Have you ever known a person who seemed to soar through school with the highest GPA; who had a super high IQ, and all the opportunities for career advancement imaginable, but just couldn’t seem to get as high as their potential indicated? Maybe you’ve been that person.
The missing link in the success chain could be the most crucial one of all, emotional intelligence, otherwise known as EQ.
Emotional intelligence, a phrase coined by psychology professors, John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey in their 1990 research paper, may be considered the single most important characteristic of the most successful people.
In fact Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ” says, “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence… Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”
EQ is also a great indicator of salary, beyond age and gender. In fact, a single point increase in emotional intelligence leads to a $1,300 increase in annual income, and 90% of the highest performing employees also have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
Not only that, but people with high emotional intelligence are 7x more likely to be effective leaders, as they are able to engage employees more, reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. This also results in these leaders being 7x more likely to have high performance outcomes.
Emotional intelligence can be an innate skill, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a skill that can be learned by anyone who is willing to look at themselves with honesty. Emotional intelligence requires the ability to become more self-aware, to accept one’s own limits and monitor one’s own reactions. It requires self-regulation as well, which can be learned by habitually taking time to cool down before responding in stressful situations.
Emotionally intelligent people are also empathetic, have good social skills, and are motivated. All of this can be learned and improved upon by anyone who is willing to put in the work.