Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life

Prior to my recent open heart surgery, with the help of my heart surgeon and his head nurse, I created recovery milestones on the white board in my office.  This was difficult to do when I had no idea how my recovery would actually progress or not progress. 

For reaching goals, one of the rewards I created for myself was a new mountain bike.  I’ve ridden mountain bikes for many years.  I decided that for my post-surgery fitness, I’m going to do more cross-training to go along with playing hockey and skiing. 

Mountain Bikes

The cost of new bicycles runs into the thousands.  When you take a $3,000 mountain bike out of the bike shop, it suddenly loses 30, 40-50% of its value.  Knowing this, I decided to look at a variety of on-line resources for used high-end mountain bikes.  A bike shop employee introduced me to www.bicyclebluebook.com and it has been very helpful.

Success! or Maybe Not

Last night, I found a bike advertised locally on CraigsList.  The bike is 3 years old and the owner wanted $1900.00 for what was once a $3,300 bike.  Bicyclebluebook suggests that this bike is currently worth $992 to $1555.

I sent a note to the bike owner:

If you'd like to sell this bike tomorrow or Friday, I'll bring cash.  The market value for your year and model is between $992 and $1555.  I'll work with you in that range.

I also sent him to the link on BicycleBlueBook so he could do his own research. 

This was the bike owner’s response to me:

"Haha haha haha haha.  No

I know exactly what it's worth.  And if YOU get a clue about economics you would realize it's worth what people will pay.  I am not concerned about what it is worth to YOU.  The upgraded wheelset, additional brakes, pedals, and other extras make it worth more than the asking price. It's economics man. Just because a website tells you something doesn't make it true. No, I will not sell my bike for less than its worth.
Have a good life."

Emotional Intelligence 

What does this have to do with Emotional Intelligence you might ask?

One of my hockey buddies who is also my main mountain biking buddy read what you just read and shared his mature adult thoughts.

Movies, TV reality shows, video games, US politics, high-stakes athletics... everyone thinks they have to be a macho hero. Why not just say "no thanks. I've put a lot of money into this bike. I'm hoping for a better offer." The downward spiral of humanity.
I agree with my buddy Gary.  I wasn’t rude in the way I approached the bike owner.  I gave him resources so he could get in touch with reality. A used bike is similar to a used car.  A Lexus that cost $50,000 four years ago can now be bought for $23,000 - $27,000.  Cars like bikes are not a good investment unless that new car smell is really that important to you!

The bike owner could have politely written “no thank you” but he chose not to.  

Impulse Control

One of the elements of Emotional Intelligence that gets a lot of people in trouble is Impulse Control. 

The next time you’re in a meeting and you’re tempted to act out as the bicycle seller did in his email, consider holding your thoughts back. 

One of my CISO coaching clients is working hard on his impulse control.  He is holding back in situations where he used to feel the overwhelming need to speak his mind. 

He is winning friends and influencing people by way of his restraint, not by way of being the smartest guy in the room all the time.

By The Way

I found a used high-end mountain bike on the www.bicyclebluebook.com website in California. It is very similar the bike I found on Craigslist.  The difference is that the California owner knows that his bike is worth $1400 and that's what he is asking for it.  I'll have to pay to have the bike shipped to Colorado but I won't have to deal with the CraigsList seller or anyone like him again.

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