Why Students’ EI Matters More than Their IQ

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It’s unlikely that people ask you about your students’ EI. They’re too busy inquiring about the much more popular IQ.

If you want to prepare students for the workplace, you might need to forget IQ and consider how you can improve their EI, or Emotional Intelligence. According to a University of Maryland study, 71 percent of hiring managers value EI over IQ. More than half surveyed contend that they would not hire a person with a high IQ but low EI.

As indicated in this infographic, Emotional Intelligence is about the skills someone uses to understand and manage emotions effectively. According to various sources cited in the Maryland study, people with high EI manage stress and other volatile emotions better than those with a low EI.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. There are three models of EI. The ability model, developed by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, focuses on the individual’s ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment. The trait model as developed by Konstantin Vasily Petrides, “encompasses behavioral dispositions and self perceived abilities and is measured through self report”. The final model, the mixed model, is a combination of both ability and trait EI. It defines EI as an array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance, as proposed by Daniel Goleman. Wikipedia

Does students’ EI matter more than their IQ? Is EI even a legitimate barometer of one’s ability to manage emotions?

Whether you are a believer in EI or not, it is a fascinating concept that requires consideration by educators. Check out this EI infographic, and let us know what you think.

University of Maryland’s Online MBA Program

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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