Is emotional intelligence just a buzzword, or is it a valued trait in the hiring world, and how far do you think you would be able to harness it to your advantage. It is a given that highly emotionally intelligent people come across as more successful and it is also true that companies at times bend over backwards to recruit them.
Openness to Experience
It may be less prominent in the IT field and might be highly sought after in sales and marketing. Personality and EQ are closely connected; hiring managers try and gauge you for essential personality traits like conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness to experience. Hiring managers falter at times in their ability to judge the efficacy of people with high EQ, in managing bigger groups that are beyond personal face time management. It is very difficult to find people who are good both at one to one interaction as well as group interaction.
All the Eggs in One Basket
Coined by a psychologist of repute the terms buzzword status has only gained currency, and not relented at all ever since. This is in part because the skills and attributes that it encompasses are in hot demand by discerning employers. As a job seeker you need to exercise caution in this regard as going ahead and prioritizing on emotional intelligence over and above other things is not a sign of prudence to the exclusion of everything else. Age old wisdom cautions you from putting all your eggs in one basket, so do not solely focus on one skill at the expense of others.
They do work for a pay, but wages are not the sole reason for their working, they do not need extrinsic motivation or cajoling to complete their work. Their great performance is just a result of the work which they find to be internally rewarding. Money may not necessarily motivate them to a significant extent. Although a higher degree of emotional intelligence is indeed a very strong indicator and predictor of success, its importance in the job market keeps on varying from sector to sector and segment to segment.
Normally you find people who are either good at the former or the latter. Emotional intelligence strongly supports empathy, which at times comes across as a poor leadership trait as managing at certain level requires optimal power dynamics for getting projects done. People with high EQ run the risk of turning deft manipulators when the intentions are not great, or being too sensitive to the feelings of others to be able to accomplish significant progress.
So it turns out that emotional intelligence is good enough for simple emotions but when it comes to the complex dynamics playing out in the workplace, where a skilled manager has to manage multilateral relationships, especially with global teams, complex intelligence is called for. To thrive in the future workforce we need to make an educated guess as best we can and bet on the best of the constants.