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Is there a downside to being emotionally intelligent?

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HC Online | 17 Jan 2017, 09:47 AM Agree 0
People with high EQs might not make the best leaders, according to two experts
  • Catherine Cahill | 17 Jan 2017, 03:47 PM Agree 0
    I was intrigued by this article because it just seemed to get EQ completely wrong. One of the benefits of having high EQ is that it enables people to effectively understand the emotions of themselves and others, and I have never read any research that indicates this capacity makes a person incapable of decision making, giving or receiving feedback, taking risks, or being creative or a perfectionist. In fact, my understanding has been that quite the opposite is true.

    So I went to authors own paper (which is quoted here) and it states: “Thousands of scientific studies have tested the importance of EQ in various domains of life, providing compelling evidence for the benefits of higher EQ... For example, EQ is positively correlated with leadership, job performance.... Moreover, EQ is negatively correlated with counterproductive work behaviors, psychopathy, and stress proclivity.”

    The authors then go on to assert their opinions of why none of this is true by mostly referencing non researched articles, which like this piece, is simply personal opinion. The one scientific study they cited which they use as their support for claiming High EQ is linked to low Creativity, does not actually refer to any measurements of EQ in the study.

    Methinks perhaps these guys protesteth too much. I am really surprised that the Harvard Business Review published their article, but grateful that you have brought it to the attention of the HR community, because I fear this claim may now be repeated by people who do not understand or perhaps, in truth possess, high EQ.

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