The trend is clear. Companies no longer hire employees based only on their brilliance or intelligence level. Today, companies put more emphasis on emotional intelligence to determine an employee’s effectiveness in the workplace.
Intelligence Quotient or IQ used to be the only acceptable benchmark to predict a person’s success in the business world. Back in high school, we were taught by our teachers that those high performing students with IQ 140 and above will be the future lawyers, doctors, and CEOs. Fast forward twenty years and suddenly we realise that IQ is not that important after all. The ones who make it to the top are the ones who have high EQ as well.
What are IQ and EQ?
Emotional Intelligence, referred to as EI or EQ, is basically defined as a person’s ability to understand emotions, both our own and others. While IQ measures how intelligent a person is, EQ showcases your soft skills: communication, negotiation, empathy, understanding and self-awareness.
Why EQ can be more important?
We work with other people and many of the problems we encounter at work may be due to miscommunication or difference in personalities. Trainer and Consultant Bill Duncan says, “Emotional Intelligence can have a significant effect on the performance of a project, especially if you have a team of low EQ people. Overall it has a negative effect on teamwork.”
Research has also proven that higher EQ leads to better job performance.
For example, one study shows that a national insurance company found that sales agents who have low EQ sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Sales agents who have high EQ, however, sold policies with an average of $114,000.
Improving our EQ
While research shows that our EQ level is developed during our early childhood and fairly stable over time, but fear not as it is not set in stone. Our EQ is not rigid, which means, everyone can change for the better. Your boss can learn to manage his/her temper and your colleague can become more understanding.
Change, however, takes time.
Improving our EQ does not happen overnight and it clearly needs dedication and hard work. Just like trying to quit smoking, improving our communication skills or being more open minded towards critics take practice.
How important is Emotional Intelligence in the success of a project? Is it equally important factor as cost, time or scope? Learn more at www.im.edu.au.