Sorry, Einstein! Emotional Intelligence Trumps High IQ In The Workforce

Emotional IntelligenceWhen it comes to hiring intelligent employees, it seems companies prefer people smarts more so than book smarts, a new survey finds.

More than 70 percent of employers way they value emotional intelligence -- the ability to perceive the emotions of others and control one's own -- over workers' intellectual ability or IQ, according to, which commissioned the poll.

The jobs site's survey also found that in this post-recession era that more than a third of employers place greater emphasis on hiring and promoting people who have high emotional intelligence quotients, or EQ.

Further, CareerBuilder found that 61 percent of employers surveyed said they are more likely to promote workers with high emotional intelligence instead of candidates with a high IQ. What's more, 59 percent of hiring managers said they wouldn't hire someone with a high IQ but a low EQ.

"In a recovering economy, employers want people who can effectively make decisions in stressful situations and can empathize with the needs of their colleagues and clients," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement accompanying the release of the survey data.

"Technical competency and intelligence are important assets for every worker," Haefner said. "[But] the competitive job market allows employers to look more closely at the intangible qualities that pay dividends down the road."

More detailed responses from the more than 2,600 private-sector hiring managers surveyed by Harris Interactive appear between May 19 to June 8 below:

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

  • Are more likely to stay calm under pressure
  • Know how to resolve conflict effectively
  • Are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly
  • Lead by example
  • Tend to make more thoughtful business decisions

Human resource managers and hiring managers assess candidates' emotional intelligence by observing a variety of behaviors and qualities. The top responses from the survey were:

  • Admitting and learning from mistakes
  • Keeping emotions in check and having thoughtful discussions on tough issues
  • Listening as much or more than they talk
  • Taking criticism well
  • Showing grace under pressure

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since omly 2% of people ahve what is considered a hihg IQ, is thre also a bell curve for EQ. Would employers be looking for the top 2% wiht high EQ? Or is EQ a more common quality, and if it si more common, then arn't some of the IQ also likley to possess EQ. Smart organizations should have a percentage of hihg IQ think tanks to help keep them ready for the future- tose wiht high IQ are visionaly and can see things others can't- just the way it is. I suggest using you hihg IQs for this- if you're smart enough. Also some hihg Iqers are also emotionally sensitive EQers and can these guys can likley predect what your customer base wants, nees, is thingking, as well as staff in the organization. Don't underestimate smart people.

March 25 2013 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is just another excuse to hire more women opposed to men in today's corporate world. You can see this feminist ploy all across the country. They don't give a **** about how you interact with people. Well, actually they do because most businesses thrive on dishonesty and convincing people to do things that are not always in their best interest at the time or ever. Just like marketing which is what most of today's corporate world revolves around. A person with a high I.Q. will never attempt to manipulate the emotions of another person because it in no way will ever benefit them or the person being manipulated. Also a person with a high IQ can easily recognize patterns and locate where a problem may lie in a company whether it be in management or on the front lines with the other workers. Management never likes being corrected especially by someone they view as being lower in the ranks of whatever it is that they do. Yes, having good emotional skills is a wonderful gift, but, for companies to shun true innovation for mere conformity ought to be saying something about the totalitarian state this country and this world is being pushed into. Oppenheimer had a high I.Q.. The people who used his work against other people had high E.Q.s. Just because you have a high E.Q. does not necessarily mean you actually care about other people in any way.

October 25 2012 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dimitri's comment

I would just like to add to my own arguement that I am in no way opposed to hiring more women in today's workforce. I believe men and women truly think differently and it is always a plus to have the input of both sides on most issues.
Now, with that said, I will state that after viewing what this article is about and being part of it first hand, I can easily conclude that this is all about turning everyone into a mere conformist opposed to individual thinkers. This is precisely what the public opinion engineers want to see more of and it is what you will see being pushed onto the people more and more in our future society. And it will all be done with very little force because with the right speakers it will be presented as something society wants and needs and the people will ask for it.

October 25 2012 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good article, but there are many more forms of "intellgence" than just IQ and EQ. And surprisingly, they are all brain-based, and can be developed and improved by practice and use. Recent neurological findings show how this huge potential to improve all one's forms of intelligence is a key to good parenting--and coaching! see for some recaps on all the different forms of intelligence.

August 22 2011 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to whitneygre's comment

Like C.Q.. Creative Quotient.

October 25 2012 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My experience dictates that just about everything trumps IQ at work.

August 22 2011 at 4:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nevermind this article.
When I looked at the headline for this article I saw the words "Trump" and "IQ".
I thought that they have now proof that Donald Trump has no IQ.

August 22 2011 at 4:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think one of the hallmarks of EI is wisdom. This week on my blog we're discussing Age Discrimination (the enemy of Emotional Intelligence). Stop over and visit the blog, comment or follow.

The blog is: Work, Careers & Jobs@40+

August 22 2011 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Since innovation is an individual activity, businesses might look at this information as a great failure. Meaning, if how well you do at the water cooler is more important than how well you create a new product or service, the business will never be more than mediocre, at best.

August 22 2011 at 2:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, then, is it better to be a buddy thanto be competent? Are smart people not capable of thoughtful decisions? Are they not capable of learnng from mistakes? Do they not know how to reslove conflict? So they not listen? These are all hallmarks of high intelligence.

Let's not confuse "intelligence" with "arrogance".

August 22 2011 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That's why the Peter Principle exists. That's why low talent, high "people IQ" types hire consultants...the consultant does the thinking, the low talent type takes the credit if the job is done right, or fires the consultant and hires another.

August 21 2011 at 11:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Common sense has always been the best trait.

August 21 2011 at 11:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bmitche's comment

"Common" sense means just that - common to many people. If the majority of people are village idiots, the "common sense" will be moronic. For instance, the world commonly knew sensed powered flight was impossible.

August 22 2011 at 2:32 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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