For many years, IQ has been praised as a determining factor of success. More intelligent people have a higher capacity for innovation and efficiency. One might assume that more intelligent individuals would also be more successful. However, recent research found otherwise. Dr. Travis Bradberry found that people with average IQ's outperform those with the highest IQ's 70% of the time. What could this mean? If IQ is not the indicator of success, then what is?
One could argue the answer is emotional intelligence (EQ). If book smarts aren’t getting you there, then maybe the ticket is a little more people skills. Dr. Bradberry’s research demonstrated emotional intelligence as the strongest predictor of performance, contributing a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. Am I arguing that IQ is irrelevant? Absolutely not. A combination of IQ and EQ is a great formula for success. Intelligence of all forms is necessary to our world, it’s function and it’s growth. Which is why a well-rounded intelligence is needed- so that we can be holistically effective.
Now you may be asking, what exactly is emotional intelligence? It’s a difficult question to answer, because it is one of the more abstract aspects of our behavior. It is complex and somewhat intangible. We can start by describing some of the skills that emotional intelligence is comprised of.
- Social Skills
- Customer Service
- Time Management
- Presenting and Communications Skills
- Decision Making
These skills are all similar in that they are not subjects taught in school. They are more practical than they are academic. Emotional intelligence is essentially the ability to understand and work well with people. These talents are critical to business and leadership.
The good news is that you can develop the areas where you are weak. It’s true that emotional intelligence comes more naturally to some than others, but just like any other skill they can be learned. Practice makes perfect right? The same is true for emotional intelligence. There are actually synapses in your brain that connect when you exercise a skill. Rehearse it enough, and it becomes second nature!