Why MI6 recruiters would reject James Bond

by Nicola Middlemiss30 Oct 2015
The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) has launched a recruitment drive to coincide with the release of the new Bond film but it seems their standards are little higher when it comes to modern members as the agency also revealed the infamous 007 wouldn’t be offered a job.

“James Bond would probably not be successful in joining SIS, if he were to apply,” an intelligence source told Buzzfeed. “Teamwork is central to SIS’ ability to deliver intelligence, and heroes working alone rarely achieve much.”

Instead, the British intelligence agency – commonly referred to as MI6 – is looking for emotionally intelligent, sociable spies who understand the “human side” of gathering and reporting information.

“Having a high degree of emotional intelligence is every bit as important to SIS as educational attainment,” the source added. “They want people with a real passion for human interaction, understanding others and dealing with the sometimes complex nature of human relationships.”

In contrast, James Bond usually operates alone and with little regard for others – he may be an extreme example but his lack of emotional intelligence is actually something that’s becoming prevalent in some workplaces.

An Ipsos Reid study commissioned by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace measured the emotional intelligence of managers in Canada, specifically relating to how they would respond to the emotional distress of their employees.

“Across all sectors, managers and supervisors were rated as having more challenges than strengths in all measured emotional intelligence skill areas,” revealed Mary Ann Baynton, Program Director at Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace.

“These included dealing with other people’s negative reactions and emotions, understanding and managing one’s own reactions, and communicating effectively or resolving conflict,” she added.
The survey also showed that almost half of respondents were rated as challenged in one or more of these skill areas and only one per cent was rated as strong across all measured areas.

“The good news is that 91 per cent of Canadian managers and supervisors recognise the importance of improving their emotional intelligence in the workplace,” Baynton told HRD. “Additionally, two out of three respondents indicated that they could do their jobs more effectively if they could better manage distressed workers.”
 
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