Emotional intelligence taps into a fundamental part of human behavior that is distinct from your intellect. There is no connection between IQ and emotional intelligence. Intelligence is your ability to learn, retrieve, and apply knowledge. Emotional intelligence is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. While some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can work on developing high emotional intelligence, even if you aren’t born with it.
Personality is the “style” that defines each of us. It’s the result of hard-wired preferences, such as the inclination toward introversion or extroversion. Our IQ, EI, and personality each help explain various aspects of ourselves and what makes us tick.
How does emotional intelligence contribute to professional success? First, high emotional intelligence can greatly improve workplace morale. When we feel good, we work better. Positive feelings lubricate mental efficiency, facilitate comprehension, and assist in complex decision-making. Upbeat moods help us feel more optimistic about our ability to achieve a goal, enhance creativity, and predispose us to being more helpful to others.
The higher you climb on the corporate ladder and the more people you supervise, the more your EI skills will come into play. The TalentSmart consulting firm tested EI alongside 33 other important workplace skills and found it to be the strongest predictor of performance, responsible for 58% of success across all job types.
Likewise, more than 90% of top performers in leadership positions possessed a high degree of EI. On the flip side, just 20% of poor performers demonstrated high EI.
Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills, and it impacts most everything you say and do each day. It strongly drives leadership and personal excellence.
Yes, you can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but it’s rare. People with a high degree of EI make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than those with low EI.
The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so well-founded that generally, every point increase in EI adds $1,300 to one’s annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world.
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