Welcome to the More Than Sound Podcast. In this episode, Daniel Goleman talks about emotional intelligence, with Anthony Gell of the Business Voice.
Anthony Gell- In terms of predicting who is going to be in the top 10 percent of performers, ie: the sort of star performers, you say that EI, emotional intelligence, is a better gauge than IQ. Why?
Daniel Goleman- The answer is very simple. Study after study shows that in order to be in a top profession, in order to get an MBA, in order to get an MD, or be a top executive, you need an IQ that’s about one standard deviation above normal, or higher. That puts you at about 115 IQ. But then studies show there is no correlation between your IQ and actual effectiveness or success in that particular line of work. Whether you’re a CEO, academic, engineer, doesn’t matter. Why? Because that is the IQ level you need to master the technical skills, and is the cognitive capacity you need to handle that profession. But after that, think about it. Once you’re in the field you are competing with people who are about as smart as you are.
Throughout school, IQ is huge advantage for grades. In the workplace, after reaching that criterion level, it has no added benefit and what makes the difference are your personal abilities. How you manage yourself- Do you stay focused? Are you adaptable? Are you self aware? And interpersonal abilities. Can you read other people? Do you know how to get along well? Are you a good team player? Can you be a leader? Those depend on emotional intelligence.
AG- Daniel, I’ve got no doubt that people watching this are sold on your premise of emotional intelligence, but the big question I think they’ll be wanting to ask is, “Once you know your EI level can you improve, or can you become more emotionally intelligent?”
DG- The good news is that you can improve emotional intelligence competencies. These are learned abilities that build from fundamentals. So, for example, emotional self control, being calm under pressure. This is a capacity that can be learned, the steps are quite well known. But you have to want to get better. Listening, listening well, listening deeply is critical, and if you have poor listening habits- the common cold of leadership- then you can improve but, again, you need to be motivated. Why? Because in adulthood you have to undo, at the brain level, over-rehearsed habits, that’s your habitual way of reacting, and build a new one until it becomes more strongly practiced than the old one. Then you’ll do it naturally. And that takes real effort and motivation.
AG- Daniel, talk about self motivation. What’s the core essence of being self driven and motivated to move forward as an individual?
DG- I think motivation has to be true, that you need to align the desire to improve with your own sense of values of purpose, what you really feel is important. What are your dreams? Where do you want to go in life? Is something holding you back? Can you change that for the better. That’s the kind of genuine motivation that helps people really make the change.