Emotional Intelligence and Moses

Emotional Intelligence and one of the best known religious figures in all the world, Moses. He is considered a prophet of Islam, a savior and guide to the Jewish people and as such a key figure in Christianity.

Moses’ emergence and his personal growth attest to the fact that emotional intelligence is something one can develop. At 20* years old Moses killed an Egyptian and flees his homeland for the desert. At this young age Moses was not willing to share the fate of his fellow Hebrews. Instead, he chose the lowly profession of shepherd. David, the second king of the Jewish nation was also a shepherd. It seems God uses people in difficult circumstances to lead his people. For 60 years Moses travels the desert. No doubt Moses grew in understanding of self but still had not gained sufficient confidence to leave these harsh circumstances until he encounters God.

Moses Fles

How could Moses leave the sheltered life of a Prince of Egypt? More so, how could he abandon his biological family not knowing if their end may come any day at the hands of the Egyptian rulers. After all, Moses once called both these groups mother, brother and sister?

What do we learn about Moses’ emotional intelligence? With respect I would speculate that his independence and assertiveness were high and his empathy and stress tolerance were both low. Of the fifteen elements of EQ I would guess his assessment might look something like this:

Element                                    Range

Self Regard                                 Low

Self Actualization                  Mid range

Emotional Self Awareness       Low

Emotional Expression               High

Assertiveness                        Mid range

Independence                            High

Social Responsibility            Mid range

Empathy                                      Low

Interpersonal Relationships     High

Impulse Control                          Low

Reality Testing                       Mid range

Problem Solving                    Mid range

Flexibility                                      High

Stress Tolerance                         Low

Optimism                               Mid range

In Moses’ Old Age

At 80 years old Moses was leading his flock to better pastures when God provided him his reason for being. Moses then proceeds to tell God that he wasn’t capable enough to go back to Eqypt. His mission: go tell Pharoah to release the Hebrew nation. God provided a rich vision culminating in a land flowing with milk and honey. Still Moses argued. He had developed his independence, assertiveness and problem solving but was yet to see his social responsibility. Moses lacked empathy for the very people who placed him in the Nile as a baby to save him for Pharoah’s decree to kill all the first born of the Jews. He seemed to have little regard for the woman who nursed him and his older brother and sister.

Application Today

How does high independence and high assertiveness play out in the marketplace today? What would you expect from this manager? While these people may be very successful they certainly aren’t able to sustain friendships. Have you ever worked with someone like this? They have an agenda – something we want to see in any leader, right? But, like the Centurion in Matthew 8 (a man of authority under authority) strong leaders are also strong followers. We see this quality in Moses in his old age but he did pay the price for his stubbornness and anger in his final days.

Do you have enough self awareness to see your own blind spots? How might your behavior change if you developed a keen sense for how your behavior impacts others and how it affects your future?

About the author: Creed is an accomplished leader and Professional Certified Coach motivated by a passionate drive to help individuals and organizations reclaim their clarity for personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.

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