Why EQ drives performance
22nd September 2017 | Deirdre Coleman
Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack.
Peter Salovey and John D Mayer coined the term “emotional intelligence” in 1990, describing it as “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action”. Psychologist and New York Times writer Daniel Goleman became aware of Salovey and Mayer’s work, and this led to his book, Emotional Intelligence, published in 1995, which redefined what it means to be smart and posited that emotional intelligence was as important as IQ for success.
In 1998, in what has become one of Harvard Business Review’s most enduring articles, “What Makes a Leader”, Goleman states unequivocally: “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but… they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.” 1
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