An old friend and I were talking about work issues over the weekend. When I told him I was becoming increasingly interested in –and committed to — emotional intelligence, he snorted. “I don’t care about people’s emotions,” he said. “I just want people to do the job.”
Good thing we’re old friends and we can talk about our differences. The truth is, dozens of studies over the last decade have found that emotional intelligence — that is, being self aware, self confident, flexible, empathetic, motivated, and able to read, lead, and bring people together ( that’s the short list, by the way) — has greater bearing on workers’ success than IQ, education, or experience. And the higher you climb up the career ladder, the more important emotional intelligence becomes.
In fact, in researching his book Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman studied the “competencies” required for 181 positions at 121 organizations and companies around the world. He found that fully 67 percent of the competencies had to do with emotional intelligence. Looked at another way, emotional intelligence was twice as important as IQ and expertise.
In another study — this one of hundreds of top executives at fifteen global companies — Goleman found that “emotional competence made the crucial difference between mediocre leaders and the best….On average close to 90 percent of (the stars’) success in leadership was attributable to emotional intelligence.”
Remember that next time you decide that success should entail only mastering technical skills and showing up every day. Your emotions and your ability to get along with people count far more than you think.