Emotional intelligence (EI) could be an important factor in personal and professional success, according to a new study.
Research by professors at the University of Findlay in the US found a significant link between high EI and success in a chosen discipline.
The study assessed the EI of black belt martial artists in comparison to the general population, with assistant professor for the university’s College of Education Chris Moser claiming the results were “very interesting”.
“Although analytical and technical skills may serve as a minimum requirement for success, it is emotional intelligence (EI) that is often the attribute that distinguishes outstanding performers from average performers,” the study stated.
Success in the workplace
The research aimed to show that certain competencies and attributes that lead to positive results in the workplace were also exhibited by people who achieve higher ranks in martial arts.
Using the BarOn EQ-i assessment, Dr Moser and Cheri Hampton-Farmer, assistant professor and chair of communication, surveyed 77 adults who held a first-degree black belt or higher.
The results showed the participants possessed an above-average total emotional quotient than the general population, as well as scoring higher on all 15 EI subscales.
According to Dr Hampton-Farmer, there is good news for people hoping to purse their own leadership skills, as EI attributes can be learned.
“I am fascinated by the fact that many of the EI attributes are ones that individuals can develop,” she said.
“For example, developing good interpersonal skills requires that an individual reflect on how their actions affect other people, which is one of the attributes.”
Dr Moser said learning these skills helps people manage conflict better and arrive at appropriate responses that achieve a peaceful solution.
The researchers claim the study is applicable in the workplace because just as martial arts have their own code of conduct and values, so do many organisations.
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