IT Employment

More managers value emotional intelligence over IQ

Amidst higher stress levels and economic uncertainties, employers are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring new employees and promoting existing ones.

With smaller staffs, higher stress levels and uncertainties around the economy, employers are changing what they look for in prospective employees. Thirty-four percent of hiring managers said they are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence (EI) when hiring and promoting employees post-recession, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Seventy-one percent said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ.

Emotional intelligence is a general assessment of a person's abilities to control emotions, to sense, understand and react to others' emotions, and manage relationships. The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder. The CareerBuilder national survey from May 19 to June 8, 2011, which polled more than 2600 hiring managers and human resource professionals, revealed that EI is a critical characteristic for landing a job and advancing one's career.

When asked why emotional intelligence is more important than high IQ, employers said (in order of importance):

  • Employees [with high EI] are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  • Employees know how to resolve conflict effectively
  • Employees are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • Employees lead by example
  • Employees tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates' and employees' EI by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:

  • They admit and learn from their mistakes
  • They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  • They listen as much or more than they talk
  • They take criticism well
  • They show grace under pressure

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

53 comments
ferryjason68
ferryjason68

Emotional intelligence matters a lot in career development. But what all emotions need to be contributed apparently makes a proper sense in all aspects. IQ on the other hand is a imaginable support in the career development or career management. More or less the segment where in the managers are specifically confined to the organization growth, they preferably look out for all possible ways to manage the team.

teruteru81
teruteru81

I hav a co worker who has extremely high eq. This is an advantage to all my team members as he doesn't care abt team work. He jz finishes his task n say goodbye, although we had requested help from him sincerely. Extremely hard to deal with such workers.

teruteru81
teruteru81

sorry, typo mistake shd be disadvantage.

OH Smeg
OH Smeg

I'll have 20 of them immediately.

thomas_w_bowman
thomas_w_bowman

I'm diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism - which can make me exceptionally competent technically yet in (frequent) need of coaching regarding social behavior. Thus, I'm a Systems Analyst/Developer/Programmer and don't really aspire to management. While I'm not very reactive emotionally, I also may lack empathy and social skills to even understand what the heck 'EI' is... but I learned Assembler from the Manual and can learn nearly anything technical easily and design systems to be easily maintained and 'evolved' (by using existing components with layers of increasingly 'intelligent' and 'User Friendly' front and back ends), however I may get into trouble because I will also tend to say exactly what I mean (sometimes not politically advisable). So whatever this 'EI' is (how is it measured ?) - I may need a manual. Dianetics, Dale Carnagie, Toastmasters, etc. have been excellent learning tools - but I don't quite have a quantifiable grasp onto what 'EI' is or how to develop it.

jangirke
jangirke

EQ means the amout of control a person can exert on another without them feeling unease. That is 1984 worse. Imagine yourself smiling and feeling like it when you are ordered to jump from a skyscraper, that is EQ.

judexy22
judexy22

Approximately 80% EI + 20% IQ is a good mix. EI consists also of the subconscious operation when IQ cannot help. I think that many solutions and good work are from EI with a little IQ backing.

theNetNanny
theNetNanny

I have noticed that the types of questions interviewers and reference checkers are asking, deals with the concept of EI and IQ, but not an actual test. The questions get you to talk about how a person handles a situation both in terms of skill and interpersonal relations. They go like "Tell me about a time when a customer got mad at you." There is an interview article here: http://www.bnet.com/blog/small-biz-advice/4-essential-job-interview-questions-to-ask/2213?tag=mantle_skin;content The author states his prior tact of asking opinion based questions rarely made for a good match.

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

Another buzzword foisted on us by the psychologists that are trying to take over the hiring process just as they have taken over marketing, entertainment, news, etc. It would be fine, I suppose, if they were sane people that had a technology that really worked. The basic message of the article is understandable. It's just that: What do you do with the people who are emotionally "stupid?" Send them to school for "emotional training?" Unless you have a technology for handling those your selection mechanism excludes from the group, you'll just end up with a group of "unacceptable people" whose game is to ruin your game! We are seeing that right now with groups like Anonymous. Without some meaningful handling, this is no more than another way to divide people against each other.

minstrelmike
minstrelmike

The post about IQ being over-rated is only true because -everything- that can be measured tends to get over-rated or over-used. Read Demming. Read post-Demming. EQ is the same. The person with the highest EQ is the boot-licking yesman. They are as dangerous or at least useless as the genius programmer who hates everyone else in the office. I wonder what the measures of EQ are tho. I know there is a quality of 'teamness' in certain people. They make the entire group more relaxed and productive, just sort of by being who they are (at least in my eyes--perhaps they have trained themselves). Is that quality measurable? Or is there a better description? There is a definite difference between a committee (collective answers are dumber than any of the participants) and a team (collective answers are better). Both are composed of people and in large organizations, many of the same groups of people are on committees that plod and teams that excel. I wonder -who- the difference is between the team and committee and how measurable that person's qualities could be in a resume or interview.

Zorched
Zorched

Also means that those same people are going to be very good at butt-kissing to cover the fact that they don't want to, or can't, do the work. You must consider that otherwise your company will be full of lazy rear-lampreys and nothing will get done. I'd rather have a dozen marginally socially inept smart people than the same number of rear-lampreys.

itgirlnyc
itgirlnyc

This article focuses on skills needed for a leadership position. Just because you were a great tech does not make you a great manager. Some of these comments are pointedly ignoring what the article is trying to say. Yes, morons should not be promoted. However, someone who can manage people well and make them feel like their work matters IS important. Sounds like you guys are worried that you do not have emotional intelligence. Instead of the knee-jerk reaction, why don't you look at ways you could improve your EI?

Realvdude
Realvdude

Informative yet terse; it took me longer to read through the lengthy opine comments. This was a great reminder that the characteristics in the benefits of such employees still matter to employers. It also helped me realize some areas in which I have been effected as a long term employee of a downsized company.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

Quote: "HR managers and hiring managers assess their candidates and employees EI by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were: They admit and learn from their mistakes They can keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues They listen as much or more than they talk They take criticism well They show grace under pressure" end quote. How and when do they do this? Last I heard people were still doing traditional interviews. Asking job related questions and noting the interviewee's answers. Or are they increasing pressure by turning interviews into interrogations? Not sure I could handle the 3rd degree in a job interview.

branchman67
branchman67

While having a decent IQ can be an asset, past a certain point, it is no indicator of success, and can often be found to retard development because some people with exceptionally high IQs work on a different level than normal people and don't always fit as well in to society at large. Read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. They found that while people who were in the top 1% of IQ typically had some measure of success, often the people just below that threshold were the ones who went on to greatness (such as Nobel prizes).

pschulz
pschulz

Try to find a complete and useful definition which one can actually apply for that term EI and you have a problem. You'll likely to be confused and intimitated, probably intended by the "inventors" of this term so that no-one notices it is only a soap bubble ...

jarzola
jarzola

There are many people that think that IQ is not even valuable anymore. I totally disagree. Someone with an extremely high IQ can tend to be emotionally disconnected and may seem robotic. I've seen these individuals and work with them daily. Now I pride my self in having a high IQ of 137 but this helps me bridge the gap between analytical and emotionally driven. I make sound decisions because I use my intellect first then I allow my emotions to make the final call."does it feel right?". Then there are those situations that I make a decision emotionally and then I use my intellect to make the final call. "will this work?". This is an advantage to those that are far from the middle in either direction. EI is great, but intelligence goes much further to reinforce that decision.

jkameleon
jkameleon

If you have high IQ, you'll soon realize, that EQ tests are pretty easy to hack.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Every Hiring Manager/person that I have ever known wants Stability and Reliability over anything else. To that end I want people who will be there at work not some genius who will be great when they are at work but it's unknown how often they will show up for work. The same applies to EI people great if they are but give me someone who is reliable every time. My perfect worker is Brilliant, Emotional Intelligence and the important thing is always shows up for work in the morning. Personally I wouldn't employ myself as I need reliable staff over people who know what they are doing and can deal with everyone that they interact with. I would much prefer to have reliable people who I can train to do their job and train how to work with people who at best are difficult over the Brilliant Person who can do it all but may only be available 1 week in 3. That is what you'll find all Employers want in any promoted or new staff that they take on. The problem with the above link is that the question asked was deliberately structured to get the answer that the people asking the question wanted. Another example of [b]"Lies, Bloody Lies and then you have Statistics."[/b] ;) Col

W.E.
W.E.

If you're a rock but have no clue, we want you for management! And those are the people that cause the stress! ;-)

seanferd
seanferd

1. What is the operating definition of emotional intelligence for this survey? Are respondents all using the same definition? Do they even really have a clue, or have they ever even thought about this before? 2. Do they have IQ assessments to compare their assessments (if any) of emotional intelligence against? And why are IQ tests being used to measure intelligence for these purposes? (Not usually the best method.) 3. Assuming they even understand the questions they are answering, are their reasons for valuing emotional intelligence factually accurate? 4. What amount of bias is expected in taking data fro m people who would be offered and answer this Career Builder survey? These questions may be answered somewhere, but I won't spend much time digging through the site to find the answers. Then again, what I did find is this idiocy: http://www.careerbuilder.com/Article/CB-2316-Job-Info-Trends-Numerology-and-careers/

seanferd
seanferd

Take the dot out from behind the whack.

santeewelding
santeewelding

A difference between analog and digitally interrupted intelligence, would it?

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