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Last week I rekindled a friendship with someone I hadn’t seen in several years. Meeting her made me remember the many qualities which make her (in the words of Jack Canfield) a “class act.”

The person to whom I’m referring is Ms. Holly Thompson, co-anchor of WSMV Channel 4 News. Ms. Thompson is the type of person whose outreach is felt community wide. Despite her busy schedule (and the fact she rises at 1:30 a.m. each morning) she agreed to speak to my Principles of Management class. My students were simply blown away by her confidence, her professionalism, and her command of the subject.

Holly embodies the qualities which Daniel Goleman coined “EQ,” or emotional quotient. Those high in EQ are characterized by their sticktuitiveness, their positive approach, their ability to empathize, and their high level of personal energy. People like Ms. Thompson exude personal warmth and engender positive relationships; they are the type of individuals people like to associate with because they feel accepted in her presence. This is the way (in my opinion) she makes everyone feel.

According to Canfield, “class acts:”

  • Maintain dignity and grace under pressure
  • Increase the quality of every experience
  • Counteract meanness, pettiness, and vulgarity
  • Increase the confidence and capabilities of others

High EQs create human scaffolding; they strengthen relational fabric by building on others’ strengths. They give of their time, good humor, and talent, rising above the smallish behavior of those less enlightened. They are a bright spot in the lives of other people, as Ms. Thompson is each morning at 4:00 a.m.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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