There are many examples of people with high IQs who are incredibly successful in their fields. Moreover, for many people, IQ equals worth, but despite this popular perception, IQ may not be the ability that differentiates star performers. It’s emotional intelligence that makes the difference.
A few years ago, one of my students participated in a long, hard selection process for a company in Europe. A brilliant engineer who spoke four languages, he made it through the first three rounds. Out of 5,000 candidates, only 50 remained. He was one of them. The fourth round involved working in groups. They were given a complex problem to solve under time pressure, so they can demonstrate their ability to work with others.
He failed. He was a top solo performer. When he worked with people, he lost it.
We often face numerous obstacles to getting our work done. This affects our ability to self-regulate our emotions, resulting in lower performance and effectiveness. In addition, the more complex the task, the more we need to establish a meaningful relationship with our colleagues to work together and achieve our goals. A lack of self-regulation also affects our ability to work with others.
Stress is the result of a mismatch between a person’s perception of their ability and their actual ability to cope with the situation, which initially leads to changes in their default behavior and to demotivation and disengagement afterward.
The impact of stress depends on our ability to understand, manage and regulate our emotions in the first place, although, it is true that under prolonged stress, chances are that we develop various diseases, physical and psychological.
In any case, good self-regulation comes with high emotional intelligence. When we can understand and regulate our emotions by not reacting when provoked, our stress levels are reduced.
We tend to evaluate others’ abilities in comparison to our own. Our self-efficacy and self-confidence are sometimes the filter through which we determine the level of others. How often, when working in groups, we fail to recognize the value of someone whose abilities are different from ours, causing contempt and frustration on both sides!
Emotional intelligence is also behind our ability to get along with people because it shapes the way we build trust and thus relationships. There have many studies in this area. One very interesting one says that people with higher emotional intelligence are more effective at managing emotional changes in the workplace, improving relationships and reducing negative feelings such as anger or dismay.
Emotional intelligence is also responsible for building strong bonds at work, improving trust in others. Collaboration helps us cope with stress and leads to better performance. As a result, we’re more satisfied and engaged.
All in all, given a certain level of IQ, it’s emotional intelligence that makes the difference because of it improves our relationship with ourselves and with others.