Expert says EQ trumps IQ in workplace

Posted on Jun 24 2019


Even more than intelligence quotient, emotional intelligence in the workplace is a fundamental tool to organizational success, according to Dr. John Rivera of University of the Guam.

Speaking in last week’s meeting of the Society for Human Resource Management-NMI Chapter, Rivera said that EQ—a person’s ability to master his or her emotions—has enormous effects in the workplace.

“One’s IQ and personality are important. …Those are qualities associated with leadership and success but it has its limitations. It is fixed and does not change. EQ is a skill that you can learn as you go about in life,” he said.

Citing studies, Rivera said those with high EQ on average outperform those with high IQ by 70 percent and IQ counts for one’s success on a job only by 12 percent on average.

“…IQ is a good way to sort people in a large population pool. …This gets you to the door but EQ is linked with strong performance and determines how far you can go,” he said in front of a packed crowd at the Hyatt Regency Saipan ballroom.

Rivera said that people with high EQ perform better and get along with other people in the workplace because they are smart with their feelings. “These people consider the consequences, are optimistic, neutralize emotions, take 10 (or not quick to get into a conflict), regulate, openly accepts, and look for alternatives.”

Cultivating and nurturing these characteristics will have good results for employers in the long run. “Companies will have good people, peaceful work, increased team performance and greater profits,” he added.

Trainings and getting a company’s EQ profile to improve the workplace are available as EQ is a quality that is important at every level of a person’s career and EQ in the work place cannot happen without a sincere concerted effort.

“It does not matter where you start training employees, whether upper, middle, and low levels. Anywhere you start is good. …growth happens almost immediately and exponentially,” he said.

Anna Olaes, human resources manager and marketing assistant of McDonald’s Saipan, said the presentation was an eye-opener. “It is assuring that we don’t have to hire people based solely on their educational attainment, that hiring people based on their skills tend to be successful and productive in the work that they do.”

“At our company, we look at the level of education but we also look at the skillset of the person because this tells you what they are capable of doing and their potential. In the workplace, we nurture good relationships with our employees by keeping the communication line [open],” she added.

Pina Deleon Guerrero, Human Resources senior manager of Fiesta Resort & Spa and SHRM officer, said that EQ is not something new to the HR community. “But after the presentation today…we are hoping that we have inspired people to look more into emotional intelligence, how it impacts the workplaces and how they can use it,” she said.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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