Is Emotional Intelligence Overrated?
Emotional Intelligence…we see it everywhere and we hear it everywhere. When you talk to your boss or go to an interview, they’ll mention Emotional Intelligence. Why is it necessary to have high EQ? We were taught at a young age; smart people will rule the world!
How true is that statement?
On television, in movies and in our favourite books, the smartest person typically will achieve what they set their mind to do. However, that isn’t the case in the corporate world. People are social beings, we value friendship and companionship. I think it is safe to say that no one wants to work with someone they hate. Being smart does not necessarily mean that people will respond the way you want. At the shops, you’d much rather deal with a smiling and energetic representative than a grumpy and monotone person.
“One piece of log creates a small fire, adequate to warm you up. Add a few more pieces to blast an immense bonfire, large enough to warm up your entire circle of friends; needless to say that individuality counts but team work dynamites” – Jin Kwon
That is what EQ is about and why companies actively seek out people with emotional intelligence. People with good amounts of EQ tend to be able to adjust and understand their social surroundings better than those who do not. They will be more approachable, easier to get along with and most importantly, understand the situation.
This is an extremely important aspect of the workplace, you are working with many different kinds of people, in most cases, you’d be working together to complete a project. When a team doesn’t get along, the project will not progress and will ultimately cause a setback. Intelligent people are valued for their intelligence but if they do not get along with their team members, it will end up being unproductive. Very rarely is there someone with high IQ but low EQ and working well in a team-oriented project!
Understandably, IQ will be valued over EQ in some jobs more than others. There will be instances where the job requires high intelligence but minimal team related activities. So, next time someone mentions emotional intelligence, understand the context it is in and what is the environment in which the person will operate.
Is it necessary for emotional intelligence to be trained in an employee?
Whether it can be trained or not is debatable. Though studies have shown that children can be heavily influenced early in their development to enhance emotional intelligence. As for adults, it could be much more difficult; tendencies or predispositions can affect our thought process. I believe, emotional intelligence could be a difficult factor to be implemented if the individual does not have a base. However, raising awareness and social norms could prevent anti-social and individualistic approaches.
Take Home Message:
Emotional Intelligence could be said to be more underrated than overrated. People like to throw around the term at work but some may not fully understand it. The key is to having a balance of EQ and IQ. You need to be competent in your job as well as work well with others. Being aware of those around you and what is appropriate in the workplace can help with overcoming lower EQ!