Understanding Emotional Intelligence Part II: EQ vs IQ
posted on Apr-07-2013
By Simone De Haas | Director, T3 Recruitment
Emotional intelligence – such as self-managing intense feelings, developing empathy, listening to others without fear, judgment or contempt can often determine our destiny far more so than our IQ.
Emotional intelligence taps into a basic aspect of behaviour that is distinct from your intellect. Research has determined that there is no connection between IQ and emotional intelligence. In other words, you can’t predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is. Conversely, a person’s IQ can be severely undermined by an inability to manage their emotions effectively.
Intelligence is defined as your ability to acquire knowledge and skills and tends to be stable over a lifetime. Emotional Intelligence, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Although some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it.
Balancing our EQ and IQ is the balancing of the head and the heart. More accurately, since we know that our emotional intelligence also resides in the head, this is about creating a better relationship between the emotional brain and the thinking brain.
In the previous article, we discussed how the emotional brain can hijack our thinking processes. Therefore, it does not take a great leap to realise that our intelligence can be adversely affected by our emotions. How effective a leader can you be if you are unable to think clearly because you are gripped by a strong emotion and cannot apply rationale to a subject?
In reality, there will be individuals who are supremely intelligent, with the highest of IQs, but who lead chaotic and unfulfilled lives purely because they are wound so tight, and so driven by their emotions, that they cannot free their true potential.
The real improvement that can result from improved emotional intelligence is better real-world problem-solving skills, because emotions will not cloud the issue. Strengthening your emotional intelligence is not, therefore, about increasing IQ, but rather about allowing your existing IQ to shine through under more and more testing circumstances.
It is all about controlling the initial emotional response to a given stimulus that might render the highest IQ effectively worthless. It is about applying intellectual rationale to the risk factors for emotional overreactions before they occur.
There are four core principles to EQ:
3. Social awareness
4. Relationship management
In next month’s newsletter I will offer some strategies for developing the first of these core principles: Self-awareness.
Simone De Haas | Director, T3 Recruitment