Emotional Intelligence - What is it and What Does it Have to Do With Building?

in Intelligence

You may know your IQ, and if it is a very high number then you should be very proud of your intellectual ability, but what about your EQ? That's right, do you know your emotional intelligence?

The answer is no. Nobody knows, and nobody cares, but if you get stuck in a contest about who has the higher IQ in a meeting full of egomaniacs (which is every meeting), I'm sure you'll have a group of people that should be the next Einstein if it wasn't for some third grade teacher that busted them for shooting spit balls.

While the debate over the importance of EQ vs. IQ rages, I think research has shown us enough evidence to at least conclude that IQ is far less important than most people think. In a world that relies heavily on communication, people skills, managerial skills, creativity, and strategic management, it is difficult to conclude that one portion of intelligence (IQ) can be solely responsible for success in work, and life.

*Note: Success is far from an absolute and really has to be defined by the individual or organization to which it applies, but this is the topic for at least another blog and at most a PhD thesis, but for the purposes of this lovely article we're going to leave the topic conveniently untouched.

But before we go much further let's figure out exactly what emotional intelligence is. Wikipedia which is of course the authority on everything defines emotional intelligence as follows:

Emotional Intelligence (EI) describes the ability, capacity, skill or, in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived ability, to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups. Ok, so maybe EQ is important for a nurse, kindergarten teacher, or social worker, but we're rough and tough construction people and even if we were huge Leonardo DiCapprio fans we certainly wouldn't shed a tear during a screening of Titanic.

The reality is that there is plenty of emotion shown in the construction industry and in all business organizations. When an owner's rep throws his hard-hat at an under performing sub (which I have seen happen), or a manager belittles an employee in front of co-workers, they are showing very little emotional control and very little emotional intelligence. The screaming and yelling that bellows through construction sites is unproductive and at times debilitating, but also displays very low emotional control of those involved. And while these folks may have very high levels of analytical intelligence (IQ), their emotional intelligence needs significant improvement.

When the intelligence yardstick is broken out at your next meeting feel free to bring up the topic of emotional intelligence. I'm sure it will be a huge hit.

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John E Poole has 1 articles online


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Emotional Intelligence - What is it and What Does it Have to Do With Building?

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This article was published on 2010/03/29