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EQ vs. IQ: Why Do Smart People Fail?

By Mohamed El-Kamony

Why people who more social succeed while those with merely a moderate IQ considerably fail?

First we need to understand that emotional intelligence (EQ) is not the opposite of the intelligence quotient (IQ); EQ is actually complementary to IQ resembled in academic intelligence and cognitive skills, and studies actually show that our emotional states affect the way our brain functions as well as its processing speed (Cryer qtd. in Kemper). Studies have even shown that Albert Einstein's superior intellectual ability may have been linked to the part of the brain that supports psychological functions, dubbed the amygadla. The natures of EQ and IQ differ however in the ability to learn and develop them. IQ is a genetic potential that is established at birth and happens to be fixed after a certain age (pre-puberty) and can not be developed nor increased after then. EQ on the contrary can be learned, developed and improved at any age, and studies have actually shown that our ability to learn emotional intelligence increases as we get older. Another difference is that IQ is a threshold capability that can only show you the road to your career and gets you working in a certain field but it is EQ that walks through that road and gets you promoted in that field. Therefore, striking a balance between IQ and EQ is an important element of managerial success. For some extent, IQ is a driver of productive performance; however IQ-based competencies are considered "threshold abilities" i.e. the skills needed for you to do an average job. On the other hand, EQ-based competencies and skills are by far more effective, especially at higher levels of organizations where IQ differences are negligible. When a comparative study matched star performers against average ones in top organizational levels, 85 % was attributed to EQ-based competencies rather than IQ. Dr. Goleman says that even though organizations are different, have different needs, it was found that EQ contributed by 80-90% of predicting success in organizations in general.

EQ vs. IQ: Case Study

To better illustrate the value-added of EQ competencies relative to IQ, we refer to the case, which was conducted by Dr. Goleman and two renowned EQ researchers, to analyze how EQ competencies contributed to profits in a large accounting firm. First, the participants' IQs and EQs were tested and analyzed thoroughly, then they were organized in work teams and each work team was trained on one form of EQ competency like self-management and social skills; however they left one team with participants with a high IQ to act as a control for the study. Then when they evaluated the economic value-added of EQ competencies and IQ, the results were remarkable. The team with high social skills scored a 110% incremental profit, while the self-control partners scored a massive 390% incremental profit which was valued at $ 1,465,000 more profit per year. Conversely, the partners with high cognitive and analytical skills, reminiscent of IQ, added just 50% incremental profit, which indicate that IQ give support to performance but this support is limited owing to its being a threshold capability; EQ-based competencies apparently supports performance far more.

About The Author

Mohamed El-Kamony is a junior student in the American University in Cairo with a major in Business Adminsteration with a double concentration in marketing and finance.

mkamony@gmail.com


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