The Smartest One in the Room

Tips for you...and for dealing with you.

Whether you're the brainiac or the boss deciding how to make the most of one, intelligence can be a burden as well as a boon.

For example, meetings can be a nightmare. As the smartest person in the room, you've already understood He Who Loves the Sound of His Own Voice's point before he's taken his first pause to breathe. You don't need the re-explanation requested by He the Empty-Headed. You've arrived at the best solution without the interminable, mind-numbing, self-aggrandizing "sharing and processing of our team members' diverse perspectives so we can arrive at a collaboratively developed, consensus-based, non-hierarchical decision." You often feel like chastising co-workers with a "No, stupid!" but, because you can't afford to get fired, you shut up and don your best poker face. When you feel you can no longer restrain yourself, you couch your criticism more carefully than Ban Ki-moon opining about the Israeli-Palestinian problem: "That's an interesting point, and you may well be right. I'm wondering whether an even better approach might be... (insert your obviously superior idea). What do you think?"

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Marty Nemko
Contributing Columnist,