With all the talk in the EQ world about the importance of perception, empathy, and skillful action, one sometimes has to wonder: Does it even matter?
After all, there are plenty of not-so-emotionally-intelligent people out (aka jerks) who are doing just fine, right? We all know insensitive, greedy, ambitious, self-centered folks who are emotional and social dullards and who are making oodles of money. They may be miserable and they may make the people around them miserable, but heck, they’re at the top. They’re successful. They’re driving nicer cars than we are and they indulge in more expensive hobbies than we do, too.
So what’s the point?
My own feeling is that developing social and emotional intelligence helps people be happier, healthier and have closer relationships, which is hugely important if you take a broader measure of the quality — and “successfulness” — of a human life. But a number of recent studies have shown that developing EQ can indeed help you bolster your achievement. For instance, one 2004 study of managers found that EQ skills such as vision and an ability to develop people is more important to “leadership success” than traditional managerial traits such as financial skills and planning abilities. You can read about that study here.
Plenty of other studies also exist, which I’ll write about over the next few days.
And after that? How to start developing your own emotional and social intelligence skills.