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IQ versus EQ for employee performance

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The Happy Manager reports that the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is often used to determine a potential candidate’s ability to perform in the workplace. This begs the question – is being intelligent (of high IQ) enough when it comes to working with other people, in teams, or for a manager? A particular level of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is required to work with others; and in certain instances, a high level of EQ is a much greater asset in a staff member than IQ.
According to the book “Emotional Intelligence” by psychologist Daniel Goleman, EQ can be broken down into five segments, each of which encompasses the ability to deal with certain emotions. From self-awareness to self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, a high level of EQ will serve employees well in the workplace – perhaps even more so than a high IQ.
“Developing employees’ understanding of their own emotional intelligence is crucial to workplace synergy,” says Liane McGowan, founder of Happy Monday CC and proud happiness guru. “IQ will help employees get the job done, EQ will help them get the job done as a cohesive team, breaking down silos and creating an organisation that moves forward as one unit.”
South Africa’s corporate culture is one that focuses on physical health in employee engagement. Surely an employee that has a high IQ and is physically healthy will perform at optimum? “This simply isn’t true,” asserts McGowan. “An employee that is physically healthy, but unhappy emotionally – whether due to working conditions, clashing with his/her manager, or issues arising outside of the workplace – will be distracted, demotivated and unproductive.”
In an article published in the HR Professionals Magazine, American HR expert Judy Bell confirms that teams have a collective emotional quotient, and this must be fostered to ensure a collaborative effort. “Bell mentions various elements that employees should consider in developing their own EQ – but we believe that these elements should be a focus of employee engagement and development, from a management level,” says McGowan.
“To foster happiness in the workplace management must recognise employees’ emotions, understand the cause of their feelings and explore with them the difference between having a feeling and acting on it. By exploring employees’ actions and being aware of their frustration tolerance, management can encourage staff to express anger appropriately, eliminate self-destructive behaviour and nurture positivity in the workplace.”