Do Employers Value Emotional Intelligence over IQ?

IQ is not the only prerequisite for success, nor is having a high IQ the most important skill when it comes to succeeding in life.

emotional-intelligenceOur culture places a high importance on intelligence (IQ) when determining a person’s ability to be successful in the professional world. In reality, IQ is not the only prerequisite for success, nor is having a high IQ the most important skill when it comes to succeeding in life. Life is all about decisions, and new research is showing that having the ability to understand yourself, your emotions, and the emotions of others is the key to making the best choices for yourself. That ability to understand your emotions and the emotions of others is known as emotional intelligence (EQ).

An experiment published on Psychological Science conducted by Jeremy Yip and Stephanie Cote of Yale University gathered some compelling insights into the reasons why a person with a high EQ is more likely to achieve success in life.

“In two experiments, we examined how a core dimension of emotional intelligence, emotion-understanding ability, facilitates decision making. Individuals with higher levels of emotion-understanding ability can correctly identify which events caused their emotions and, in particular, whether their emotions stem from events that are unrelated to current decisions. We predicted that incidental feelings of anxiety, which are unrelated to current decisions, would reduce risk taking more strongly among individuals with lower rather than higher levels of emotion-understanding ability. The results of Experiment 1 confirmed this prediction. In Experiment 2, the effect of incidental anxiety on risk taking among participants with lower emotion-understanding ability, relative to participants with higher emotion-understanding ability, was eliminated when we informed participants about the source of their anxiety. This finding reveals that emotion-understanding ability guards against the biasing effects of incidental anxiety by helping individuals determine that such anxiety is irrelevant to current decisions.”

People who have a well-developed understanding of emotions do not remove all emotions from their decision making, but they do remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision before them.

A reason why a person with a high EQ tends to execute better decision making is they tend to have a well-developed observing ego. An observing ego is the part of your intellect that allows you to observe what you are feeling objectively, almost as if you are having an out of body experience with your emotions. As the study says, the participants with a low EQ needed to be told told by Yip and Cote that their anxiety to perform a 2nd task was actually due to the fact they could not separate their feelings from the 1st task they were asked to complete.

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So, how does your EQ effect your life?
Let’s assume a person with a high IQ / low EQ achieves professional success in life, as they so often do. They have a good job, marriage, and children, life is good. Now, let’s say for the purpose of this example, that stress from that good job manifests itself (as we all know it does), and it continues for a long period of time. That stress eventually bleeds into other aspects of life. A person who has an under-developed understanding of their emotions tends to make a variety of bad decisions due to an inability to understand what is going on internally. Alcoholism, infidelity, and domestic abuse are all symptoms of underlying emotional issues that go unchecked and manifest themselves as something completely different from the original problem.

In the same example, a person with a high EQ would quickly realize their stress and feelings of anxiety are only work-related. They would quickly detach their frustrations from other aspects of their life, and deal with their emotions constructively. Using healthy outlets to collect themselves or venting to their spouse or friends is a normal practice for people with a high EQ. Those healthy releases and emotional understanding would also help someone with a high EQ to return to work refreshed, ready make decisions to better their work situation and reduce stress in the future.

Understanding your emotions is really the only way to overcome them. I am not saying that you need to be a robot to be successful. I am, however, saying that taking the time to identify how you feel and why you feel that way is more constructive in life than avoiding emotions, or trying to dull them with drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs. Being successful in life is not a defined list of things to do or not do. It is a dynamic, ever-changing collection of skills to handle whatever life throws at you. Emotional intelligence is just one of these skills, and quite possibly – one of the most important.

9 Ways to Increase Your IQ by Growing Grey Matter in the BRAIN

Whether you are looking to increase your brain functioning or preserve your cognitive abilities, here are some activities to consider adding to your weekly routine to increase grey matter:

Change-Your-Brain

The Grey Matter of the Hippocampus part of the brain is best known for its association with learning skills and memory capabilities, but it is also known for its connection to self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Basic activities done regularly in only a few weeks of time can increase your IQ and help you to feel more psychologically and physically at peace.

The discovery of neuroplasticity, the brain can change and reorganize itself, is revolutionizing the treatment of stroke patients, chronic pain sufferers, those with neurological disorders and by helping to ward off cognitive decline due to age-related issues.

Whether you are looking to increase your brain functioning or preserve your cognitive abilities, here are some activities to consider adding to your weekly routine to increase grey matter:

1) Embrace the Idea that the Brain Can Grow – This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it needs to be said. Children and young adults have the ability to learn skills faster and this often keeps adults from attempting more difficult feats. You are capable of learning a new language or learning to play an instrument in your older age. You are capable of evolving your behavioral habits. It begins with changing your mindset.

2) Meditation – Studies have shown mediation, particularly compassion mediation, increases neural activity and grey matter thickness. Meditation also puts you in beneficial brainwave patterns – alpha, theta, delta – a myriad of benefits manifest including super creativity, idea generation, enhanced cognitive abilities and overall intellectual capacity for growth.

3) Play Brain Games – Puzzles and Memory Games like Sudoku or other brain games will activate the mind by forcing us in a focused conscious state. This is the best way to increase grey matter via games.

4) Play Video Games – A recent study at University of Rochester, U.S., confirmed a link between 1st person video games and expanded visual awareness in the real world – a building block for the IQ. The ability to take in visual cues with speed and accuracy is invaluable.

5) Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardiovascular fitness is associated with increased cognitive scores and increased verbal intelligence by 50% according to a study done in Sweden. In contrast, muscle exercise was only weakly associated with intelligence.

6) Proper Nutrition – Food feeds the brain and a lack of the right food & nutrition will lead to lower energy levels which in turn lowers brain activity and eventually mental disorders. Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid is needed for cognitive development. DHA/EPA is required for normal brain health and a lack of can lead to depression. Vitamin C increases mental agility. Vitamin K increases cognitive functioning. Berries containing anthocyanins increase short term memory. Zinc plays an important role in spatial learning and memory.

7) Learn a New Skill – Learning a new skill strengthens connections within the brain and it has the ability to get your mind out of a long time rut. The difficulty of the task is in close to relation to how much the brain will activate.

8) Use Your Imagination – Using your imagination is the same as using your visionary skills. Manifesting something positive into your life requires a lot of brain activity. Constantly using your visionary skills contributes to increased creativity, increased problem solving and idea generation.

9) Relinquish a Bad Habit – Forcing yourself to change a habit, whether it is smoking cigarettes or holding on too tightly to grudges, will help the brain to break down strong negative neural connections while making room for healthy new connections that benefit your brain growth. Weakening unhealthy brain connections is just as important as forming new healthy ones.