Does EQ outweigh IQ when it comes to success in the workplace?
When it was first introduced, the idea of emotional intelligence (or EI, as it’s come to be known) was often dismissed in “serious” business circles – relegated to the self-help section of bookstores or the second-tier speaking schedule at professional conferences.
Today, however, many business leaders have come to acknowledge the important role EI plays in determining success in the workplace, both for employees and the managers who hire them.
A recent survey from OfficeTeam, a division of staffing firm Robert Half, found that nearly all human resources managers (95 percent) and workers (99 percent) said it’s important for employees to have a high emotional quotient, or EQ. In addition, more than one in five employees (21 percent) believe EQ is more valuable in the workplace than IQ, while nearly two-thirds (65 percent) said the two are equally important.
But do these same sentiments hold true in the accounting profession? In this highly technical field, can you rise to the top on “hard skills” alone? Or should you consider EI an essential part of your skill set – one you need to consistently cultivate – if you hope to succeed at your firm?
While there’s no doubt that technical skills, experience, and smarts can get you far in the accounting profession, EI can be the “difference maker” if you want to climb the ladder and truly prosper, said Brandi Britton, district president of OfficeTeam.
“Today’s accounting professionals aren’t working in a bubble or strictly number crunching – they’re playing a larger role in their companies. They often serve as strategic advisors, partner with other departments, and work with external contacts,” Britton said. “That’s where the ability to communicate, collaborate, and lead others is required. The ability to do that well sets future leaders apart from the crowd.”
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About Deanna Arteaga
Deanna Arteaga is a professional freelance writer and public relations specialist who for the past six years has covered CPA industry trends for AccountingWEB. She also writes about CPA firm marketing, higher education and professional development for CPAs, and workplace trends in the accounting profession. She has more than 20 years of journalism and public relations experience, including her tenure as a former newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago where she covered breaking news, municipal politics, and state legislative issues.