When our oldest daughter was in elementary school, her teacher recommended her for the gifted program. To be selected for the program, our daughter was given a series of tests, including an IQ test. I remember the day we received her results…
Our daughter excelled during her school years, and her IQ helped her to achieve a high level of academic success. However, once she transitioned into the workforce, she needed to add more tools to her toolbox.
A growing body of evidence suggests that a quality we’ve overlooked may be more important than we realize. This quality is emotional intelligence (EI) and many today believe it’s more critical for success than your Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
So, what’s the difference between IQ and EI? We all know about IQ which stands for “intelligence quotient,” and is a measure of academic intelligence. IQ is very important if you’re going to college, but what about life in general?
Emotional intelligence, which is also called emotional quotient (EQ), is your ability to perceive, understand and regulate emotions. It is, therefore, the foundation of all people-skills or “soft skills.”
Finally, while EI can be learned, IQ cannot. Through skills and training, you can improve your emotional intelligence, and that’s why it’s now playing a pivotal role in leadership.
High IQ is no guarantee of success in life. The reason is that IQ only helps you solve problems, learn things, reason and remember details.
“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it. ” – Jack Welch
So, how can improving your EI help you achieve career success?
Studies have shown that people with EI are more likely to be successful in both their personal and professional lives.
With high emotional intelligence, you’re more self-aware and more in control of your emotions. You’re also more empathetic and positive. These are factors that have a more significant impact on success than academic intelligence or hard skills.
Emotions drive people. High emotional intelligence is linked to high motivation. People with high EI have a drive that goes beyond the desire for money or title. Their inner motivation pushes them toward achieving their goals.
One of the reasons why EI research is on the rise today is that it seems to have more relevance to the ever-changing business world.
IQ helps with innovation, and that’s important. However, IQ can’t solve the major problems the world faces today. In fact, people are more stressed, lonely and isolated today, in this high-tech world that IQ has given us. IQ also doesn’t help us connect with others and build strong relationships,
IQ however, is far from useless. It helps in many different situations with logic, problem solving, creativity and learning new things.
So what’s the bottom line? Without a strong foundation of EI first, it’s impossible for us to realize all that our IQ can achieve.
Improving your emotional intelligence can make a major difference in your life both professionally and personally by teaching you more about your own emotions and those of the people around you.
This post was originally published in Dr. Kim Moore’s weekly Leadership Guide. You can subscribe to her free blog at kimdmoore.com.