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Is emotional intelligence a skill set?

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On May 14, 2018

EQ ≠ Personality

Having worked in the industry for over 20 years as a supervisor and early founding member of three start-up companies I have come to understand that emotional intelligence (EQ) is often confused with personality. While personality is a trait associated with early adulthood, EQ is a quality that is acquired and associated with the experience.

Is it a skill set?

In a large survey of industry leaders, it was revealed that being exceptional at work meant different things to different leaders. At least 78% of those surveyed attributed it to “personality”, 53% felt it was more of a “cultural fit” while only 39% related it to employee’s skill set. Employees with high EQ tend not to be adversarial, they can tolerate conflicts and effectively use their calm demeanor to neutralize conflicts, they are focused and engaged in their tasks and often work beyond their job descriptions.

They are never afraid to speak their mind and respectfully rebel against executive decisions that choose an appropriate time and place to vent their convictions. Such employees are also highly marketable. I always tell my team members to be “engaged” rather than be just “satisfied”. People with high EQ would make good leaders and great HR.
Although having a string of degrees, coding skill sets and years of experience matters they don’t make you exceptional.

Last modified: May 14, 2018

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