Emotional Intelligence Pays Off

You’re probably heard of IQ (and taken a dubious internet IQ test). Less well known is EQ—that is, emotional intelligence, which is the ability to perceive, evaluate, and control emotions. How important is it? Well, people with high EQ get paid more.

A study published in the Journal for Organizational Behaviour linked pay to emotional intelligence. They measured emotional intelligence by showing study participants a series of images and voice recordings, and asked them to identify emotions being expressed. On averaged, they succeeded in 77% of the cases. People who succeeded in 87% of the cases were considered by researchers to be good at identifying emotions, and people who succeeded more than 90% of the time were considered really good.

Researchers then gathered some facts about their participants careers, including measurable stuff like income, and a more general picture by interviewing co-workers and supervisors. They found that those who scored higher were rated as more socially skilled by co-workers, and they also tended to make more money.

This makes a lot of intuitive sense: people good at talking to other people tend to be good at navigating office space. Conversely, the stereotype of the bitter genius who never really advanced too far up the hierarchy also has some merit: if you want to work with people, emotional intelligence pays off.

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