Ever wonder why some of the most brilliant, well-educated people aren’t promoted, while those with fewer obvious skills climb the professional ladder? Chalk it up to emotional intelligence (EI).
When the concept first emerged in 1995, EI helped explain why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs more than two-thirds of the time. Some of the brightest leaders seem to be lacking when it comes to emotions.
In the United States, experts had assumed that high IQ was key to high performance. Decades of research now point to EI as the critical factor that separates star performers from the rest of the pack. People have been talking about EI (also called EQ) ever since psychologist Daniel Goleman published the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence in 1995. Everyone agrees that emotional savvy is vital, but we’ve generally been unable to harness its power.
Many of us lack a full understanding of our emotions, let alone others’. We fail to appreciate how feelings fundamentally influence our everyday lives and careers. Goleman has brought out another book, The Brain and Emotional Intelligence, which helps explain more. It turns out the emotions are an intricate part of decision making. We don’t realize how much of an influence they have over everyday planning and interacting. People with injuries in the emotional center of the brain retain their intelligence or IQ, but are unable to function well when they lack emotional connectivity.
Research by the TalentSmart consulting firm indicates that only 36% of people tested can accurately identify their emotions as they happen. Two-thirds of people are typically controlled by their emotions but remain unskilled at using them beneficially.
How have you seen Emotional Intelligence impact leadership? Post a comment below. I would love to hear from you.
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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