Move over, Intelligence Quotient. Enter, Emotional Quotient. EQ or EI, Emotional Intelligence, is the new parameter for assessing a person’s level of smartness. Since the mid 1990’s or so, this new paradigm has been evolving, threatening to replace and displace IQ as a measure of a person’s intelligence.
What is EI?
If one were to explain in simple terms the difference between IQ and EI, it would be this: While IQ is the parameter of a person’s knowledge of a subject; EI is about how well the person can conduct himself in relation to situations. IQ is about erudition, while EI is about being street smart and responding to situations not with knowledge, but with intuition. A person with very high IQ may not know how to maneuver or wriggle out of traffic chaos, but may know the complete details of the history of town planning. On the other hand, the person with EI or high EQ will sneak his way out of the chaos, although he may not know a word about how automobiles came to occupy center stage of our lives of who the leading manufacturers of automobiles are.
At the workplace
EI is very important at the workplace. It is because the workplace is not a dreary, predictable affair in which everything happens according to set rules. Every day and every situation is new, making it dynamic and unpredictable. Here, the person with high IQ is a misfit. The person with high EI, being someone who has a high sense of gut feel, has an answer for every new situation. He may not have a great knowledge of the history or evolution of the workplace post the Industrial Revolution, but has an answer for day-to-day situations. Any modern workplace is sure to prefer the smarter worker to the learned one, unless its activity is purely academic in nature.
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