Despite being wrong (again) with our prediction this week, what we all witnessed on The Apprentice last night was another extraordinary circus of acts tragically lacking a ringmaster with a strategic plan.

It was another, “How not to…” special, with episode 1 (Work as a team), episode 2 (invest then reinvest), and episode 3 (Get the most profitable and successful outcome) all played out before our very eyes. Poor Melody got the boot in the end, but not before some pretty impressive spells of talking at the board, and failing, as always, to listen to single word.

Whoever thought of selling duvets door to door in Knightsbridge? Or, even better, going into a pound shop with £25 watches?

For HR, another field day in terms of people management, focussed thinking and teamwork.

Working as a member of a team requires communicating behaviours, where individuals have self and social awareness, and know how to effectively respond to their own feelings, as well as the feelings of others. However, what I have heard and have seen over the ten episodes of The Apprentice is a serious lack of emotional intelligence (EI), which sometimes can be more important than academic intelligence or IQ.

Yes, you need the skills and knowledge, but we also need to manage our emotions and also other people’s emotions – it’s a key trait of every successful business man or woman.

Individuals who lack emotional intelligence can at times display overly aggressive behaviour, when they have a desperate need to ‘prove’ they’re the best, and of course, having the cameras encourages individuals on The Apprentice, to display many of the traits ranging from argumentative and sarcastic to inappropriately challenging and finding fault with others. It won’t get results!

Steps that emotionally intelligent individuals take to manage overly aggressive individuals is that they stay calm and do not react – they make choices about how they respond. I am not talking about sarcasm or side swiping but the ability to use coaching types of questions – such as: What are your reasons for doing this? 

Sadly for Melody, the decision-making was off, and so too were the levels of communication within the losing camp.

The more the show goes on, the more the apprentices will annoy each other and learn how and when they can wind each other up to the point of boiling blood. The trick, as some have found out, is to manage emotions, and (Melody, take note) listen.

Karen Murphy
Muika Leadership – Read about our Equality Training and 360 tool