IQ has measurable yardsticks.  Grades in school, certifications, and professional licenses attest to what you know about given subjects.  You are more likely to trust a CPA with your financial information for income tax preparation.  Engineers must have a degree and, with passage of time, a professional designation.  Likewise a myriad of other professions provide benchmarks for inclusion.  But there is more to success in the business world than IQ.Diagram of success

We’ve all worked with and/or known someone who was incredibly bright and knowledgeable on a given subject, but difficult to work with (or for).  It was challenging to have a meeting with them and truly resolve a critical issue.  If confronted with a difference of opinion, they would either become very argumentative or withdraw.  At the end of the day, you were glad you could get away from them for awhile if you worked for them.  If they were a friend, eventually you probably slowly withdrew from the friendship.  It was just too draining.

Sometimes, people with high technical skills find it more difficult to rate equally high on the EQ scale.  The good news is professionals can learn to be more effective on the EQ scale.  It will only happen, however, if they work at it.

In Daniel Coleman’s book “Emotional Intelligence” his findings, based on research, give new focus and meaning to EQ (or Emotional Intelligence).  It is a definitive book on the bottom line profitability of hiring employees with high EQ.

When you read a job description you will see some industry-specific terminology, but a large percentage of these requirements relate to the soft skills, i.e. able to effectively communicate and team player are two of the most common.  If you’ve learned these skills, it is probably through the school of hard knocks.  If they come naturally to you, you’re saying “well duh”.  Either way, EQ plays a critical role in long term career success.

My suggestion?  Read one of the books on the subject, evaluate your people skills, and get honest feedback from trusted co-workers, family and friends.  Make adjustments, if you need to, on your EQ meter and watch your career take off.

Career Advice, Development, Interviewing, Recruiting