Have you ever noticed how the smartest person with the highest IQ (Intelligence Quotient) isn’t necessarily the one who manages to achieve success?! Many people find themselves at a loss as to how they haven’t managed to bag the job of their dreams even with all their qualifications, technical abilities and high IQ. The truth is, while there is no denying the importance of IQ, underestimating the importance of the Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ/EI) often comes at a great cost for many!

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

EI or emotional competence, as it’s often referred to, can be divided into two main categories:

1. Personal competence: This involves the ability to identify and understand your own emotions (self-awareness), as well as to effectively direct them to your benefit (self-management). Understanding why you feel the way you do and how to manage your emotions to best serve you changes your life completely.

2. Social competence: This involves the ability to pick up on (and understand) others’ emotions, moods and motives (social awareness), as well as the ability to use this awareness to successfully direct and participate in social interactions (relationship management). Understanding others and developing empathy or listening skills, will enhance the quality of your relationships.

A wide range of factors are affected by your EI. The quintessential successful person with high EI is likely to have high empathy levels, high change and stress tolerance, as well as great social and presentation skills; they are also likely to be more flexible and effective at time management.

Emotional Intelligence: Does It Really Matter?! Did you know that…

There is strong evidence to suggest that it does! Research has shown that having a high EI can make a huge difference in:

1. How well you sustain your career:
The Center for Creative Leadership (one of the largest international providers of executive education) has found that a lack in emotional competence is the main cause of executives being derailed from their career paths.

2. Whether or not you achieve your goals:
In an analysis of 515 senior executives, Egon Zehnder (an international executive search firm) found that the executives with higher EQ results were more likely to achieve their goals and succeed in their careers than those with higher IQ results. Interestingly, the firm also discovered that there was a weak correlation between individuals’ EQ and IQ levels. 

3. Your financial success:
According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, around 85% of a person’s financial success is due to their EI; technical ability and IQ on the other hand, are only responsible for roughly 15% of it!

4. How productive you are in a team or as a leader:
A study conducted by McClelland (1999) showed that when supervisors at manufacturing plants had higher levels of EI, not only did the employees’ grievances significantly decrease, but there was also a 50% decrease in time consuming, work-related accidents. Plants with such leaders also managed to exceed their productivity goals. 

What’s Your EQ?

Is your EQ holding you back from getting to where you want to be in life? The good news is that emotional intelligence isn’t an innate quality that only a select few can possess. The first step to building up your EQ is acknowledging what an important role emotions (both yours and others’) play in your success – the next step is practicing it and using it to your advantage!

To your Success

Kirstin ODonovan


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