The main predictor of success in life

It is estimated that emotional intelligence accounts for 27% – 45% of job success, Ms. Karen Maher, Emotional Intelligence Trainer with HMI told the Institute’s Dublin Mid Leinster Forum in the Dublin University Dental Hospital. Maureen Browne reports.

Karen Maher
Karen Maher

Emotional intelligence is the main predictor of success in life and estimated to account for 27% – 45% of job success, Ms. Karen Maher, Emotional Intelligence Trainer with HMI told the Institute’s Dublin Mid Leinster Forum in the Dublin University Dental Hospital.

She said there were differences between emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence.

IQ and EI were not highly correlated and there was no evidence to suggest that if you had a high IQ level you would have a high EQ level and vice versa.

Emotions were universal and psychologists believed that emotions, especially facial expressions of emotion, had a strong biological foundation.

IQ is set at 17 – 19 while EI is not fixed and increases with age.

While different practitioners had different approaches the experts more or less agreed that emotional intelligence was a set of emotional and social skills that collectively established how we perceived and expressed ourselves, developed and maintained social relationships, coped with challenges and used emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.

“The key bit of emotional intelligence is being clever in how you recognise your own emotions and how you use them in your dealings with other people.

“People love to have their personalities measured, but these measurements are based on personality traits, as personalities are more or less set at the age of 25 or perhaps a lot earlier.

“IQ is set at 17- 19, while EI is not fixed and increases steadily with age although it may dip when people get to the mid 70s, although this is not certain.”

Ms. Maher said there were a number of different approaches to EI testing. The one in which she was trained was developed by Reuven Bar-On and is based on a holistic approach using a mixed abilities model. “What is different with this approach is that Reuven Bar-On looks at stress management, based on people’s ability to be flexible and how they react to change, their stress tolerance and their optimism.

Reality testing is the capacity to see things objectively. People with poor reality testing tended to be tuned out, unrealistic, disconnected and make the wrong decisions as they were not working from the same premise as anybody else. Self discipline and impulse control were important characteristics of success – the ability to avoid rash behaviours and rash decision making, to be composed and control angry, aggressive, hostile and irresponsible behaviours were important.

Ms. Maher said an increasing number of US companies were now using EI testing and it is spreading to Europe. Gallup research had found that teams with higher engagement were 50% more likely to have lower turnover, 56% more likely to have higher than average customer loyalty, 38 % more likely to have above average productivity and 27% more likely to report high profitability.

Ms. Maher will give a seminar on “The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence” to a HMI West Forum in the Education Centre, Merlin Park University College Hospital, Galway on Monday, May 12 at 1.30 p.m.

Individual and group EQi2 assessments, interpretation and action plans are available.

Karen can be contacted at the HMI office on 00353 1 2974070.