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.

52 comments
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.

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/

teruteru81
teruteru81

sorry, typo mistake shd be disadvantage.

Shadeburst
Shadeburst

I like my subordinates and colleagues to remember that we're all here to get a job done, and feeding your own ego isn't part of your job description. Even in comments threads like these I practice Verbal Judo which means showing respect for everyone else, including the most insulting flame-throwers.

seanferd
seanferd

Doesn't sound like it is coming from a place of EI. Interesting assumptions and generalizations.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Note the wording. These are top level positions. The hiring people are looking for key people. They usually either know, or trust someone else who knows the applicants. They want someone who will do a specific and important job well. EQ is a near meaningless catch all term. But what it means here is someone who is emotionally stable, in control of themselves, and will be able to work with others who are sometimes emotionally volatile. A managers job is often just to make it easier for those under them to do their jobs. A manager who thinks his or her whole purpose is to write reports, and makes their reports spend a great part of their day writing reports for them, is someone who doesn't understand the needs of the company or of their own job. A good manager understands that employees want to be valuable to the company. A good manager is a training resource, a source of information, and often a shield for those both under and over him or her. I hope this helps.

Shadeburst
Shadeburst

There are different types of Nobel Prize. The Peace Prize goes to the flavor of the month personality, usually a politician of some sort, and politicians even lie on their IQ tests lol! The Literature Prize is also different because a fiction writer needs to be able to empathize with readers, and very-high-IQ people have problems understanding the way that ordinary people think. For Physics and Medicine, try winning a Nobel with an IQ under 150. The range 125 to 130 IQ must be a good "money-making" level as you are smart enough to solve difficult puzzles yet still able to communicate with the average person. Most CEO's and political presidents fall into this bracket.

Reboot XXXI
Reboot XXXI

Just never but never pick the: "...Pick up the axe and break everything around you..."-- answer...

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Yes, you can fake the answers they want to hear. The instructions are in almost every 'how to' guide for job seekers, but that won't help you once you are on the job. There is nearly always a probationary period for that very reason. Do you really want a resume that shows that you can't hold any job for more than 3 to 6 months?

seanferd
seanferd

Psychopaths know what you want to hear.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

You seem to have some rather strange views on employees. I am glad I never worked for you. I have worked with, and for a short time was one, very bad managers. But, you seem to want to make it an art form. Real managers make the employees lives easier. If your top people are always taking extra time off, as you infer from the accounts of the very limited times at work, then they are doing something else, Probably looking for work where they will be under a better manager. You mentioned training, you should look for training yourself. I mentioned some sources in a previous post.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Having been a successful supervisor, I do understand what the Article was talking about, and it is in there. What they are saying is that many corporations are looking for people who can communicate well, and who think before they speak, especially with clients and sensitive employees. Of course, I had to go through several layoffs and positions before I got there. But, it means that for a tech, technical skills are essential. For a supervisor, people skills are essential. For a tech supervisor, both skill sets are essential. You can't fake it. If you really care about the people you are dealing with, it shows. If you care more about yourself, or about impressing someone else, that shows too. Big management can afford to support the shoe lickers and lickers of other sorts in good times, but in bad times, all the deadwood must go, The Bosses jobs are on the line too. Flattery may help make the Boss feel better, but it doesn't produce results. Real managers know that they are overhead. They therefore try to help the people under them produce more. Often this means that there is more training and blocking of chaff from 'upstream' going on than those under them ever see. If you see all of that, or if you can't see any of that, then you don't have a good manager. But, good managers aren't just found, they learn and develop just like everyone else. If you want to be a good manager, then here are a couple of things you can do. 1. Read up on Demming. A quality control guru from the '70s who used ideas from the '50s (in other words pre-Harvard Business School). Learn and remember Demmings points. You don't have to employ his statistical analysis systems, but you should be looking to understand them. You will hear a lot about how you can't measure the things you do, but that is false. You can measure productivity in any business. If you can't measure it, you can't control it. 2. Dale Carnegie Course. You should take one of these. They are offered in most cities. Learn to communicate better. 3. Toastmasters. It may sound trite, but practice works. Learn to communicate. You should set a goal of DTM. Expect it to take from three to five years. 4. Volunteer. Become involved in some kind of community program. Charity and church related charity work DOES get noticed. You should also volunteer in your professional association. You are a member of a professional association aren't you? If not, then find and join one. 5. Discover and become involved in networking. Networking is how nearly all top jobs are filled. It is how most really large sales are made. If you want to become a top level manager, then you need to a source for others in your network of people. Build your way into an existing network by doing the volunteering and professional associations mentioned above. I have barely touched the surface of this topic, but it is both real and almost never covered well in most peoples day to day lives. "It's not What you Know, it's Who you Know" is not true, but it does point out some important things. Who you Know is only helpful if you know What They Need. Filling real needs is what every business is really about.

santeewelding
santeewelding

By which is decided: You go to the left; You go to the right -- doesn't have to make sense.

itgirlnyc
itgirlnyc

AMA course (kinda pricy) - http://www.amanet.org/training/seminars/Developing-Your-Emotional-Intelligence.aspx Emotional Intelligence 2.0 - http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intelligence-2-0-Travis-Bradberry/dp/0974320625/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314292718&sr=8-2 Quick Emotional Intelligence Activities for Busy Managers book - http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Emotional-Intelligence-Activities-Managers/dp/0814408958/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1314292718&sr=8-5 There are plenty of books and courses. EI or EQ is also about being able to tune into your own tendencies and be honest with your weaknesses. You may actually be better at it than you know. Being open to change and learning are good indicators!

seanferd
seanferd

and reading again what you wrote, I don't see anything that indicates that these are top level positions, etc. Now, this might make more sense if what you propose is true (e.g., applicant has a known record of admitting to and learning from mistakes - something one cannot possibly gather from a CV or interview), but there is nothing at all in the article that supports your assumptions.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

If you can't stay sycophantic, you're out of there! That's SQ, sycophantic quotient :D ]:)

jkameleon
jkameleon

... why bother with EQ test in the first place?

jkameleon
jkameleon

EQ should more properly be called PQ (Psychopatic Quotient)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

After all an Idiot would not get employed let alone last more than a few nanoseconds. On the other hand the person I had in mind as severely injured in a work related incident that they shouldn't have been doing let alone at that location. They spent 3 years in Hospital and then when they returned could only work about 1 in 3 days. Yep I certainly made his life easier as much as possible just like the rest of my staff. HR on the other hand got upset when I just treated him as one of the boys at work and didn't give him [b]"Special???[/b] attention. Doesn't mean that I gave him work he was incapable of doing but it also doesn't mean that I held his hand and did his work for him. Incidently 20 years latter he's still working for me and so are the staff that I had then. They insist that I'm a Mongrel but they will not leave me. Not sure what I'm doing wrong though. OH and also the guy who broke his previous Managers Jaw is still working for me over 20 years latter and I've never had him take a swing at me and I???ve never took a swing at him any other time that at a Christmas Party where he insisted that I couldn't get him. :^0 Col

santeewelding
santeewelding

You extend your unprotected hand into a lair.

jcasc535
jcasc535

Some drive for social stability others for economic ones. Let's strive to meet somewhere in the middle and hope for matters to improve. Having said that, I respectfully disagree with the above, the prove is in the results that the above mentality has brought us, the Real State conditions in the States, the condition of monetary disarray in Europe, massive unemployment ...I'd gather we "study" Demming & we're networking until we're blue but it seems we don't practice it to bring social order in line with "project" goals. We need a social Demming...

seanferd
seanferd

I still wonder just how many managers follow these sorts of things at all. I know there are certainly some that do, and you, apparently, are one. Thanks again.

seanferd
seanferd

"Tide comes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication." If you are correct, then I am somehow more frightened (in general) than I was before.

Shadeburst
Shadeburst

YetAnotherBob also made some suggestions in a post right near the top of this thread. May I mention that I was emotionally scarred from an abusive childhood and the Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course changed my life completely for the better. To be honest I attended the Dale at my own expense resulting from taking the Success Motivation Institute course, again at own expense. One of my goals was to have 100 friends. Where I was at the time, if I'd asked 100 people I knew to a party, maybe 10 would have pitched up! Yet another suggestion is Verbal Judo. In the USA you can attend live courses. I read the book and made two of the techniques part of my everyday pattern.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Why when I setup this business with the idea of working a couple of days a week and then having the rest of the time available to play with my toys why they came to me with a list of customers half a mile long and wanted to work for me again. OK so I did insulate them from Upper Management and heaven help anyone who wanted to tear strips off my staff. That was my problem/responsibility and they all knew exactly where they stood if they screwed up. But it was my responsibility to discipline them if the need ever arose not someone else's. I have a vivid memory of an Accountant who took a dim view of something one of my staff did and he proceeded to tear into him without even consulting me about this action. When I became aware of what was happening I threw him out of the building and then started to investigate what had happened. Turns out that the person in question had followed a New Directive from the CEO and the Accountant took it personally so he had to berate the staff member who did as he was told. Not going to happen to my staff ever and that's just the way that it is. ;) Of course as the sods steal my Classic Cars to drive around to work now I continue to feel used. Seems that they want me to get a 300SL Mercedes as they just love the idea of the Gull Wing Doors as much as me and if they get to drive it around to work so much the better. Of course they don't have to live with the wife who they lie to and take her car. :^0 Col

fewiii
fewiii

you seem like the type of manager from whom your 'underlings' (for lack of a better word) know pretty much what to expect, exactly where you stand, etc. That's probably why those who are still working for you 20 years on are still working for you 20 years on, whether or not they like you personally. The ability of a manager/supervisor/CEO to spell out precisely what he wants/expects (AND sticks to it) should not be underestimated.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

It's OK as I am not emotionally dependent on his opinion.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

"I still wonder just how many managers follow these sorts of things at all." Around 5% Those are the ones that rise in bad times, and end up being CEO some day. Of the rest, 50% are people who keep doing what they were doing before they were promoted. These are the deadwood of Parkinson's law. They have reached their level of incompetence. Another 40% or so are the 'yes' men. They may be promoted in good times, but they are a nightmare to work for and a pain for superiors to deal with in bad times. The remaining 5% or so are the ones who don't get it yet. A lot of them have promise, but it takes several failures before you begin to understand. I was one of those for around 10 years before I 'got it'.

seanferd
seanferd

Like so. edit: My, but I'm drifting off-topic, about which I was originally interested and serious. (I suppose the lack of real numbers and methods, but easily found numerology, sorta-like kinda-like threw me.)

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

then follow the path corresponding to that number in this list. If you feel like it.