By Michelle Wanjiku
When it comes to succeeding at work, most people think that the smarter you are the better your chances of success. This is however not true because there is one very important thing that affects career growth and it is not how smart someone is.
Emotional intelligence is a big factor when it comes to career growth. It involves understanding and managing your emotions, how well you do this is what will impact your career trajectory.
This is why you have seen an increase in emphasis on skills as opposed to academic qualifications. Your Degree or Diploma will help you find a job but your career progress is dependent on your skills. Sure, having grades will help improve your chances of getting employment but it won’t guarantee success.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is what will help you have skills such as handling difficult clients, co-workers as well as any crisis that occurs.
These are all very critical when it comes to career growth. This is why some organizations will ask you to take an aptitude test before they hire you.
Why just being smart is not enough to be successful
1. Being smart doesn’t ensure that you can think on your feet
Every employer wants someone who is quick to come up with solutions to any problem that may arise. It is something every manager considers before promoting anyone. Just because you scored straight A’s doesn’t mean you possess this skill and your boss won’t just promote you because you scored A’s.
Therefore, if you want to succeed, ensure you show your colleagues and boss that you can think on your feet and don’t just depend on your papers.
2. It is not a guarantee that you are a good leader
Before you can be promoted, you need to prove that you possess the leadership skills necessary to hold a senior position. Many people assume that just because someone is smart, they will be able to be good leaders; this is not always true because most smart people prefer to focus on their own work.
This means that if you want to succeed in the work place, you need to ensure you possess leadership skills. There are various training classes you can take in order to improve your skills in order to achieve growth.
Why do employers value emotional intelligence over high IQ?
1. People with EQ remain calm under pressure
Employers are looking for people who will remain strong even when things get difficult. No one wants to hire someone who will quit the moment they face difficulties.
2. Resolve conflict well
Another great aspect of someone with emotional intelligence that employers admire is that they are capable of resolving conflicts in a rash manner.
This is an important skill for you to have as an employee because you will have to work with other people and being able to solve your differences without affecting the whole team will ensure work continues to be done.
3. Emotionally intelligent people have empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand what someone else is going through.
As an employee this is a valuable trait to have because it will help you know how to handle your colleagues and prevent a lot of office conflict which means you will be more productive at work.
Just because you got good grades in school doesn’t mean that career growth will happen automatically for you. You need to ensure you are an emotionally intelligent person because then you will have skills that will help boost your career.
Good grades are important but it is not all you need for a successful career.