Once again, a twelve hour work day is behind me and another productive period of the daylight hours has passed. My activities at work are more or less always concerned with advancing an area of responsibility that I am not immediately accountable for but am brought in as a resource do to my creative perspective and discerning advocacy of unorthodox practices. Go figure.
But today, well, today I took an eight hour course on Lesser Magic at work and got paid for it. Free lunch? Yes, that too. Of course it wasn’t labeled Lesser Magic, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Corporate Training Manager that taught the course is a Satanist himself, but none of that really matters. What does matter, I think to a lot of us, is the message presented and the information detailed in such a course. The title of the class was Understanding Emotional Intelligence. The main term used, Emotional Intelligence Quotient (hereafter presented as EI), was defined as;
“- a set of competencies demonstrating the ability one has to recognize his or her behaviors, moods, and impulses, and to manage them best according to the situation.”
Well sweet silly Satan! Anton LaVey defined and codified something akin to that in the Satanic Bible and to a much more specific degree in The Satanic Witch. Anton LaVey wrote the defining intricacies of Lesser Magic back in the late 60’s and although in the late 80’s such terms as Emotional Quotient and Emotional Intelligence were published in various thesis’s and articles, the terms did not become widely known until 1995 when Daniel Goleman introduced his model through publishing the book, Emotional Intelligence – Why it can matter more than IQ. The currently used model specifically suited for corporations and businesses (which my company uses) is Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves, who expanded upon Goleman’s original concepts. It subscribes to the idea that IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EI (Emotional Intelligence) and Personality are the three separate spectrums of our understanding that we use to manage ourselves and those around us. Beyond the actual definition of what Emotional Intelligence is, further elaboration can be described in this quote straight from the EI Development Handbook;
“Emotional intelligence is considered to involve emotional empathy; attention to, and discrimination of one’s emotions; accurate recognition of one’s own and others’ moods; mood management or control over emotions; response with appropriate (adaptive) emotions and behaviors in various life situations (especially to stress and difficult situations); and balancing of honest expression of emotions against courtesy, consideration, and respect (i.e., possession of good social skills and communication skills).
I could probably stop writing this article now and let those attracted to the concepts above research more… but for those interested, I would like to discuss this particular experience and the promotion of our Satanic goals I was able to insinuate into the class of twenty five. Now either I am writing this with crispy black fingers and I somehow made it home safely from being burned at the stake in the corporate headquarters garden… or more likely, as is the case, I’m enjoying a tall frosty beer in my den and listening to some Chevelle while the keyboard clicks away under my unburnt digits.
Before arriving to the class, each of us the week prior were required to take a test on personality, emotions and basic mood during certain situations, the classic emotional psyche test that most applicants for middle management in the corporate world take. I have taken a myriad of such tests before, not only for the civilian sector in various jobs, but military and federal tests as well and while I have experience in getting the score I wish to have (see lying), in this case I was truthfully interested in seeing where I stood in a study that my corporation values highly. So, I answered honestly and on a scale from one to one-hundred, four categories and their respective scores being averaged out, I received a score of ninety-one. In answering honestly I had at least kept myself open and accepting of the fact that I may have been rather inept in the area of emotional intelligence. A small amount of self-doubt at times is healthy after all. Don’t think so? I’d say you’re an idiot.
Scores above 90 are given the following appraisal;
These scores are much higher than average and indicate a noteworthy strength. These strengths probably come naturally to you or exist because you have worked hard to develop them. Seize every opportunity to use these emotionally intelligent behaviors to maximize your success. You are highly competent in this skill, so work to capitalize on it and achieve your potential.
The four categories are defined thusly (with my score following it), the first two being Personal Competence and the last two Social Competence;
Self-Awareness – Your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. This includes keeping on top of how you tend to respond to specific situations and people. (88)
Self-Management – Your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior. This means managing your emotional reactions to all situations and people. (93)
Social Awareness – Your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and get what is really going on. This means understanding what other people are thinking and feeling, even if you don’t feel the same way. (90)
Relationship Management – Your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the emotions of others to manage interactions successfully. Letting emotional awareness guide clear communication and effective handling of conflict. (91)
Although my company has been offering this course twice a year for the past two years to management, this was a class that I received permission to attend. Among those present, I was the lowest person on the totem pole so to speak, so I was rather surprised that in a class of twenty-five with various corporate managers, regional directors and specialists I had received the highest score of the class. Most of the others received fifty’s to seventy’s on their charts which (despite current views on the A-B-C educations grading system) are rather bad overall. I would expect any Satanist worth their brimstone to score decently and most certainly above average on such a test.
One of the main points of EI is that it is not about being nice or pandering to people, and certainly not about catering to the bully or sob-story pantywaists. (No slight intended to our strong and lovely Satanists out there that wear panties. I’m sure you are quite comfortable in them.) It is geared towards understanding and empathizing with the situation, any situation, to bring about a positive (in a business sense, positive being a solution for cohesion and profit) and fruitful result. Sound like Satanism? I could be mistaken in my comparisons or reading into it the wrong way. Perhaps my view of Lesser Magic is skewed. I don’t think so but I’ll accept I may be looking at what was presented to me more for personal comparisons sake than the broader spectrum. Though as the course even went into the intricacies of finding out details and specifics of a particularly difficult person to work with and using that information to achieve a desired result, I find my contrast of the two quite justified.
During the group activities, I was able to continue the use of such socially taboo words as judgment, criticism, prejudice and goal #1 in our Five Point Program as defined by Anton LaVey… Stratification. I stood to give my little “experts” topical on my why my Relationship Management score was particularly high (this is usually one of the lowest scores across the spectrum) and I allotted a fair amount of my justification to stratification and how I place each person and their value/worth on separate levels, and the responsibility/accountability that I show/require follows suit. All of this based upon their merit and my experiences involved in how useful, helpful and productive they are. None of this was presented in a negative or obtusely judgmental way, simply logic based upon fact and reason that I had personally observed. I gave a few personal examples that everyone there could identify with and even the aforementioned words generally viewed with contempt and remembered pain were accepted and easily digested. And through this, it was determined that it was exactly this that helped me have such a good understanding of group management and social interactions.
The way I see it, Lesser Magic is alive, well and strong. Of course, not everyone agreed with some of the, what they believed to be more harsh and less friendly attitudes towards productive reasoning which is just as well. Stratification at the higher management level is most certainly something we should all strive to see in all of our chosen professions and this highly useful skill is something everyone wishing to better themselves should look into. I did not agree 100% with everything that the course presented, but as an individual this is to be expected and lauded in my opinion. But the overall message presented and activities that I participated in were very enlightening and affirmed my own understanding of people and situations. Positive reinforcement through affirmation of one’s own already experienced repertoire concerning social interaction and understanding can be very uplifting.
For those of you desiring to further your interest in EI, its history and applications, Wikipedia has a good explanation of its history and foundation and many references are provided for further reading. There are even several sections on critical observations noted in criticism of EI, though most of these seem to be written about Goleman’s 1995 presentation and not the business model suite. Even if you don’t agree with or find too many things lacking in the presented principals of Emotional Intelligence, this well received and widely used skill that is being promoted in today’s corporate world is at the very least looking into. Forewarned is forearmed.