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Emotional Intelligence EQ, is the type of intelligence that really matters in order to succeed in life. Also referred to by some as “street smarts,” or practical intelligence, EQ was conceived of as an alternative to “book smarts," as assessed by standard intelligence tests (IQ). There was some evidence in support of these claims, which in turn became the basis for what amounted to an EQ revolution. IQ was out, and EQ was in. The jury was still out, however, on just how much of a benefit EQ could provide in helping people become materially, if not psychologically, in their life accomplishments.
As Miami University of Ohio’s Joseph Rode and colleagues note (2017), “there are few systematic studies of the relationship between emotional intelligence and career success, despite strong interest in the popular press." The studies that do exist focus on short-term outcomes and didn’t produce very promising results to bolster claims of EQ’s career-boosting potential. Recognizing the need to address more systematically and, over the long haul, the possible benefits of EQ, Rode et al. developed a theoretical model that would account over time for a role of EQ in workplace success. In their model, EQ should be related to the ability to build “social capital” in the form of social support networks. Specifically, people high in EQ should be able to find mentors who would, in turn, train them in relevant job skills. Possessing these skills, the high-EQ workers should be able, then, to achieve the higher job levels that produce higher salaries.