Hello SOTGC Community,
For many people, there is no difference between being smart and intelligent. The words seem to be interchangeable.
But there is a difference.
The word smart is used towards things that are learned or earned. Street-smart vs. book-smart, for example.
Intelligence, however, is something with which you are born.
Typically, we give a higher compliment when we tell someone they are intelligent.
Ok, I’m playing with semantics here, but my point is this: IQ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Keld Jensen lifted my spirits after I read his article in Forbes: Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed. He wrote,
“Albert Einstein’s was estimated at 160, Madonna’s is 140, and John F. Kennedy’s was only 119, but as it turns out, your IQ score pales in comparison with your EQ [emotional intelligence] … when it comes to predicting your success and professional achievement.”
Thank you Keld Jensen.
Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence. (Daniel Goleman, Salovey & Mayer and others.)
That means if you’re of average-plus intelligence, and you successfully learn and employ emotional intelligence skills, you’re good to go.
That’s good news for those of us who aren’t endowed with the IQ of Madonna, or Steve Martin – it’s true! He comes in at 142.
The truth is, we tend to elevate ourselves in the EQ department – we think we show up in our relationships at work and home differently than we actually do.
If you’re feeling brave, just ask a few people that know you well and you trust.
In today’s competitive work environment, it’s worth brushing up on your interpersonal skills now and then.
Here are the five qualities, or competencies, of emotional intelligence:
- Optimism – ability to anticipate the best possible outcome of events or actions
- Self-Awareness – knowledge of current emotional state, strengths and weaknesses
- Empathy – understanding of others’ points of view and decision-making processes
- Impulse Control – ability to mitigate an urge to act (as in: think first and act later)
- Reality Testing – ability to see things as they are, not as we want them to be
Regardless of your career path, it’s critical to understand the importance of EQ across sectors. This is particularly true in the nonprofit world where leadership development is often neglected due to lack of resources.
Yes, IQ is important, but emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Who knew?
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