EQ is the New IQ: How to Develop Emotional Intelligence to Benefit your Future Career

By: Marissa Humayun

What is EQ?

According to an article published by the Entrepreneur entitled “Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed in Business,” a study found that 70% of the time, people with average IQ scores outperformed those with the highest IQ scores.

What could possibly explain this phenomenon?

The answer: Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) is the intangible part of us which affects the way that we behave, navigate social situations and make decisions. No two people are the same when it comes to emotional intelligence. To break down this concept, EQ is split into two competencies: personal competence (the way in which we control our own behavior) and social competence (understanding why others act the way that they do).

So how does this relate to business?

Given the opening statistic, the idea of basing a person’s success on IQ scores alone has been disrupted with this discovery of EQ. A quote from the Entrepreneur sums this up nicely.

“According to emotional intelligence, or EQ, success is strongly influenced by personal qualities such as perseverance, self-control and skill in getting along with others.”

A businessperson with high emotional intelligence is someone who is…

  1. Self-aware – meaning you understand your own strengths and weaknesses (Check out the “Know Yourself” section on our website for more details on self-awareness!)
  2. Constantly regulating themselves – controlling your emotions and tailoring your responses to your audience
  3. Motivated– doing things for your own satisfaction, rather than the satisfaction of others or a title
  4. Empathetic– practicing compassion/understanding for others
  5. Personable – being a relatable person

Finally, how does this relate to college students preparing to enter the workforce?

Recruiters place a high value on EQ, but are you aware of how important EQ really is?

When it comes to relating soft skills to your college career, your EQ can come in handy, especially within collaboration efforts (i.e. group projects, case competitions etc.) and interviews. These are the perfect environments to begin growing your skills of self-awareness, self-regulating, and self-motivation. It is so important to be aware of yourself and your responses when collaborating with others, but also maintaining motivation to complete delegated tasks. As well, when collaborating with others and encountering an obstacle of diversity in thought, it is important to channel your empathy, and put yourself in another group member’s shoes to understand their point of view. Finally, when beginning to interview for internships/full-time opportunities, having an elevated EQ can prove useful in reading your interviewer’s personality/conversation style. Here, you can self-regulate/tailor your responses and maintain a personable attitude, in hopes of further proving your skills to the recruiter.

As you can see, emotional intelligence can be extremely useful in a variety of business situations. Make sure that as you go about your time in college, you do not forget to develop these important professional skills to have a great EQ now, and an even better EQ in your future workplace.