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SEL: IQ vs EQ

By Nikkola Daniel

 

Whatever job you are in there are inevitably 2 things that will get you to the top, IQ and EQ. But which one is more likely to get you to where you want to be in life? Is emotional intelligence at the forefront of your thinking, or do you dismiss it and leave social and emotional (SEL) out when planning for your success?

Emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess intelligence.

Some argue that academic performance is the defining factor, but we all know of that person who has the correct qualifications on paper (and then some!), but absolutely no ability to connect with their peers, colleagues and most importantly, their client group. This is bad news for employers as people don’t tend to buy into a product or service because of (for example) a manager’s qualifications. Customers and clients are instead drawn to those that they feel a connection with, those that have the ability to build a rapport and forge valuable partnerships and relationships.

Social and Emotional Learning is a process which enables us to achieve a set of outcomes linked to positive outlooks and relationships, to and with ourselves, others and the world around us. I speak of success here, not just in terms of the accumulation of material wealth, but also in terms of inner peace, contentment, how positively we feel about ourselves and how kind / compassionate we are to others. As relationships and how we view the word are the corner stone of practically all aspects of life, the need for social and emotional learning is paramount to any type of success that we hope to achieve.

Social and emotional learning is a huge aspect of, I believe, the success behind people like Richard Branson and Lord Sugar, who both left school with little or no formal qualifications. These are examples of two very unique individuals who have proven time and time again the importance of great social and communication skills, which have propelled them forward and helped them both to build empires. SEL also plays a massive role in our wellbeing, as our ability to engage well with others (even when…especially when, we don’t particularly like them) and manage difficult social and emotional scenarios, has a strong bearing on our stress levels and our day to day mental health.

It’s not to say that IQ is not important. It would be hugely inaccurate to say that IQ doesn’t matter. But, whilst qualifications can most certainly (but not always) help you to get a job, they definitely can’t help you to keep it. Social and emotional learning can inevitably affect our health, wealth and happiness. So ask yourself, could you do with brushing up on fundamental skills around how to manage even the most difficult of work-loads, work colleagues and  work / life imbalances to avoid being over looked for that promotion, burnout or just plain losing your rag (and possibly your job) because it’s all just go on top of you? Should we be putting a greater emphasis on developing EQ in schools and the workplace to better prepare our current and future generations to really succeed in life.

Whilst you’re contemplating the answer to that question, check out this list of 10 other individuals who have achieved great things and ask yourself if you think it was down to IQ or EQ, or both:

Oprah Winfrey

Bill Gates

Muhammed Ali

Indra Nooyi

Barack Obama

J.K. Rowling

Usain Bolt

Malala Yousafzai

Jamal Edwards

Karren Brady

For more about social and emotional learning, click here.

 

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