Emotional Intelligence Beats IQ

For years we have been told the IQ was the holy grail for success. And it may be if you are pursuing advanced mathematics or physics. But even then emotional IQ is what keeps you working with your funders and lab students. The nasty but brilliant scientist isn’t going to get most of us through life. Think Sherlock Holmes. Brilliant but most people couldn’t stand to work with him. He’d be fired from nearly any detective agency.

So what is emotional intelligence?  It is about how you relate to others and how you regulate yourself. A lot of research has been done in this area and the results are startling. Remember that early academic programs produce emotionally stunted students? They grow into emotionally stunted professionals that don’t advance. The top CEOs, managers, and team leaders demonstrate high EI.

We’ve learned that emotional intelligence (EQ) is a crucial skill for both leaders and employees. But several studies point to just how important EQ can be to success, even trumping IQ and experience.

Research by the respected Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in the U.S. found that the primary causes of executive derailment involve deficiencies in emotional competence. Each year, CCL serves more than 20,000 individuals and 2,000 organizations, including more than 80 of the Fortune 100 companies. It says the three main reasons for failure are difficulty in handling change, inability to work well in a team, and poor interpersonal relations.

International search firm Egon Zehnder International analyzed 515 senior executives and discovered that those who were strongest in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed than those strongest in either IQ or relevant previous experience. Research that has been done on the relationship between emotional intelligence (EQ) and IQ has shown only a weak correlation between the two.

The Carnegie Institute of Technology carried out research that showed that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. They found that only 15% was due to technical ability. In other words people skills or skills highly related to emotional intelligence were crucial skills. Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if that that person is offering a better product at a lower price.

It comes down to being self-aware, able to regulate your own emotions, empathy, and social skills. Check out the details at FastCompany.

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