EQ Can Take You Past The Limits of Your IQ

Posted: Updated:

While the concept of emotional intelligence isn't new, it's been gaining traction in today's business world. When employers talk about the importance of "soft skills" and traits such as resilience and empathy, they're actually describing components of emotional intelligence.

Although the word "intelligence" is part of emotional intelligence, the concept isn't really connected to intelligence as measured by IQ scores. Your IQ (intelligence quotient) score is essentially a measure of your brain's intellectual capacity. In theory, the higher your IQ, the more easily you can grasp complex subjects. As such, we assume that people such as nuclear physicists, neuroscientists, and mathematicians have much higher IQs than most of us.

In contrast, emotional intelligence (what some refer to as EQ) involves an assessment of your emotional capacity. It describes your awareness of your own emotions and your ability to control and manage them. Even more important, emotional intelligence provides a sense of how well you interact with other people -- not just on a social level, but your ability to perceive their emotions and respond with emotional balance. Emotional balance is central to our well-being.

What I like about emotional intelligence is that it can take you beyond the limits of your IQ. You may not have the brainpower of a neuroscientist, but if your emotional intelligence is high, you may be better able to handle the challenges of daily life and far exceed the limits of your intellectual knowledge. Conversely, if a nuclear physicist has a low EQ, she may have a difficult time interacting with staff and earning their confidence.

Emotional intelligence is part of the puzzle that makes up your personality and your default style. You’re the product of your IQ and your EQ. Your ability to leverage both of those is enhanced by a strong sense of curiosity. People who are curious tend to look beyond the obvious, thinking things through to solve problems.

Why is it important to understand our emotional intelligence? By having a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, particularly as they relate to our interactions with others, we become more effective in a wide range of activities. When we have an awareness of our strengths and learn to leverage them, we accomplish more and get “stuck” less. That boosts our confidence, so we continue to grow our emotional intelligence and our success.

So how can learn about your emotional intelligence strengths and potential challenges?  We like the robust and valid EQ inventory called “EQ-i.” Keep in mind, though, that emotional intelligence testing is a snapshot in time of your emotional balance. It gives you an assessment of your EQ at this moment in your life. Take the same assessment again in a decade, and you’ll probably see shifts that reflect the lessons you’ve learned along the way. Or, if you’re going through challenging events such as a divorce or the death of a loved one, those events will have an impact on your score. An employee just beginning her career is likely to have lower scores than a veteran counterpart, simply because he’s experienced more. This is a good reason to have your results analyzed by a trained professional.

Emotional intelligence testing can be beneficial for both teams and their managers. Team members will come away with a better understanding of their own strengths, as well as those of their co-workers. If your problem-solving skills aren’t particularly strong, you may want to draw upon help from a colleague who rates more highly in that area. Or, if there’s a situation in which someone needs to listen carefully to a frustrated customer, an employee whose empathy ranks highly would be the best choice. Managers can use that knowledge to assemble teams with a good mix of skills.

We worked with a company that had a 20-person HR department. The leadership wanted to improve the HR professionals’ alignment with the business units to whom they were assigned. Through emotional intelligence assessments and then training in leveraging strengths, we were able to help individuals be credible within the business units. Additionally, we were able to help the leaders realign the department in ways that strengthened collaboration and improved operations.

The value of emotional intelligence awareness became particularly clear when the department was forced to reduce headcount after an acquisition. Knowing each individual’s strengths and weaknesses allowed management to shrink the team to nearly half its size without adversely affecting day-to-day operations.

Are you aware of your emotional intelligence and how it impacts your relationships with co-workers, managers, customers, friends, and family? Do you have skills at adapting to the emotional intelligence of others? Taking an emotional intelligence test and having a trained professional explain the results may be surprisingly enlightening, and may be your first step toward a new level of personal satisfaction and success.

Ellen Dunnigan is CEO of Accent On Business.

  • Perspectives

    • Richardson is a senior manager with Centric Consulting.

      Marketing and Sales Alignment – Easier Than You Think

      There was a time, and perhaps you’re still living in it, where marketing is expected to drive sales leads, conversations, magically help close deals, and all sorts of expectations a marketing team can never meet. This period exists because there is a misalignment in those expectations of what marketing should do and what sales should do. I like to start with the basics. Is your company providing a product or service? Is it easy to sell? Is it cheap? Do your customers buy once?

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Wesemann Hall at the Valparaiso University Law School (photo courtesy Tony V. Martin/The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo School of Law Transfer Denied

      A proposal to transfer Valparaiso University's law school to another university has been shot down. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has denied the transfer to Middle Tennessee State University, which would have led to the creation of a College of Law at the school. 

    • Daniels Envisions Purdue, Region as 'Cooler Place'

      Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says a more than $1 billion live, work, play development on the West Lafayette campus will be a magnet for attracting and keeping top talent in the region. The Discovery Park District is part of a 30-year vision to transform the west side of the Purdue campus and create a "preeminent environment" for educational, economic, cultural and community activities in the region.

    • Manufacturer to Close in Muncie

      Illinois-based JD Norman Industries is planning to close its facility in Muncie. In a notice to the state, the company says the decision will result in the layoffs of 130 employees. JD Norman did not provide a reason for the closure.

    • Mega-Merger Involves Fort Wayne Operation

      A defense industry contractor with a significant presence in Fort Wayne has announced a merger agreement. Florida-based Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) and L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) in New York say the combination will create the sixth-largest defense company in the country. In early-2015, Harris completed the $4.75 billion acquisition of Exelis, a long-time manufacturer of military radio technology in Fort Wayne. Shortly after the acquisition, Harris consolidated...

    • High Alpha Spawns Tenth Tech Startup

      The first company has launched from Indianapolis-based High Alpha since the venture studio received a $100 million infusion in July, and the tenth overall. Anvl develops software designed to reduce and prevent maintenance service industry injuries. The company is led by Hoosier tech scene veteran Robin Fleming, who previously served as vice president of technology for Angie's List before its acquisition by New York-based IAC (Nasdaq: IAC). Anvl was born out of a first-of-its-kind...