Since I read about emotional intelligence a few years ago and its links to good leadership, I admit that I had never spent time considering that high levels of emotional intelligence could have a downside. This article does a good survey of the work that has been done since the power of EI was discovered.
This is an interesting article on how it can be used against people:
“Leaders who master emotions can rob us of our capacities to reason. If their values are out of step with our own, the results can be devastating. New evidence suggests that when people have self-serving motives, emotional intelligence becomes a weapon for manipulating others.”
Also interesting is the exploration that for a number of professions emotional intelligence on the job is no asset and actually may interfere with job performance. After an extensive study they found that:
“In jobs that required extensive attention to emotions, higher emotional intelligence translated into better performance. Salespeople, real-estate agents, call-center representatives, and counselors all excelled at their jobs when they knew how to read and regulate emotions—they were able to deal more effectively with stressful situations and provide service with a smile.
However, in jobs that involved fewer emotional demands, the results reversed. The more emotionally intelligent employees were, the lower their job performance. For mechanics, scientists, and accountants, emotional intelligence was a liability rather than an asset.”