How Emotional Intelligence Is More Valuable Than Technical Skill


You've got two years to master the skill that human resource officers are reporting to be an absolute required job skill by the year 2020, according to the World Economic Report on the future of jobs.

Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) has made its way onto the skill set list that companies are starting to use as part of their hiring process and it surprisingly lands above judgment and decision making. That is because your responsible decision making demands that you use your emotional intelligence and for some employers, this has become more important than technical skill.

First reported in a 2011 survey for CareerBuilder, Harvey Deutschendorf shares in Carrier Management that more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource teams in the U.S. revealed that emotional intelligence was valued more in an employee than their IQ. 59 percent also claimed that they were unlikely to hire someone with a high IQ but a low E.I. This also lead to the findings that 75 percent of hiring managers and human resource teams would promote an employee with a higher EI than IQ.

Deutschendorf shares that there are several reasons why companies can justify placing a high E.I. above a high IQ and when analyzed, they all point to competitive advantage. This is because people with a higher E.I. are exceptionally good listeners, they are open to and apply feedback, they collaborate and cooperate with others more strongly, they are genuinely empathic and conduct thoughtful decision making and creative considerations.

Being able to spot and understand the key components to emotional intelligence, whether being modeled by you, a fellow team member, or significant other is the first step to being able to use your E.I. to defuse friction from disagreement, handle an unruly client, or even cut down on your participation to the office drama.

Bringing consciousness to your emotional intelligence could possibly land you the job you have been after for years. Your E.I. has the power to make a positive impact on the relationships in your life. To break it down for you, Psychologist Daniel Goleman has identified these five components that make up emotional intelligence.

1. Self Awareness

Your self-awareness relates directly to your mindfulness. Practice self-compassion and be honest with yourself about your feelings. Shine a light on the moment you're presently in and this includes your emotional limits.

Study yourself so that you understand your strengths and weaknesses and recognize when you are only fighting yourself.

2. Self-Regulation

In order to develop your self-regulation skills, you will need to learn how to manage your emotions appropriately.  With that, taking responsibility for the way you act should also match up with your personal core values.

Having accountability for your emotions, actions, and behaviors are all important elements to effectively using your emotional intelligence. 

3. Motivation

When your emotions are out of whack, your motivation can easily be affected. Resist being distracted and push through tasks using your resiliency.

If you have a hard time getting motivated, start rooting yourself on through small wins that give you a feeling of satisfaction when they're completed. Then, look for ways to fuel your motivation levels by becoming your own coach.

4. Empathy

With the ability to recognize or "read" other people's emotions, you have the capability to understand their perspective, making you empathetic. When an empathic individual reads someone's emotions, they can adapt their interaction to favor their audience's feelings.

To work on your empathy, start by trying to put yourself in someone else's shoes and think about their viewpoints. Try to envision how they are feeling and use active listening when they share their emotions with you.

5. Social Skills

Thanks to our phones, lots of us are introverts nowadays. If you consider yourself not much of a "people person," chances are you probably have some social skills that you can work on.

To develop stronger social skills, always start with your propper manners including strong eye contact. When testing out a new environment, air on the conservative side. Next, try to build trust and a positive rapport with those around you. At the end of the day, your social skills result in your likability.


Curious about your emotional intelligence? Take this free E.I. quiz from Mind Tools and learn more about how you can take advantage of this soon to be essential job skill.