|It has long been assumed that if you go to college, have a decent IQ, and demonstrate proficient technical abilities, you were well on your way toward a successful job and great life. However, there are plenty of examples of extraordinarily smart people who have not done well. In fact, research conducted with Harvard MBAs revealed that many of them failed miserably.
Evidence now shows that emotional intelligence (EI) plays a much larger role in achieving success. Emotional intelligence involves learned and learnable capabilities that support outstanding performance, including empathy, self-control, influence, conflict management, teamwork, and emotional awareness, of oneself and others.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t positions that require high levels of technical knowledge. If you’re an engineer, for example, emotional intelligence isn’t nearly as important as if you’re in marketing. And, generally speaking, above-average intelligence is needed to become a doctor, lawyer or business executive. However, it is emotional intelligence that becomes a key differentiator.
Research has shown that those strongest in emotional intelligence are more likely to succeed than those with similar technical skills or relevant previous experience. Consequently, the higher up in an organization one gets, the more critical emotional intelligence abilities become.
Those with high emotional intelligence are more aware of the impact of their actions on others and better able to manage situations and relationships. A leader with high emotional intelligence creates an environment that promotes collaboration and creativity. Conversely, a leader with low emotional intelligence may shut down his team without even knowing it. Evidence maintains that emotional intelligence is an important factor in effective leadership and plays a crucial role in the performance and overall success of an organization.