Markus Wolf Dies in Berlin: The Spy Who Knew Emotional Intelligence by Susan Dunn
"Making use of human weaknesses in intelligence work is a logical matter," said Markus Wolf, master spy. "It keeps coming up, and of course you try to look at all the aspects that interest you in a human being."
Markus Johannes "Mischa" Wolf who epitomized East German spying during the Cold war, died November 9 in his home in Berlin, according to news reports.
He was head of the General Reconnaissance Administration, the foreign intelligence division, of East Germany's Ministry for State Security (Stasi). According to Wikipedia, he was the Stasi's number two for 34 years, most of the Cold War. He ran a network of 4,000 spies.
According to the BBC, Wolf was the model for John LeCarre's character "Karla". In his memoirs, "Memoirs of a Spymaster", he claimed to have "perfected the use of sex in spying." He was described as tall and incredibly handsome. See his photo here.
This knowledge and use of human nature, emotions and urges - one's own and others - is what EQ is all about, and why we need to develop and learn it. We have here the sword and the shield of Emotional Intelligence demonstrated quite well. It is as useful to know Emotional Intelligence to use for good purposes in influencing others, as it is to be able to defend oneself from having it used against you. It informs us when to use logic and cognitive intelligence, and also allows us to be able to do so.
In my EQ Course this week we're taking a look at Othello, a compelling example where one person's knowledge of human nature and human weakness was used to bring another person down. Othello refused to give the promotion to Iago, and the enraged Iago knew exactly how to do Othello in. He did so in a cold, logical calculating way, without ever laying a hand on him. He had studied Othello and knew exactly what buttons to push. Othello, who was unable to control his emotions and therefore unable to think rationally, was manipulated by Iago to his ultimate demise. In the end, Othello kills the woman he loves, and then kills himself.
If you want to hear the ultimate in human agony - a person who undoes himself - listen to Mario del Monaco sing Verdi's magnificent and agonizing "Niun Me Tema", Otello's lament as he says farewell to Desdemona, whom he has killed, and then kills himself.
There isn't much about "human nature" Shakespeare didn't know.
You can see Giuseppe Giacomini and Sherrill Milnes sing "Si Pel Ciel", where Iago plants the lie in the mind of Otello that his wife is unfaithful
Does this sort of vengeance and self-sabotage take place in the corporate world today, in the Board room, in the halls of congress? It's the origin of many of the sayings we have - you can't shoot a man born to hang, and don't interfere with a man who's busy doing himself in.
Use Emotional Intelligence proactively, or to protect yourself. If you don't know yourself and your vulnerabilities, if you can't control your emotions enough to think straight and control your actions, someone out there will do it for you, and you won't like the results.
On the positive side, if you wish to keep your own behavior clean and maintain your integrity, understanding how people can be manipulated through emotions is as useful for those who wish to avoid this as it is for those who wish to practice it.
To quote Thomas Cleary in his introduction to Sun Tzu's Art of War, "This idea of knowing while being unknown, repeated again and again [is] the key to success."
The cornerstone of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, through which you can be aware of others. This means of their emotions, for it is emotions that move us, not logic and reason. Othello should have known Desdemona would never have been unfaithful, if he had stopped and thought. But Iago short-circuited his "thinking brain" and he fell prey to his own emotions. If you don't have the awareness, and the self-management Emotional Intelligence brings, there will be a Mischa, or an Iago out there, ready to use it against you.
Emotional Intelligence is power. Use it wisely!
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