Two computer programmers are explaining how they go about doing their job, designing programs to fill the pressing business needs of their clients.
Recounts one: "I heard him say he needed all the data in a simple format that could fit in one page." So the programmer followed through and deliver just that.
The second programmer, however, seems to have trouble getting to the point. Unlike the first programmer, he doesn't mention the needs of this clients. Instead he launches into a litany of technical talk: "The HP3000/30's BASIC compiler was too slow, so I went directly to a machine-language routine." In other words, he focuses on machines not people.
The first programmer was identified as outstanding at his work, able to design programs that are user-friendly; the second is at best mediocre at this task - he has essentially tuned out his customers.
The first computer programmer displays emotional intelligence; the other exemplifies its absence.
Both were interviewed using a method developed by McClelland to detect the competencies that distinguish star performers in jobs of every kind.
Source: Working with Emotional Intelligence. A book by Daniel Goleman