• Tommy Cicero

EQ politely eating IQ's lunch

"In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels."

- Daniel Goleman


I did not learn about emotional intelligence (EQ) until later in life. Like most people, I measured intelligence by the amount of knowledge a person could retain and recall. A high IQ typically translates to good grades and perhaps a well paying job after college. During my ten years of technical recruiting I found the most qualified candidates I interviewed had a high EQ as well, allowing them to regulate their emotions and utilize great people skills or soft skills.


Great technical skills may get us a job offer, but if we cannot convey our talents and skills in an appropriate manner, we may miss the mark. Elon Musk famously has a "No assholes policy" at Tesla and SpaceX. Even if you happen to slip through the cracks and get hired, the assholes eventually get shown the door. Seriously, who likes working with assholes? This is why emotional intelligence is critical, and not just in the workplace.





In this "Hey Google" world we live in, IQ is steadily taking a back seat to the much more alluring EQ and ability to get along with people. In an extreme example, picture Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. While he has a high IQ, his EQ is lacking due to being high functioning on the autism spectrum (Low EQ is a defining trait of people diagnosed with autism). Because of this, people are turned off by Sheldon's lack of compassion and empathy when interacting with him. His IQ does not factor in emotions and therefore he struggles getting along with people and getting his point across.


I used to be like Sheldon and not consider people's feelings, especially if I was disappointed with them. I may have thought I was right and they were wrong, but the way I handled it was all wrong. I was an asshole about it. Reconnecting with my heart helped me to see the Light. Now I make an effort to use empathy and compassion when interacting with people and toward myself! I see how being more self-aware benefits me and everyone else. I still slip up and have my asshole moments, but a stronger EQ helps me to quickly recover and be the more caring person I choose to be. I found life is much more enjoyable this way. 😃




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