Does emotional intelligence really matter?
There’s a lot of debate out there on what exactly is emotional intelligence (EQ) and whether or not it’s a solid predictor or performance.
First off, yes, EQ is real, but many out there are studying it incorrectly. You can’t ask someone to self-rate EQ.
If they are objectively high on EQ, they’ll likely rate themselves more harshly. If they are objectively low on EQ, their ratings will be inaccurate. It’s no wonder there’s so much noise about its importance.
What you should be focusing on is “ability-based” emotional intelligence. This entails evaluations where the participant must answer questions about an objectively correct interpretation of an emotion-based scenario.
Assuming we’re talking about ability-based EQ, yes, EQ is a solid predictor of performance. But perhaps not in the way you’d expect.
Cognitive ability will help solve a problem or make a decision right now, in the moment. EQ helps you put yourself in situations that allow you to thrive. EQ helps you navigate all the complexities of work and life - the social, political, stressful, and more. Just remember - EQ is a longer-term game.