Scorpion vs Frog - The Case for Emotional Intelligence
On a hot summer’s day Sully the Scorpion was out for a stroll when he came upon a stream. Laying in the sun, taking in the hot rays was Findley the Frog. “Hellooo Mr. Frog!” called Sully “Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the water?” “Well now, Mr. Scorpion, how do I know that if I try to help you, you will not try to kill me?” asked Findley. “Because” Sully replied, “if I kill you while crossing the stream, I will die because I cannot swim.” Findley thought about this. It seemed to make sense. “Alright, but how do I know that you will not kill me when we get to the other side?” “Ah” crooned Sully, “because when we cross the water, I will be so grateful for your help that it will not be fair to kill you.” Findley thought about this and agreed to take Sully across the stream. Halfway across, Findlay felt a sharp sting in his back, and out of the corner of his eye saw the scorpion remove the stinger. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs. “Why Mr. Scorpion? Why?” croaked Findley, “Now we will both die!” Sully shrugged. “I couldn’t help myself. It's my nature. I am a scorpion and that’s what scorpions do.”. There are many versions of this story that are hundreds of years old. My apologies to the original author for my abbreviated adaptation. Many of us get caught up in the scorpion. How could they do this to the frog? Poor Findley. But how can we be angry or disappointed with Sully for acting like a scorpion? It is their nature. In the coaching realm, this story is a wonderful parable for our lives. Rather than focus on other people, we get to focus on our behaviours. Our emotional intelligence: • Emotionally intelligent people pay attention to what they are feeling. • They understand how other people feel (empathy). • They can regulate their emotions. • They are motivated. • They have great social skills. • They are willing and able to discuss feelings with others. • They can correctly identify the underlying causes of their emotions. The beautiful thing about emotional intelligence is that through awareness we can develop and hone these skills. In life, we get to decide who we let in; where we spend our time and energy; and, how we choose to respond. At the end of the day it is not about the scorpion, it is about the frog.
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