Individual Success and Importance of EI and CI

Topics: Emotional intelligence, Intelligence, Psychology Pages: 5 (1596 words) Published: May 23, 2013
There are number of factors that contribute to the success of an individual. These factors include but are not limited to emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence, proactive personality and level of commitment. The topics of emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are popular for the researchers in the last few decades (Rao 2006). There are number of notations and abbreviations used for both such as CI, IQ, EI and EQ. This essay will use the abbreviations of EI and CI for emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence respectively. Kreitner and Kinicki (2013) refer to EI as the ability to manage oneself and social relationships in mature and constructive ways. CI is another form of intelligence that represents the experience of common intelligence at work like memory, analytical skills, vocabulary, academic success and multilingual skills (Schaie, 2001). It has been acknowledged that CI is important for achieving task goals that need individual wisdom, whereas emotional intelligence is a more relevant criterion for effectiveness where social interaction and leadership are required (Antonakis, Ashkanasy & Dasborough, 2009). This essay will argue that EI is more important than CI for an individual’s success, especially in an organisational environment. Next few paragraphs will support this argument based on the characteristics of EI that directly influence on an individual’s success such as teamwork, job satisfaction, performance and leadership. It is difficult to define success because different people have different meanings for this terminology. Kreitner and Kinicki (2013) claim that it is not possible to define success for everyone because it depends on personal history, expectations, goals, dreams and opportunities. Therefore, this essay is based on the assumption that in the organisational environment first layer directors, managers and CEOs are considered as the most successful individuals. Collaboration and teamwork are very important for the performance of an organisation as in most, if not all jobs; organisation members interact with supervisors, coworkers, support staff, and outsiders such as customers, clients, or patients. Farh, Seo and Tesluk (2012) conduct a research on a sample of 212 professional from various organisations and find that there is a strong relationship between EI, performance and teamwork. The easiest way to understand the importance of EI and its relative advantage over CI is to consider an example from a specific industry. The example of Mr X and Ms Y who were working in the same IT department of a company is presented below (Dunn, 2012): “Mr X was brilliant in his field and the best IT person in the office as to technical skills, but his people skills were very low. He was abrasive, arrogant, short-tempered, and a perfectionist. Other people did not like to work with him, and he was unable to explain things in terms other people could understand. Ms Y, who was also in the IT department, had average technical skills and a good education, though it was less than Mr X. However, her EI more than made up for this. She was able to handle herself and other people well and to explain things calmly and clearly. People loved to work with her and requested her by name. She received promotion after promotion because of her high emotional intelligence”.

It can be easily observed from the above example that control over EI can overcome shortage of CI skills in many scenarios. Therefore, EI skills are required to become a better team player, which is an initial requirement for success in a company.

The topic of job satisfaction is very important for the success of an individual. Rue and Byars (2005) show that individuals with high level of job satisfaction have a tendency to exhibit higher level of commitment to their workplace. Self-efficacy (one key dimension of EI) contributes positively to job satisfaction by visualising success. People program themselves for success by...
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