Voltaire, one of the smartest philosophers ever to have lived, said, “Common sense is not so common.” So, what does that mean? Does being “smart” mean you do or don’t have more common sense than someone who is less smart? Does being “smart” mean you earn more money or that you win or succeed at everything you do? It turns out that smart people (high IQ) are more prone to mistakes in logical situations, cementing research that being super smart doesn’t necessarily lead to rational or favorable decisions, behavior and interactions with others in work and in life.
Let’s look at the ways smart people manage to put their foot in their mouth.
- Smart people tend to be overconfident. They come by this overconfidence almost naturally because everyone, their whole lives, has told them how smart they are. The problem is that they fail to recognize when they need help. They’ve always been the smartest on the block, right?
- Smart people push others too hard. Smart people, those for whom everything comes easily, think others who have to work hard at getting things “right” aren’t working hard enough or fast enough so they push even harder.
- Smart people need to be right…all the time. They’re so used to being right that if and when they’re ever wrong or stymied, they take it as a personal affront.
- Smart people may lack emotional intelligence. Having a high IQ (intelligence quotient) is not the same as having a high EQ (emotional quotient). You might be surprised to read that the TalentSearch research firm surveyed over 1 million people and found that those with the highest EQs were the top performers.
- Smart people often give up when they fail. If you always expect that you’ll win (because you usually do win if you’re a smart person), you tend to see failure as the worst possible thing. If, on the other hand, you have to work hard to win if you ever do win, you know that failure is just a step towards winning or succeeding.
- Smart people fail to develop grit. Grit is that really important characteristic/quality that comes from trying hard and trying harder again and again and again in order to succeed. Grit needs failure in order to develop. Without grit, frustration and embarrassment take over and smart people then often quit because they’re too frustrated. No grit = quit. Grit = eventual self affirmation and worthiness.
- Smart people often multi-task. Smart people often think quickly and don’t like being bored. As a result, they multi-task so they don’t have any down time. However, Stanford researchers have shown that multitasking makes you less productive rather than more and that the work quality from them is less than the work quality done by someone focusing on just one thing.
- Smart people have a hard time accepting feedback. Smart people often undervalue other peoples’ opinions…after all, smart people are the most qualified to give opinions, right? Not being able to accept feedback limits growth, productivity and performance. It can also lead to toxic relationships with people in and out of work.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.