Most of us know what IQ is, and that most of us fall in the average range. IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient. When talking about IQ, we often hear people relate words like “smart” or “stupid.” The fact is that IQ scores are derived from just standardized tests that are meant to measure intelligence. In the original IQ tests, the quotient was calculated by dividing an individual’s “mental age” by their “actual age” then multiplying that number by 100. IQ is great for helping to measure things like knowledge, reasoning, and memory. Although IQ has been the standard for measuring intelligence for quite some time, new research shows that IQ is not the only type of intelligence. The form of Intelligence I’m talking about is called EQ or Emotional Intelligence. Unlike IQ, it’s pretty obvious that emotional intelligence has to do more with our emotions. Furthermore, it’s the ability to recognize, evaluate, and control emotions of both one’s self and others. EQ is harder to measure in numbers because it is a qualitative feature. It is this qualitative reasoning inside of us that recognizes emotions in ourselves and others and guides us to respond. Although this may not seem very important at first, experts have found that EQ plays a very huge role in many parts of our lives. I personally believe EQ should be understood more as it plays a major role in our lives and especially in resolving conflicts, building healthy relationships, and overall success.
Above all else, EQ helps us resolve conflicts by being able to recognize emotions and using them proactively. You see, there is a big difference between knowing that there is a problem and actually understanding the problem. For example, it is easy for one to look at two people arguing and know that they are arguing, it is pretty obvious. But take that same scenario, add understanding to it and it changes everything. If someone is able to understand emotions, they can not only tell that there is a problem, but they can sense the emotions around them. Being able to sense the emotions is just the start. After recognizing and evaluating the emotions of the two, what an emotionally intelligent person can do is seek to direct the emotions in a proactive way. Since emotionally intelligent people are good at empathizing with others perspectives and feelings, it is much easier to resolve and even avoid conflict. This is an essential skill to have both in one’s personal life and professional life.
Second, emotional intelligence plays a big role in building better relationships. Being emotionally intelligent automatically makes us better communicators. If you are able to understand and manage emotions, you are more likely to be able to communicate your feelings as well. This can be especially important in more romantic relationships. In fact, a study found that EQ directly correlates with romantic relationship satisfaction. The study reported that there is a “Significant meta-analytic relationship between trait emotional intelligence and romantic relationship satisfaction” (Malouff). It went on further to say that this is “consistent with the theoretical view that emotional intelligence leads to better life outcomes” (Malouff). If we think about it, it all really makes sense. If ones know and understand emotions, it can motivate one to take part in social interactions. He or she knows how to respond and empathize with people and communicate that. Many relationships struggle due to misunderstandings, an unresolved conflict that builds up, and simply not knowing how to express your emotions, feeling, and not knowing how to respond to others emotions and feelings. Emotionally intelligent people understand that allowing others to know your emotions allows them to better understand you. They also understand that trying to understand other’s emotions helps to understand the situation better. In a sense, it adds context and is so key when building relationships.
Finally, emotional intelligence plays a big role in how successful we will be personally and professionally. Take this quote from Forbes for example: “Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence” (Bradberry). Thus, it is possible to still be successful and score low in terms of emotional intelligence, but it does not seem likely. With numbers like this, I think it is safe to say that emotional intelligence, at least to some extent, correlates with higher rates of success. If you still don’t believe that emotional intelligence plays a role in how successful you will be, just take a look at some of these statistics: It is said that “Naturally, people with a high degree of emotional intelligence make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than people with a low degree of emotional intelligence. The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so direct that every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary” (Bradberry). Although correlation does not always imply causation, with numbers like these, more likely than not emotional intelligence not only correlates with success, it causes success. This can be for a number of reasons, such as career choice or performance. In some ways, this can also be related to the communication skills of emotionally intelligent people. People who know how to communicate effectively are no doubt more successful. Furthermore, emotionally intelligent people also understand themselves so much so that they know what they want, and they go after it. A lot of people go to school or work in fields that make them miserable, and a lot of people say it’s because they do not know what would make them happy. Obviously, you are more likely to excel in doing what you are passionate about than doing something that makes you miserable.
Understanding emotions may seem unimportant or trivial but in fact, it is the opposite. It has been shown by experts that emotional intelligence is a better predictor of success than overall IQ. Being emotionally intelligent means that you can accurately recognize emotions and utilize then proactively. It has the power to repair and restore relationships. Thus, it also helps us to build better relationships as a result as well. On top of all this, it’s so vital and important to our success in the workplace and in our personal lives. Being able to navigate conflicts, understand ourselves and other, and communicate effectively all lead to a more successful and happier life. So although IQ is important for many reasons as it measures intelligence quantitatively, EQ is important for measuring intelligence for qualitative features.