Emotional Intelligence has firmly put itself on the success assessment pedestal, in business circles, and being spoken about continually. You may not have heard of it but decades of research now point to Emotional Intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest.
The history behind Emotional Intelligence
There has been a missing link in gauging human performance. Although we probably all suspected it, just because you have a higher than average IQ, it doesn’t mean you are going to be more successful than the next person with an average intelligence score. IQ has never been a good gauge for demonstrating success and the common outcome was to see those of average intelligence continually outperforming those of higher intelligence or IQ levels. The scientific research demonstrated this to be the case 70% of the time.
So, what exactly is this new ‘success’ gauge?
Emotional Intelligence is in each of us and a little intangible. It gauges how we manage our behaviour in certain situations, how we navigate through the social complexities of business and life, and how we make personal decisions based on experience and rational thought. It is the crucial part of how we achieve positive results with the decisions we consider and make on a daily basis. I suspect many hadn’t thought of it this way, but actually it makes perfect sense. If you are in control of your emotions, rational in your decision-making behaviour, strong awareness of the situation, and have the necessary social skills to communicate your decisions effectively, you are essentially emotionally intelligent. You are in control.
The science behind it all
The graphic above demonstrates the four core skills of Emotional Intelligence, each pairing up under two primary competencies. These are personal competence and social competence.
This is about your self-awareness and self-management skills, how you focus more on you than on other people. It’s your ability to continually stay aware of your emotions and manage your behaviour effectively. It’s about your tendencies when faced with decisions and your perception of them in a specific situation. Self-management is how you use that awareness effectively, demonstrating flexibility and directing your behaviour in a positive way.
This is a combination of social awareness, relationships and the management skills you adopt in situations. It’s how you gauge other people’s moods, behaviour and, ultimately, motives. Good social competence allows you to respond effectively to improve the quality of that relationship.
IQ versus Emotional Intelligence and Personality
Emotional Intelligence taps into human behaviour and has no relation to your IQ. In fact, research has demonstrated there is no connection between IQ and emotional intelligence – you cannot predict how emotionally intelligent someone is based on how smart they are. IQ is based on your ability to learn, and this is the same whether you’re at a young age or as you hit 50, whereas Emotional Intelligence represents a set of skills that is acquired and improved upon as you experience more in your life. Some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, but everyone has the ability to develop a high level of Emotional Intelligence through the self/social awareness skills they learn. They can learn how to improve their self-management and relationship-management skills and hone their Emotional Intelligence to create the desired outcomes.
If you make an obvious comparison between IQ and Emotional Intelligence, the latter involves the whole person rather than par
The final piece behind the science
Personality is the final aspect of your performance as an emotionally intelligence individual, and something that defines all of us. Hard wired preferences, introversion and extroversion, and how we balance those emotions, are what creates our personality traits. These also impact on how we make our decisions.
If you are a parent, and take the average teenager at school, you will understand, at that age, they are still finding their own self/social-awareness and learning self-management and how they manage their own relationships. They still have a great deal of learning to do and social skills can be erratic. Their own perception and positioning within peer groups are defining their personalities. If you understand the average teenager, this really starts to demonstrate the strength of Emotional Intelligence and dictate how you conduct yourself and make important decisions.
You may be sitting at your desk reading this and trying to relate the importance of it. Of course, you can gauge and read between the lines from reading the research, but the key denominator is how Emotional Intelligence actually predicts performance. If you score high, you are probably getting the results in your business you want, or you will do. Scoring low could see you getting things wrong on a regular basis. Professional success is now being defined by Emotional Intelligence and it’s a powerful direction to explore as a business owner, to make self-improvements, which in turn impact on your business success.
A statement I read, which defined the scientific analysis in real life tests, perfectly described the importance of this recent research… ‘Your Emotional Intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills – it impacts on everything you do and say each day!’
The key statistics from the research
90% of the top performers scored highly in Emotional Intelligence. The flip side was just 20% of bottom performers scoring high in the tests. So, you can be a top performer without a high Emotional Intelligence score, but the chances are slim.
Want to take the test? There are a number of online resources and this is the one I tried… click here to start!