"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

EQ and Success

The first time that I have read about the term EQ was when I was 15. I was browsing the internet and I came across an interesting site called Tickle. It is full of self quizzes and PhD certified premium tests. A test of emotional intelligence was among them. I would say I am a person who cares a great deal about my relationships with my family and close friends. And I work hard on improving them. According to McClelland, I am an N-AFF person who needs acceptance, friendship and relationship.
And I have been paying special attention when it comes to the topic of EQ. Not only because I want to use this concept to improve my current relationships but I also want to apply it in my future career when it comes to dealing with clients or coworkers.
The subject just simply fascinates me. Enough about my personal story let us start to talk about emotional intelligence from the scientific perspective.

EQ, also known as Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient, is the ability to accurately recognize one self’s and others’ emotions and execute the appropriate action as a result of them. There are different models that classify different parts of emotional intelligence. Some of these models are: The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso ability model, The Bar-On model, The Goleman model and the Six Seconds model. Each of the above models are associated with the following assessments, respectively: MSCEIT assessment, EQ-I assessment, Emotional Intelligence Appraisal and the SEI assessment. All of the above measurements of EQ are self-report except for the MSCEIT assessment which is ability-based. One of the model particularly attracts my attention is the Six Seconds model. Research by Six Seconds’ Institute for Organizational performance finds that 54% of success factors are predicted by scores on SEI. These success factors are: general health, quality of life, relationship quality and personal effectiveness. The study is performed on 665 individuals aging from 18 to 65, level of education ranging from high-school to post-graduate and engaging in a variety of professions. The result shows that 54.79% of the variability in the success factors combined are predicted by the SEI. The model is divided into three parts: know yourself, choose yourself and give yourself. And within these three parts there are eight competencies: enhance emotional literacy, recognize patterns, apply consequential thinking, navigate emotions, increase optimism, engage intrinsic motivation, increase empathy and pursue noble goals. This model is designed to put theory into action.

Ron Riggio, a professor of organizational psychology at Caremon Mckenna College in Claremont, California makes a statement about EQ: “This is critically important to entrepreneurs, not only in managing employees but also in getting customers, attracting investors, and at every step in building a business.” He points out the importance of EQ in workplace, especially in the business world. Leaders in organizations are proven to have high EQ and possess the following characteristics: the ability to persist and stay motivated in the face of frustration, the ability to control impulses, the ability to control their emotions and the ability to empathize with others. Optimism is another trait that a person with high EQ has. A study done at the company Met Life by Martin Seligman and his colleagues found that among salesmen who have just joined the company, those who were optimists sold 37 percent more insurance during their early career years than those who were pessimists. The company was advised to hire those who were rejected at interviews but scored high on optimism tests. The result was that they outsold the pessimists by 21 percent. After completed a study of store managers in a retail chain store, Lusch and Serpkenci concluded that the capacity to handle stress forecast net profits, sales per square foot, sales per employee and per dollar of inventory investment.

I would like to devote a paragraph to the importance of EQ in networking, which is a skill that every businessman/woman must have. According to Ivan Misner, founder and CEO of BNI, the world’s largest referral organization, EQ is an essential tool in the world of networking. To be successful in this area, you need to develop a networking style that sets you apart from the ordinary businessperson. You also need to change your networking styles suiting various situations. Find every opportunity to connect with your contact. Finally, maintaining customer loyalty is very crucial to networking.

Traditionally, people with high IQ are believed to have a higher chance of success in their lives. However, researches have done to prove that EQ is more important than IQ in order to be successful. Studies done by Hunter and Hunter (72-93) showed that IQ only acts as 25% of a predictor for a good job performance. In 1996, Sternberg indicated that 10 percent might be a more realistic approximation. Another study was completed in Sommerville, Massachusetts on the limits of IQ as a predictor for success. It was a 40 year investigation of 450 boys who grew up in Sommerville. Two thirds were tested to have high IQs and one third had considerably lower IQs. As the study showed, IQ and success at their work is not directly proportionally related. The key to those who performed well in their work was their skills such as being able to handle frustration, control emotions and get alone with other people (Snarey & Vaillant, 899-910).

The need for EQ is ubiquitous in our daily lives. We need it in the workplace to deal with our boss, our coworkers and our customers. We need it to better handle our relationships with our loved ones. We even need it ourselves to be able to better manage our own emotions. However, not everybody is born with a high EQ. The good news is: a person’s EQ level is able to increase with self-practice or professional help, although debates that EQ is static like IQ do exist. Two main areas in which you can raise your EQ consist of: understand your own emotions and be able to empathize. According to Steve Hein, some of the specific things that you can do by yourself includes: frequently ask yourself how you feel; work on raising your self-esteem; begin expressing your feelings accurately, without exaggerating them or minimizing them. Things that you can do with others includes: try to understand other people’s feelings; listen to others non-judgmentally; work on becoming less defensive and more open. Hope that after reading this article about EQ, it will help you to improve your social and professional life.


Hunter, J. E., & Hunter, R. F. (1984). Validity and utility of alternative predictors of job
performance. Psychological Bulletin, 76(1), 72-93.

Lusch, R. F., & Serpkenci, R. R. (1990). Personal differences, job tension, job outcomes, and
store performance: A study of retail managers. Journal of Marketing, 54(1), 85-101.

Schulman, P. (1995). Explanatory style and achievement in school and work. In G. Buchanan
& M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.), Explanatory style . Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Snarey, J. R., & Vaillant, G. E. (1985). How lower- and working-class youth become middle-class adults: The association between ego defense mechanisms and upward social
mobility. Child Development, 56(4), 899-910.

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