It is, after all, where Margaret’s unbeatable.
The fact that they are both highly intelligent people notwithstanding, her tact and empathy somehow trump his remarkable outside-the-box thinking. Even with his positive outlook, Scott has never been able to demonstrate the kind of performance his company is looking for. When Margaret was finally promoted into a customer service manager, Scott took a leave of absence to deal with his anger management issues.
In the eternal struggle between soft and hard skills, Margaret’s emotional intelligence won another battle against Scott’s IQ.
Unlike IQ, EQ works from the inside out. As a result of their ability to recognize, understand, and manage their feelings, emotionally intelligent people accurately interpret the feelings of others too, knowing exactly how to react to them in the most appropriate way.
You know how diversity is a major issue in today’s work environment? This doesn’t only include our cultural backgrounds and personal orientations, but also the different ways in which we cope with our emotions. Like Scott and Margaret, we’re all both corporate employees and human beings.
It’s all about mindfulness, wellness, and mental health these days, and HR professionals are luckily in tune with the current trends. As burning topics continue to examine professional performance from the viewpoint of employee satisfaction and work-life balance, it’s only natural (not to mention very promising) that emotional intelligence has finally earned its resurgence.
Even though only 21% of employees believe that EQ is a more valuable asset in the workplace than IQ, a third international study of 515 senior executives proves that emotional intelligence is a better predictor of success than either relevant previous experience or high IQ. Meanwhile, around 65% of employees deem them equally significant.
But, whether or not emotional intelligence beats cleverness is not very important. What is important is that poor EQ led a genius like Scott to his inevitable burnout, triggering his frustration and lowering his self-esteem in the process. Unable to cope with imperfections, highly intelligent employees often stumble on the first challenging obstacle, whereas adversity is where those with high EQ grow and succeed.
Social and personal competency allows us to be more flexible during uncertainty, and to make decisions faster and with greater confidence in our judgment and intuition. EQ helps us build a more positive mindset, which is sometimes the only difference between failing and succeeding. It channels our energy, nurtures our productivity, and hones our creativity.
However, refreshing her professional demeanor was, Margaret wasn’t promoted solely because of her ability to pick out her teammates’ cries for help and make them remember why they love their jobs. It had a bit more to do with how she handled her customers, most of which were quite angry and dissatisfied.
Of course, this leads us to the importance of emotional intelligence in customer-facing departments, especially success and support. It’s where empathy is frequently mentioned as one of the crucial social skills, and where hardly any success would be possible without emotional self-regulation.
Imagine there’s a frustrated customer on the other end of the line, tactlessly lashing out on you for their own inability to understand how to use your company’s product. No, the customer is not always right, but it’s your job to apologize and solve their pain point anyway. And, it all happens on a pretty moody day.
First, you have to be self-aware enough to separate your personal emotions from your job. Then, you need to resist the impulse to scream back at the customer for not being polite, and to tap into your achievement drive in order to remind yourself why you should even care. We’re all human, after all.
Though very well-aware of the significance of emotional intelligence in both internal operations and customer relationship management, HR professionals still struggle with assessing EQ during the hiring process. It takes a great empath to detect an empath, but HR needs a more reliable technique as well.
Apart from personality tests that don’t always work, job interviewers have recently started employing a method called the behavioral event interviewing. It relies on specific questions and follow-ups, but also insists upon in-detail, real-life examples of candidates dealing with others in emotionally challenging situations.
That way, the risk of them idealizing their behavior or offering answers that are socially acceptable is reduced to a minimum. An emotionally stirring story is hard to wing in a stressful scenario that the job interview is, which is why interviewers looking for high EQ should always ask for details.
Another practice that behavioral event interviewers recommend is questioning a candidate about the feelings they were going through at the time. The idea, of course, is to find out as much as possible about their abilities to control their emotions in order to perceive and manage the feelings of others.