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Why your emotional intelligence may be more important than your IQ
Written by Ralph Brown   

I remember it well.

At the end of a workshop one of the participants took me aside and asked, 'Could you call it something else? I didn't want to tell the people at the office I was coming to an emotional intelligence workshop. I'd never have heard the end of it.'

A man? Yep. And a very active participant - once he realised how much difference the key ideas could make to his career.

We've been cautious with the label emotional intelligence ever since that conversation. We often focus on resilience, 'what to do when the going gets rough', 'staying motivated', 'setting goals and achieving them', 'leading others in challenging times' and even 'what the world's most successful people really do.' They all fit under the umbrella of emotional intelligence and there's plenty of credible research to support them.

Broadly speaking, our emotional intelligence is our ability to manage ourselves and our relationships. Your intellectual abilities, technical skills, qualifications and experience may get you the job, but your emotional intelliegence will determine how far you are promoted.

You can't do much about your I.Q. but you can certainly increase your E.Q. (Your Emotional Quotient)

With a few exceptions, the features of emotional intelligence are relevant to every part of our lives. Some are disciplines, such as having initiative and being conscientious. Most are skills we can learn or enhance.

We can divide the characteristics of emotionally intelligent people into four categories.


For example...

  • knowing how your emotions affect your performance
  • having a reasonably realistic picture of your abilities
  • having a well-founded self-confidence


For example...

  • being resilient (a major theme)
  • handling stressful situations well
  • being open about mistakes and expecting the same of others
  • being conscientious
  • Being adaptable
  • being optimistic - a special kind of optimism
  • setting goals and staying on track to achieve them

Social awareness

For example...

  • showing empathy
  • giving good service to others
  • being aware of what’s going on in your organisation

Relationship management

For example...

  • building relationships
  • leading others effectively
  • influencing others (persuasion)
  • communicating clearly and in ways that enhance relationships
  • managing conflict to achieve a win/win outcome
  • negotiating in ways that preserve vital relationships



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Skillset offers training in communication and the personal skills of top performers.  Show me your in-house topics

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Contact Skillset now for in-house training, workshops and speakers

Contact Skillset to find out how we can help you with your next training event or to book a conference speaker. Send us a message, or call us on 0800 86 87 24 (from New Zealand) or on  + 64 3 365 3164 (from outside New Zealand).

We offer in-house training in communication skills such as public speaking, negotiation, business writing, working with the media, negotiation and investigative interviewing. Also: professional development skills such as resilience, leadership, engaging staff and emotional intelligence (the special skills of top achievers).

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