent leadership.

The group were asked to think about these characteristics and the attendant behaviors and how these might manifest themselves if someone was reflecting on their emotional intelligence as a leader. The participants were asked to link these behaviours with Organizational Zoo characters in order to talk about them at a behavioural level.

Some fascinating conversation ensued. Some of this focused on how a person could present in one way and be another especially if they had high emotional intelligence. They would be able to adapt their behaviors as needed. The overarching question about this  was whether it was a healthy approach or was someone merely being duplicitous to gain advantage!

Other conversations were around the notion of displayed particular behaviors associated with particular characteristics, this could engender or discourage other behaviors in people that you were leading. Of particular interest to the group was the characteristic of Wisdom. Was this an owl or a triceratops?  If they were an owl then the wisdom would be used to the benefit and encouragement of others. But a triceratops would have the wisdom but be world weary. They may have been a leader at one stage, but they had been ground down as they had seen it all before and their wisdom was not valued  so they had no chance of being a leader. Questions of can this change? Can an emotionally intelligent leader assist this to change predominated the discussion.

Great conversation, great pondering and great exploring all leading to learning.


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One Response to What is it that makes people become a Triceratops?

  1. Andy says:

    The difference between the Owl and Triceratops metaphor is a fascinating one. It makes me think of the Lao Tzu quote –
    “He who knows others is wise. He knows himself is enlightened.”

    I see the Triceratops as wise; yet feeling suffocated by their limited ability to communicate what they know with those around them. Their frustration would diminish if they looked at ‘how’ they were communicating their wisdom, rather than thinking ‘what they know’ is enough to engage people.

    The Owl knows ‘how’ to communicate ‘what they know’. This requires self-awareness.

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