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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - October 2021

Emotional Intelligence

by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to notice, identify, understand and manage our own feelings and the emotions of others. It incorporates self-control, social skills, relationships, communication and influencing or motivating other people — all great skills for personal and professional success.

According to the University of New Hampshire psychology department, emotional intelligence is the "ability to validly reason with emotions and to use emotions to enhance thought." EQ refers to an individual's ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. People with high EQ can manage emotions, use their emotions to facilitate thinking, understand emotional meanings and accurately perceive others' emotions. EQ is partially determined by how a person relates to others and maintains emotional control.

The Harvard Business Review has hailed emotional intelligence as “a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea,” one of the most influential business ideas of the decade.

What's the Difference Between IQ and EQ?

IQ, or intelligence quotient, is a number derived from a standardized intelligence test. On the original IQ tests, scores were calculated by dividing the individual's mental age by his or her chronological age and then multiplying that number by 100. So, a child with a mental age of 15 and a chronological age of 10 would have an IQ of 150. Today, scores on most IQ tests are calculated by comparing the test taker's score to the scores of other people in the same age group.

EQ, on the other hand, is a measure of a person's level of emotional intelligence. This refers to a person's ability to perceive, control, evaluate, and express emotions. Researchers such as John Mayer and Peter Salovey as well as writers like Daniel Goleman have helped shine a light on emotional intelligence, making it a hot topic in areas ranging from business management to education.

The concept of emotional intelligence has had a strong impact in several areas, including the business world. Many companies now mandate emotional intelligence training and utilize EQ tests as part of the hiring process. Research has found that individuals with strong leadership potential also tend to be more emotionally intelligent, suggesting that a high EQ is an important quality for business leaders and managers to have.

The EQ concept argues that IQ, or conventional intelligence, is too narrow; that there are wider areas of Emotional Intelligence that dictate and enable how successful we are. Success requires more than IQ (Intelligence Quotient), which has tended to be the traditional measure of intelligence, ignoring essential behavioral and character elements. We've all met people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially and inter-personally inept. And we know that despite possessing a high IQ rating, success does not automatically follow.

Emotional Intelligence - two aspects

This is the essential premise of EQ: to be successful requires the effective awareness, control and management of one's own emotions, and those of other people. EQ embraces two aspects of intelligence:

Understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses, behavior and all.

Understanding others, and their feelings.

Five elements define emotional intelligence:

Self-awarenessSelf-awareness is being conscious of your own feelings and motives. Emotionally intelligent people often demonstrate a high level of self-awareness. You know how your emotions affect yourself and others, and you don’t allow your emotions to control you.Self-regulationPeople with the ability to self-regulate don’t make impulsive decisions. You pause and think about the consequences of an action before proceeding.MotivationPeople with emotional intelligence are productive and driven. You think about the big picture and assess how your actions will contribute to long-term success.EmpathyEmotionally intelligent people are less likely to be self-centered. Instead, you empathize with others and your situations. You tend to be a good listener, slow to judge, and understanding of the needs and wants of others. For this reason, an emotionally intelligent person is often seen as a loyal, compassionate friend.Social skillsIt’s easier for you to collaborate and work in teams. You tend to be an excellent leader because of your strong communication skills and ability to manage relationships.

EQ versus IQ comparison chart


IQStands forEmotional Quotient (aka emotional intelligence)Intelligence QuotientDefinitionEmotional quotient (EQ) or emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.AbilitiesIdentify, evaluate, control and express one’s own emotions; perceive, and assess others' emotions; use emotions to facilitate thinking, understand emotional meanings.Ability to learn, understand and apply information to skills, logical reasoning, word comprehension, math skills, abstract and spatial thinking, filter irrelevant information.In the workplaceTeamwork, leadership, successful relations, service orientation, initiative, collaboration.Success with challenging tasks, ability to analyze and connect the dots, research and development.IdentifiesLeaders, team-players, individuals who best work alone, individuals with social challenges.Highly capable or gifted individuals, individuals with mental challenges and special needs.Origin1985, Wayne Payne's doctoral thesis "A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence" Popular use came in Daniel Goleman's 1995 book "Emotional Intelligence - Why it can matter more than IQ"1883, English statistician Francis Galton's paper "Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development" First application came in French psychologist Alfred Binet's 1905 test to assess school children in France.

We’ve probably all had a boss who we knew was intellectually up for the task but lacked “people skills.” In today’s highly competitive global economy it makes sense that businesses would continue to try and hire the smartest individuals, however it’s even more important to seek those who are equally as thoughtful.

In his 1996 book Emotional Intelligence, author Daniel Goleman suggested that EQ (or emotional intelligence quotient) might be more important than IQ. Why? Some psychologists believe that standard measures of intelligence (i.e., IQ scores) are too narrow and do not encompass the full range of human intelligence. Instead, they suggest, the ability to understand and express emotions can play an equal if not even more important role in how people fare in life.

Additional Observations

"…a national insurance company found that sales agents who were weak in emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative, and empathy sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Not bad, right? Well, compared to agents who scored high in a majority of emotional competencies, they sold policies worth an average of $114,000."

(Cooper, 2013)

"Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price."

(Jensen, 2012)

"IQ alone is not enough; EQ also matters. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success, IQ counts for roughly 10% (at best 25%); the rest depends on everything else—including EQ."

(Bressert, 2007)

Hire high EQ. Hire attitude. Hire well!

All the best,

Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner|

(727) 244-4113

Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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