We often underestimate the importance of emotions in our lives. Our sustained focus on IQ and the role it plays in an individual’s success forces us to believe that it is the only mandatory requirement for success. However, one often underestimated aspect of success is the role played by Emotional Intelligence. One of the many examples that prove the importance of Emotional Intelligence over IQ is of our politicians who are often accused of not having the desired levels of education. However, despite all their criticism, they manage to get the support of millions of people in the country because of their ability to control their own emotions and the understanding of emotions of millions of other people throughout the country.
The introduction of the concept of Emotional Intelligence solved the puzzle that had been troubling a large population for years how is it that people having average IQ outperform those with the higher IQ 70% of the time. This anomaly proved wrong the people who had always assumed that the sole source of success was IQ. Decades of research now point to Emotional Intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional Intelligence affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results for us. It determines our behaviour in the face of adversity. Our capability of looking forward and taking out positives from even the most difficult situations sets us apart from our contemporaries. This is a common trait in most successful people.
Such traits were evident in Alexander Graham Bell as well. His mother was almost deaf, and his father taught elocution to the deaf, which influenced his later career choice as a teacher of the deaf. He displayed immense emotional strength to ensure that the gap left by his parents in his life does not become a deciding factor. Instead, his mother is said to be one of the inspirations behind his invention of the hearing aid. Yet, the one thing that he is most famous for is his invention of the telephone. But just inventing it did not mean that it turned into an overnight success. In August 1876, Bell was able to conduct a demonstration of his telephone by using two telegraph offices that were five miles apart. Using only the existing telegraph lines, Bell was able to conduct the world’s first phone call that left the audience amazed. Later that year, Bell and his financial backers offered to sell the patent for the telephone to Western Union, but it dismissed the telephone as a useless toy that would never amount to anything. That inspired Bell and his partners to keep the telephone patent for themselves, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Bell’s emotional strength ensured that he was not affected by the initial dissuasions that he had to face for his experiments. Till now, there is no known and certain connection between IQ and emotional intelligence; you simply cannot predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is. Thus, it is not necessary that good performance in exams would essentially lead you to becoming a stronger personality or vice versa. There have been multiple instances when extremely talented individuals have lost track of their lives just because they could not handle the situation that they were up against. People spend months and years building their emotional strength and all of it comes handy when they are put in a situation where they have to face failure or rejection. Rising after a failure is as much a matter of emotional strength as it is of a person’s aptitude. Your ability to learn, to retain and to respond to the challenges posed in the recruitment processes is determined by your emotional capabilities which are built over the years. This is the same reason why people respond differently to same situations. While failure can shatter a person into pieces, the same failure can make someone else determined enough to give his strongest shot possible in the next attempt. The choice of how you want to use your emotions is up to you.
(Surendra Kumar Sachdeva)