Emotional intelligence and your success

publication date: Jun 23, 2011
author/source: Lisa MacDonald

Die-hard fans of reality TV shows like Survivor, The Apprentice or The Amazing Race know that part of their appeal is never being able to predict who will walk away as the winner.  It's the same with the quiet kid in high school who surprises everyone by becoming the next-hot internet success story while the graduating valedictorian languishes in a menial service job.  Straight intelligence is not a sole indicator of success.  In everyday language, emotional intelligence refers to the "street smarts" or "common sense" that can propel people forward in professional advancement and personal achievement.

In a revised and updated edition of The EQ Edge, authors Steven J. Stein PH.D. and Howard E. Book M.D. show the reader how the dynamic of emotional intelligence works.  Their thesis is that by understanding EQ a person can build more meaningful relationships, boost their confidence and optimism and respond to challenges with enthusiasm - all essential ingredients of success.

IQ vs. EQ

Stein and Book define Intelligence Quotient (IQ) in the following way, "IQ is a measure of an individual's intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities.  As such, it's concerned with verbal, spatial, visual and mathematical skills." On the other hand, the generally accepted understanding of Emotional Quotient (EQ) is as "a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way."

Why EQ matters

According to the authors of this book, emotional intelligence can be enhanced. No matter what the role you're trying to fill - worker, spouse or parent, assessment using the EQ scale and then positive movement along it can increase your chance of success.  For some the word "emotion" makes the whole concept of EQ difficult to swallow.  But when faced with skeptics, the authors are adamant.  EQ is not a crutch, intended to displace IQ.  Instead, the two are complementary; able to peacefully and productively co-exist.  Metaphorically, IQ allows you to enter the elevator, but it is EQ that fuels your elevator's upward trajectory.

EQ in the world of work

Time and time again, the media covers the high stakes drama of big business.  Why CEOs Fail is one story, Why CEOs Succeed is another.  The common denominator in both stories is the absence or abundance of core skills associated with EQ.  Whether you are a CEO, an Executive Director, Manager of Sales Development or Director of Human Resources a better understanding of EQ factors can help you to achieve career success.

Purchase your copy of The EQ Edge for only $29.95.  

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