So says Dr. Daniel Goleman. More of that later. Intelligence has been the subject of hot debates. Each time some psychologist tried to settle the debate by designing a defining test that showed how to check for intelligence, there would be another wave of research that showed how flawed the test was. What is then a good measure of intelligence? Ask Mensa - the high intelligence quotient society.
Membership of Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised. If you are curious to know the kind of questions that Mensa uses to test for intelligence, you can take a workout - not the actual test on their site - just to see if you can crack those 30 questions in 30 minutes (try the Mensa workout).
If two typists can type two pages in two minutes, how many typists will it take to type 18 pages in six minutes? Is the answer 3, 4, 6, 12 or 36? The average person's IQ is 100, college grads usually fare better at 120 and Mensa candidates usually have their IQ at 130+. The highest ever recorded IQ is 195 for Chris Langan only 1 in 100 million humans have that score. Chris never finished college and worked as a bar bouncer in New York.
Is Intelligence a Predictor of Success?
Then one could ask a more fundamental question - is intelligence a predictor of success. If you ask psychologist Daniel Goleman Dr. the answer is an emphatic no. He says, “High IQ will get you hired. But Emotional Intelligence will ensure that you get promoted.”
Take a simple managerial task of giving performance feedback. It is a task that the manager and the team member dread equally. No one likes to give bad news. Now it turns out that even giving good news is not easy. It is not what you say but how you say it. Psychologist Daniel Goleman's research shows that even the boss's tone of voice can trigger one or another brain area. In one study, when people got a positive performance feedback that was delivered in a negative, cold tone of voice, they came out of the session feeling down - despite the good news. The ability to manage emotions such as anger, humor, anxiety, optimism, melancholy and happiness determines how successfully you accomplish the tasks that you wish to do. A genius who annoys people is not going to succeed. Our greatest strengths can turn out to be our greatest weaknesses as well if used inappropriately. A comment made on Facebook or Twitter has led to the abrupt end of many a career. People can learn to manage emotions. This is definitely intelligence that we can acquire and learn.
What is the relation between IQ and Emotional Intelligence i.e. how we handle ourselves and our relationships. This psychologist from Harvard worked as a science journalist, reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books) was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year and a half; with more than 5,000,000 copies in print worldwide in 30 languages, and has been a bestseller in many countries. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Goleman.
Abhijit: What are Emotional Intelligence competencies that distinguish successful people?
There are dozens, but they generally fall into four overall categories: self-awareness (e.g., recognizing your feelings, why you have them, and how they impact your performance), self-management (e.g., handling distressing emotions well); social awareness (e.g., sensing what others are feeling - empathizing); and relationship management (conflict resolution, influence and persuasion, etc.).
Abhijit: In your research what is the correlation between IQ and Emotional Intelligence?
Daniel Goleman: Generally, IQ determines what job you can get and hold, while EI predicts how well you will do in that career - whether you have the motivation and social abilities to be a star performer or leader.
Abhijit: Is Emotional Intelligence learnable or are we born with a certain inherent level of it that we can only adapt or improve upon marginally.
Daniel Goleman:EI is learned and learnable, at any point in life. If we have the right systematic learning situations, we can significantly improve on the targeted aspects of our EI. For instance, my colleague Richard Boyatzis has strong data on this in his work with executive MBAs.
Abhijit: What can some simple things organizations/managers do to develop Emotional Intelligence among employees?
Daniel Goleman: An organization can highlight the value of EI by embedding it into its decisions on who to hire and promote, identifying high potentials, and leadership development. Making this publicly known helps, as does offering sound tools for strengthening EI skills.
Abhijit: Do individual contributors need the same degree of Emotional Intelligence as those who manage teams?
Daniel Goleman:To be outstanding as an individual contributor, you need excellence in the self-mastery competencies, like optimism, the drive to improve performance, adaptability, etc. But to be a successful manager or leader, you need in addition, strengths in the social mastery competencies - social awareness and relationship management.