Emotional Intelligence and Success

What’s the latest research on emotional intelligence and life success? Is EQ predictive of critical life success factors like relationships, wellbeing and effectiveness?

Numerous studies show that emotional intelligence scores predict performance on critical life success factors. How strong is this effect?

Many studies have been conducted with small samples, and frequently the samples are primarily university students, so a new study examined over 75,000 individuals (primarily managers and employees from over 15 workplace sectors) from 126 countries.

As shown in the graph below, there is an extremely strong, positive relationship between emotional intelligence test scores and success scores:

What to Notice?

  1. These variables move together, up to the right. It means that developing the learnable skills of emotional intelligence is, statistically, a sound way to improve scores on success.
  2. There’s an “empty space” in the top left and bottom-right. It means that if you want to have high success scores, you need EQ.


What Is Success?

On the vertical axis is an assessment of “Success” based on four factors, each with two sub-components:

    • Effectiveness: capacity to generate results (includes Influence and Decision Making)
    • Relationships: capacity to build and maintain networks (includes Network & Community)
    • Wellbeing: capacity to maintain optimal energy and functioning (Balance and Health)
    • Quality of Life: capacity to maintain balance & fulfillment (Achievement & Satisfaction)

To further understand the impact of emotional intelligence on performance, a regression model was created to show the EQ competencies with the highest effect on the Success scores. The largest single contributors to the model are “Exercise Optimism” (seeing possibilities) and “Engage Intrinsic  Motivation” (internal drive).

These are both in the “Choose Yourself” part of the Six Seconds Model, which focuses on taking responsibility for personal action. This suggests that the core driver of success, in this study, comes from intentional action.

Expanding Success with Emotional Intelligence

The other key contributors are “Increase Empathy” and “Pursue Noble Goals” — which are in the “Give Yourself” part of the Six Seconds Model. As Harvard Business School’s Clayton Christiansen has written, true success requires looking outside ourselves. This finding suggests that the highest success in life requires connections with others, and the application of emotional intelligence skills toward a meaningful purpose.

For further details, including the analysis of which specific emotional intelligence competencies are tied to the success factors, download the White Paper for free by filling in the form below. You will receive the White Paper (PDF) as well as a set of slides (PPTx) to share these findings.

Get the Free White Paper and Slides: EQ and Success

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Why Six Seconds?

Why do leaders from places like the UN, FedEx, Amazon, Qatar Airways choose Six Seconds’ tools and methods?

  • Global: Used in 157 countries & territories — this approach works everywhere.
  • Scientific: The latest research creates a robust approach by the pioneers in EQ — these tools are reliable.
  • Practical: It’s not enough to talk about emotional intelligence — Six Seconds helps you put it into action.
Michael Miller

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