Darwin’s notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ applies to every facet of human life ranging from adolescence to employment.
As the survival expert and granddaddy of evolution puts it, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” This is where emotional quotient (or emotional intelligence) kicks in. EQ is measured by one’s ability to perceive, manage and express emotions in a controlled manner.
While it sounds easy, the ability to delay gratification doesn’t come easy to many and requires mastering a certain knack to react with one’s intellectual brain rather than the impulsive one. While scientists revere over the brain and intellect, the muddled potential of the heart is left to poets.
Predominance is given to Intelligence Quotient or IQ which primarily involves the top portion of the brain dealing with cognitive abilities, reasoning and application of knowledge, while Emotional Quotient or EQ covers the lower and central sections of the brain and enables the capacity to use both cognitive and emotional thought, ranging from empathy, intuition, self-control to interpersonal and leadership skills. Characteristics like resilience, integrity, self and social awareness are molded by one’s emotional quotient.
For the pedagogic puritans who place IQ on a pedestal over emotional intelligence, what good is a student’s skill in advanced physics if he’s overwhelmed by exam anxiety? The same applies for a mutually beneficial relationship, for who would want to marry an emotionally unstable barstool? To empathize and motivate, one must first self-regulate and recognize one’s strengths and limitations, and emotional intelligence can be your savior.
EQ as a recruitment decision maker
As you advance in an organization, emotional intelligence plays an increasingly vital role. There is no questioning the fact that IQ still determines one’s chances at securing a job position, but while technical expertise in an area is most desirable, the holistic development of an individual is also taken into account. There’s exponential growth in several major companies and FMCGs conducting psychometric tests to measure the emotional quotient of its potential employees, to determine their level of motivation and possible progress in their career.
While luck, looks and nepotism may have a considerable hand in progressing at work, emotional intelligence is more than likely the causal factor of giving one the required edge. The traits that were once referred to as ‘soft skills’, now decide your fate in a company.
It is undoubtedly apt when they say that IQ might get you through school, but EQ will get you through life. Think you can land a sales job based solely on your academic credentials and a fancy degree? Think again.