EQ vs IQ in the workplace

By Sarah Brownlee

Posted on 22nd May 2019

“At the end of the day, we are humans dealing with humans!” I have no idea who uttered this ingenious sentence but never were truer words spoken.

I’ve been lucky to work in a variety of different companies with a mix of different people and management styles. The one thing that has always struck me in my personal experiences, especially in the more corporate spaces, is how the value of EQ or emotional quotient is undermined. 

No doubt EQ’s ugly sister, IQ, makes us look good on paper. The endless list of our skills, capabilities, strengths and accomplishments – but that’s pretty much where it ends.

With businesses increasingly dependent on collaboration, compromise and negotiation, the importance of emotional intelligence cannot be undermined. EQ can make or break our work environment, client relationships and our ability to successfully communicate with our colleagues.

A study conducted by TalentSmart found that 90% of top performers have a high emotional intelligence, with EQ responsible for 58% of your job performance.

Behind the Yellow Door both intelligences are highly regarded. In fact, every second Friday we put aside 30 minutes as a team to take an online PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) Assessment. This particular test measures the percentage of time that your mind serves you as opposed to sabotages you.

The test is useful, as it is a launchpad into managing your own emotions and building on what has been identified as the 6 pillars to building a stronger emotional intelligence.

1. Self-awareness

Recognising and managing your own emotions is a key pillar in emotional intelligence. Managing and being able to adjust your emotional behaviour to a situation enables you to influence the emotions of others.

2. Empathy

Empathy is ranked second. When you’re able to decipher and recognise the feeling of others, you’re able to show that you understand where they’re coming from and in turn, gain their respect.  

3. Self-regulation

By learning to control and manage your emotions, especially your impulses, you are able to prepare yourself for emotional self-management.

4. Motivation

Emotionally intelligent people are motivated to look at a problem and find a resolution in a calm and rational way.

5. Social skills

Being able to easily talk and connect with others is a key ingredient to achieve a higher EQ. Being socially aware and engaging demonstrates that you really care about others and not just about your own personal gain.

6. Happiness

Happy people accomplish more tasks than those who are sad or depressed. It is also important to note that emotionally intelligent people have the ability to control their mood to serve their purpose, motivating them to find more solutions to problems.

As we continue the quest to a higher EQ, let us remember the wise words of Maya Angelou: “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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