One of the best parts of my job is spending time at Skyland Farm. Today we reduced the price to $2,999,000. Here are some pictures from this morning. (Edit: If you click on them in MS Explorer they will open squished. Click a squished image again and it will open in full).
Happy Memorial Day! Today we remember America’s war dead. We thank you all. God bless you.
It Isn’t IQ
To define EQ it helps to start with IQ, or Intelligence Quotient. This is a measurement determined by standardized tests and intended to reflect a person’s inborn intelligence. While IQ can be an indicator of how well someone may perform academically, the IQ score itself should not be affected by increased education (hence, “inborn”).
When we were kids our parents taught us to study, work hard, go to college if we were fortunate enough, and climb the corporate ladder to success. If we did these things, if we were smart and earned good grades, we’d be rewarded with prestigious careers and wealth. Dr. Daniel Goleman, in Working with Emotional Intelligence, calls this the “IQ mystique—the false but widely embraced notion that what matters for success is intellect alone.”
EQ = Initiative and Empathy, Adaptability and Persuasiveness
Why is this notion false? Don’t smarter or more educated people enjoy a success advantage? Of course. However, IQ has been bumped to second place by Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as the most important advantage to a successful professional and personal life. EQ, or sometimes EI, is a person’s ability to control emotions, whether our own emotions or those of another person or group of people, such as our coworkers. Goleman defines this as a person’s “initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness.”
Consider leadership, where a reliance on raw smarts alone is most dangerous. A leader must motivate people, and to do so a leader should have the capacity to identify and influence the emotions of subordinates—and the leader’s own. This is where “initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness” come to play. Think about the people you’ve worked for in the past. Did you love the boss who was the smartest or who understood employees’ problems and took care of people?
Soft Skills > Hard Skills
Sometimes people scoff at EQ because it sounds too mushy. Soft skills don’t enjoy the same respect as hard skills, such as mathematics. What’s fascinating, though, is the application of the soft skills to careers requiring the most hard skills. Goleman addresses this by saying, “We do not compete in our careers with people who lack the requisite intelligence to enter and stay in our field—but rather against the much smaller group of those who have managed to jump the hurtles of schooling, entry exams, and other cognitive challenges to get into the field in the first place.” So the harder it is to enter a field, software engineers at Google for example, the more important soft skills become because everyone has such great hard skills. Every software engineer at Google is brilliant. So what differentiates one from another? What is the best indicator of a Google engineer’s success? EQ. Another example is accountants. All of them are great at math, their career’s requisite hard skill. What differentiates them are their soft skills, such as reading the needs and emotions of their clients and adapting their communication skills to serve them better.
Unlike IQ, EQ Can Be Improved
Is this bad news for smart folks? Not really. Not at all mutually exclusive, EQ and IQ complement each other. What’s even better is that EQ can be raised. No matter how high your IQ, there isn’t too much you can do about it since it’s a measure of the brain you’re born with. Not so with EQ, which can be learned about, practiced, and improved.
For more information on EQ and how to improve it, we recommend reading Working with Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, or Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. The former is a more academic approach while the latter is more practical, including a code for an online EQ test where you can see where you are and what you may want to do to improve. Some great videos can be found at Daniel Goleman’s site as well, http://danielgoleman.info/.
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