EQ vs IQ: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters More In The Workplace

EQ vs IQ Concept of Emotional Intelligence

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
President Theodore Roosevelt

Your IQ matters.

But when it comes to predicting success, emotional intelligence matters more. Studies show that emotional intelligence (EQ) affects everything from health and satisfaction in your personal relationships to leadership skills and long-term career success, beginning with your ability to land a job. A CareerBuilder.com survey of 2,600 HR managers showed that 71% value emotional intelligence more than IQ. Fifty-nine percent would pass on a low-EQ candidate, even if he or she has the right education, background, and technical skills.

The same survey showed that when it comes time for promotions, high-EQ candidates beat high-IQ candidates 75% of the time.

What is EQ, and why is everyone looking for it?

Emotional intelligence is a measure of interpersonal skills. Psychology Today describes emotional intelligence as having three components: (1) emotional awareness, the ability to identify and name your own emotions, (2) the ability to harness those emotions, and (3) the ability to manage your and others’ emotions.

What makes those skills attractive to employers? From technological leaps to social, economic, and geopolitical instability and dramatic shifts in consumer behavior – we live in an era of rapid change that requires companies to adapt or risk the market leaving them behind. Companies are looking for individuals who have the soft skills to adapt to change and uncertainty.

When their companies focused on hiring individuals with high EQ, business leaders cited:

  • Increased motivation and morale (46%)
  • Improved leadership (45%) and
  • Better collaboration between teams (37%)

Further, individuals with high EQ excel at staying calm under pressure, resolving conflict effectively, behaving with empathy, and leading by example. It’s no wonder why the World Economic Forum cited emotional intelligence as one of the top ten skills employees will need in 2020.

Boost Your EQ

While most self-improvement focuses on boosting your IQ, some top business psychologists argue that many may be a waste of time. As Inc points out, “The harsh truth is that our basic mental horsepower is pretty fixed throughout our lives. If anything, it declines as we age.” Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, can be improved with practice.

If you’re dealing with a deficit when it comes to emotional intelligence, a good place to start improving is our class, Developing your Emotional Intelligence. Designed as a crash-course in EQ, the class covers how EQ is measured and gives your concrete strategies to increase your EQ to have more successful interactions with your supervisors, peers, and employees.

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