We have so often heard this expression. It is interesting that Wikipedia tells us: “One origin of the story of ‘Mind your Ps and Qs’ comes from early printing presses. Printers placed individual letters on a frame to print a page of text. The letters were reversed, making it easy to mistake lowercase p’s and q’s in setting the type. A reminder to stay watchful of the details could have come from this time.”
Today I want to caution you about minding your Ps and Qs, but I have something different in mind. Unless you are a real newbie to the printing world, you have probably seen some of my articles or books in which I talk at some length about P for Personality. Over the years I have been a strong proponent of doing Personality Profiling Analysis during the hiring and interviewing process and also when working on developing employees or building a team. We have worked closely with Thomas International, the company that is the resource for our profiling tools. Together, we have established benchmarks for all positions in the graphics industry. We can tell you which profiles will work in a position and which will not. If the profile is not right, the employee will not be comfortable in the position and everyone will suffer as a result.
I prefer to use the Thomas profile system because it is a work-oriented system. There are many profiling systems available and many, like Thomas, are based on DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance), but they are more concerned about social compatibility. The Thomas system, on the other hand, evaluates the candidate three ways. The first way is the self-image. That is how you really are. If you repeat the profile system analysis at a later date, the self-image will rarely, if ever, change. The second way is the adjustment to the work environment. The third way is the behavior under stress.
All three are essential to ensuring a good fit. Today I want to spend time on the second evaluation: the adjustment to the work environment. Many candidates will not have the self-image to fit the position, but they will often adjust because they understand the environment and they can make the changes that are necessary to fit. In different positions they will make a different adjustment because they, once again, can successfully read the environment.
IQ Meets EQ
The ability of the individual to read the environment and adapt is a function of their Emotional Quotient; the first Q we need to understand. The other Q we need to understand is the Intelligence Quotient.
IQ (Intelligence Quotient) measures an individual’s intellectual, analytical, logical, and rational abilities. As such, it is concerned with verbal, spatial, and mathematical skills, cognitive intelligence or the capacity to understand, learn, recall, and think rationally, solve problems, and apply what one has learned. We recommend the use of the Wonderlic WPT to evaluate IQ. It is quick and accurate.
EQ/EI (Emotional Quotient) assesses one’s ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thoughts, to understand emotions and emotional meaning, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual growth. (Definition by Peter Salovey and Jack Mayers, who created the term Emotional Intelligence.) We recommend the BarOn EQ-i assessment to evaluate the emotional quotient.
In his book “Primal Leadership”, Daniel Goleman tells why emotional intelligence is important: “The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick; not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and others. The new measure takes for granted that we have enough intellectual/cognitive ability and technical know-how to do our jobs, it focuses instead on personal qualities such as initiative and empathy, adaptability, and persuasiveness, which are emotional/behavioral competencies. Our level of emotional intelligence is not fixed genetically; it is largely learned and continues to grow and develop as we go through life and learn from our experiences.”