4 Reasons Why Emotional Intelligence Is More Important Than IQ

by LJ Vanier| We have long been fixated with the impact of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in our lives. Success is often linked to the amount of IQ one has. People with a low IQ are often ridiculed as being mentally challenged while those with mediocre ones are deemed corporate fodder with no chance of success in life.

Well, as it turns out IQ has as much say in you being successful in your life as Zodiac signs.

A new metric, known as Emotional Intelligence, is deemed as a defining property of successful people.

A great example that comes to mind is that of Nobel prize-winning economist, John Nash. Anyone who has seen A Beautiful Mind would remember a bar scene where Nash is attracted to a girl and approaches her.

Instead of using the typical phrases of conquest, characterized by subtle interplay, he jumps right to the final lap; he spares the whole ritual of courtship and demands an “exchange of fluids”.

What this goes on to show that no matter how robust your IQ is, you are not going to get ahead on a social level if you don’t have an adequate level of emotional intelligence. And social skills are all that matter when you are working with people.

The inadequacy of IQ to fully explain one’s cognitive ability was starting to be realized in the late 20th century. The terminology of emotional intelligence was increasingly being used by psychologists to explain emotionality’s role in intelligence. However, the term didn’t come to widespread attention until American psychologist, Daniel Goleman, wrote a best-selling, eponymous book, Emotional Intelligence.

Goleman argues in his publication that the success of a person is not solely determined by their IQ or academic studies. Significant impetus to success is provided by emotional intelligence. This form of intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to identify their own emotional state and manage it properly.

This skill has a positive impact on those who possess it in a developed form, allowing them to understand and control their impulses, facilitate communication with others and maintain healthy relationships.

The association between success and emotional intelligence is best expressed in the words of Goleman himself: “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

According to the psychiatrist, emotional intelligence is defined by four domains:

  • Self-awareness, knowing what we are feeling and why we are feeling it. This serves as a basis of several important success factors, including good intuition, pragmatic decision-making and a functioning moral compass.
  • Self-management, which means handling distressing emotions in an effective manner so that they don’t cripple you by getting in the way of what you are doing or trying to achieve. However, this doesn’t mean that one should box up such emotions completely. A part of self-management also pertains to attuning to these emotions at the right time so that one can understand their underlying sources.
  • Motivation, involves the marshalling of positive emotions in an effective manner so that they become contributing factors in success. Thereby lending the individual a strong drive to achieve and be optimistic in life.
  • Empathy, knowing what someone else is feeling and relating to it. This is an essential portion of maintain healthy relationships with individuals and people in general.

Therefore, you can see how emotional intelligence can play an integral role in one’s success in professional life. IQ is overhyped, it helps you, but it doesn’t do so on the same scale as a developed emotional intelligence. You should know that relationships are the stepping stones that lead you to success and emotional intelligence provides you with ways to nurture and expand these.

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