10

Working Out How EI Can Help

Johann didn't need too much emotional intelligence to spot that all wasn't well with Debra as the normally very well-presented 30-something year old burst into the room, hair akimbo and obviously flustered, her jacket collar askew and three minutes late.

“I'm so sorry I'm late,” she panted. She sat down and fumbled with her bag, finding and turning off her phone, before patting down her hair and fixing her collar.

Johann waited until she was settled. “All OK?” he enquired.

“No, no it isn't. I've had it up to here.” Debra indicated a level far above the top of her head.

“What happened?”

“I just can't keep having the same conversation, again and again.” The colour rising in Debra's cheeks grew more apparent as she spoke. “Ali just gave me a really hard time because I wasn't at the last weekly meeting. I tried to explain that I needed to be at a very important client meeting with Viren but she wasn't having it. I mean, what am I expected to do? Tell my boss ‘no?’ I can just imagine Viren's face!”

Johann grinned. “Sorry,” he said immediately. “I wasn't laughing at you. I was just thinking about the matrix and how this is such a typical example of the difficulties. Let me step out of ‘mentoring mode’ and make a guess? You have two different people you have to do things for – two ‘bosses’ in effect, who both tell you everything is ‘high priority’ and expect you to be completely up to date on, and totally devoted to, their latest thing without considering ...

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