Emotional Intelligence…Sort of.

The latest gem from the “forethought” section of Harvard Business Review: research indicates that of all the positions in an organization, the one with the LOWEST score for emotional intelligence is (drum roll please…): the CEO! Yes, individual staff people came in at 74 and by the time you got to Manager it was up to 77.5, but after that it was a steady decline from Director, Executive/VP, Senior Executive, and then the CEO at 70.5.

From the article:

It appears that companies are still promoting executives principally on the basis of what they know or how long they’ve served the company rather than on their ability to lead. Yet for every job we’ve studied, emotional intelligence is a better predictor of performance than technical skill, experience, or intellect—confirming what psychologist Dan Goleman and others in the field of emotional intelligence have been saying for years.

We hear those words over and over again (they have been saying it for years, after all)—that emotional intelligence is a better predictor of performance—yet we just can’t make hiring decisions based on it. At least not for the “important” positions like CEO. I guess we don’t collectively believe it yet.