Emotional Intelligence- Why it matters more than IQ

Gary infuriated his fiancé Ellen, because even though he was intelligent, thoughtful, and a successful surgeon, Gary was emotionally flat, unresponsive to any and all shows of feeling. While Gary could speak brilliantly of science and art, when it came to his feelings- even for Ellen- he fell silent. He lacked emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and Emotional Intelligenceother people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and responding appropriately by using emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour. Emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, clearly seen in child and animal behaviour, often suppressed in adults, sometimes rightly, often not.

The term became widely known with the publication, twenty years ago, of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ (1995). It is to this book’s best-selling status that the term can attribute its popularity. Goleman has followed up with several further popular publications of a similar theme that reinforce use of the term. To date though, tests measuring EI have not replaced IQ tests as a standard metric of intelligence…

Daniel GolemanWhat makes a great leader? Knowledge and vision, to be sure. To that, Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence,” would add the ability to identify and monitor emotions — your own and others’ — and to manage relationships. Good self-awareness is the foundation. You cannot be in sufficient control of yourself, if you do not understand your own goals. The traits of a good manager are also the traits of a good parent or teacher. Qualities associated with such “emotional intelligence” distinguish the best leaders in the business world, according to Daniel Goleman,  reporter,  psychologist and co-director of a consortium at Rutgers University to foster research on the role emotional intelligence plays in excellence. Here is his short list of the competencies.


The ability to know one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, values and goals and recognize their impact on others while using gut feelings to guide decisions.

Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else on the team.

Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger.


Involves controlling or redirecting one’s disruptive emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.

Resilience: You stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from upsets. You don’t brood or panic. In a crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if the leader is calm, they can be, too.

Emotional balance: You keep any distressful feelings in check — instead of blowing up at people, you let them know what’s wrong and what the solution is.

Self-motivation: You keep moving toward distant goals despite setbacks.


Considering other people’s feelings especially when making decisions. Because you understand other perspectives, you can put things in ways colleagues comprehend. And you welcome their questions, just to be sure. Cognitive empathy, along with reading another person’s feelings accurately, makes for effective communication. Empathy works when it is genuine and reasonable. It doesn’t mean that you are a pushover.

Good listening: You pay full attention to the other person and take time to understand what they are saying, without talking over them or hijacking the agenda.


Compelling communication: You put your points in persuasive, clear ways so that people are motivated as well as clear about expectations.

Team playing: People feel relaxed working with you. One sign: They laugh easily around you.


Managing relationships to move people in the desired direction. The development of good interpersonal skills is tantamount to success in your life and career. In today’s connected world, everyone has immediate access to technical knowledge. Thus, “people skills” are even more important now because you must possess a high EQ to better understand, empathize and negotiate with others in a global economy. Among the most useful skills are:

Influence. Wielding effective persuasion tactics.

Communication. Sending clear messages.

Leadership. Inspiring and guiding people.

Change catalyst. Initiating or managing change.

Conflict management. Understanding, negotiating and resolving disagreements.

Building bonds. Nurturing instrumental relationships.

Collaboration and cooperation. Working with others toward shared goals.

Team capabilities. Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals.


In summary, Like yourself first, and like people, because if you don’t, you have no business as a manager.  See the best in the people around you and show it to them. Most people are trustworthy, treat them as such. Give people all the information they need to do their jobs. Give people all the responsibility they can handle. If they make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world, learn from it, forgive, and move on. When making a decision, seek input from the people who will be affected. A workplace should be a good place to be: physically, intellectually and emotionally.

mottoTo this end, many good managers have found:  1. Make a mistake, you’ll get all the help you need to fix it. 2.Make the same mistake again, you’ll get help and a warning. 3. Make the same mistake a third time, and it is clear that for whatever reason, you may not be the right fit for the role you are in.