THE INC. LIFE

Google Firing Its ‘Manifesto’ Engineer Is a Powerful Lesson in Emotional Intelligence (in One Sentence)

Do you have the emotional intelligence you need to succeed? Google just gave a master class in EQ.

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BY Peter Economy - 10 Aug 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If you're tuned into current events happening in the tech-verse, you've definitely heard about the senior software engineer at Google who recently published a manifesto titled, Google's Ideological Echo Chamber.

The 10-page document, which circulated around the company on an internally shared email list, makes the argument that professional gender differences in the workspace are a consequence of the biological discrepancies between men and women. Shockingly, the manifesto also advocates for the company to end programs that help under-represented groups, emphasizing that politically conservative employees are discriminated against.

How did Google employees and others receiving the memo react?

Well, with anger.

Women on Google's engineering teams tweeted their disappointed responses, and a number of men who worked on staff expressed their vehement disagreement with the document's message. Danielle Brown, Google's new VP of Diversity, also issued a memo stating that the company's values are far from what was represented in the manifesto.

Considering that Google has now fired the engineer who penned the manifesto, it's clear that the company's quick response shows just how much it understands Emotional Intelligence. In just one sentence, here's the lesson:

Recognizing the general anger and uproar that accompanied the manifesto, Google understood the steps it needed to take--using emotionally intelligent values to guide its actions as the company fired the engineer.

Psychology Today defines Emotional Intelligence (commonly referred to as EQ) as the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Relevant aspects of EQ include "emotional awareness, the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions [of your own and others]."

Taking those factors into account, it seems very clear that Google's timely, calculated reaction was a perfect demonstration of what it means to possess high EQ--especially in an industry that comes under fire so often for lacking in empathy.

Understanding your audience's emotions, desires, reacting appropriately, and taking concrete, effective action based off this emotional information is an incredible skill--and Google's actions show us how we can learn to do the same if we ever find ourselves in similar situations.