These 2 Forms Of Intelligence Are Better Success Predictors Than A High IQ Score

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Scoring high on an IQ test does not guarantee success; attending an Ivy-league school doesn’t mean an Ivy-league life. Yet from the moment you begin education, the emphasis is on test scores and exam results.

While IQ is certainly important, putting all your chips in that basket will only mean you fall short. Companies and CEOs are now looking past the traditional cognitive IQ skills and looking more at “non-cognitive” skills. In selecting new HR personnel, The US Air Force switched from a cognitive to a non-cognitive approach and increased its success rate and saved $3 million annually. L’Oreal sales agents selected using non-cognitive criteria sold $91,370 more than other salespeople did annually.

Excellence and success are indeed multidimensional. Here are two forms of intelligence that are better predictors of success than IQ:

Social Intelligence

Otherwise known as “interpersonal” intelligence, it’s the social skills and ability to adjust your interaction styles according to the people and setting you’re engaged in.

It doesn’t mean being disingenuous or putting on a mask. In fact, it requires having more of a genuine interest in others; paying more attention to ensure they feel at ease around you. It’s the ability to perceive and intuit other’s thoughts and feelings with high accuracy, and responding appropriately.

You don’t need to be an expert in psychology or anthropology to have social intelligence, nor must you be an extrovert; you simply need to be intentional with people.

There are two keys to social intelligence: 1) considering the context 2) observing body language. When it comes to context, you don’t want to act formal in a social setting, and you don’t want to act casual in a business setting. With body language, people make judgments and draw conclusions within the first minute of meeting. First impressions will make or break a good interaction.

Here are some basic skills for every interaction:

• Smile and make eye contact
• Be assertive, ask questions and listen
• Stand slightly side on (directly in front can be perceived as confrontational).

Emotional Intelligence

Also known as “intrapersonal” intelligence emotional intelligence is having self-awareness; the ability to be introspective, observing your own thoughts, and processing your emotions. We get frustrated when our actions don’t line up with our emotions. Having this emotional awareness will allow you to align your beliefs with your behaviors, your internal desires with your external expectations.

Mindfulness practices cultivate emotional intelligence. Start with observing your inner processes and emotional response to situations. Label your emotions as they arise and question their validity. Get a notepad and write out how you feel. It will strengthen awareness.

The ancient stoics placed great value on emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Marcus Aurelius said, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

You don’t have complete control over what happens in life, but you can manage your emotional response. This reduces stress and anxiety, and allows you to function at your best.

Take the focus off your IQ and begin cultivating these “non-cognitive” skills today.