Management Articles


So What Does Emotional Intelligence Look Like in Real Life?

By: Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, coaches individuals and executives in emotional intelligence, and offers workshops, presentations, trainings, Internet courses and ebooks.  She is a regular presenter for the Royal Caribbean and Costa cruiselines.  Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.

  1. High IQ, Low EQ: A student.
    There’s a story going around the Chicago area about a student at the U. of Chicago last year. At that venerable high-IQ institution, it’s still a graduation requirement that each student pass a swimming test. A student showed up to take the test and, 3 hours later, after they’d dragged him out of Lake Michigan and the EMS had left, they asked him why he’d shown up to take the test when he didn’t know how to swim.

    ”I read about it,” he said.
  2. High IQ, Low EQ: Frank.
    Ph.D. in Engineering, designs military defense systems for the government, has a net worth in the millions, and top security clearance, and is on his 5th wife.
  3. Average IQ, High EQ: Dr. Bob
    Bob has an IQ of 125, low for a physician. He was told repeatedly he wasn’t med-school material, but his social skills, focus, and determination made his becoming a doctor a reality. And what a gift to the profession! He has a marvelous “bedside manner.” He’s grateful he can practice medicine – when was the last time you encountered a physician with that attitude??
  4. High IQ, High EQ: William Pickering, the Rocket Man.
    Ph.D., Physics, CalTech. In 1957, when Russia launched Sputnik, Pickering was working for the Jet Propulsion Lab. In 2 months, the Naval Research Laboratory launched the Vanguard, which under the glare of international media, blew up on the launch pad.

    Fortunately, Pickering had been working since Sputnik on their own satellite. ExplorerI was launched less than 4 months after Sputnik.

    To bring this off, Pickering worked James van Allen, and Wernher von Braun.

    (What's that sound I hear? Egos colliding???)

    Imagine the pressure and EQ it took to pull this off with the government, the military and the American public breathing down their necks.

    Which of these towering, credentialed geniuses got the leadership job? (And correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn't Einstein also alive at the time?)  The one with the EQ!
  5. High IQ, Low EQ: John, a lawyer.
    His girl friend, my client, became increasingly displeased with his “cluelessness” and lack of demonstrative affection. Finally she lost her temper and yelled, “Can’t you just send me some flowers?”

    ”You don’t understand,” he replied. “I don’t know how to.”
  6. Low IQ, Low EQ: Mike Tyson.

  7. High IQ, Low EQ: Harry, a lawyer.
    A lawyer I worked with. Told his secretary, a single parent with 4 children under the age of 6 and no child support, who earned $28,000 a year, when her second-hand car broke down, “Well, if you’d just buy a new Lexus like I have …”

    Were his office projects sabotaged? What do you think?
  8. High IQ, High EQ: Ray Garrett, Jr., former chairman of the SEC.
    The man under whom it all shook down after Watergate in the 70s. The stock market was at its all-time low.

    He was interviewed live on “Wall Street Week,” the night before he deregulated stock commissions. Rukheyser, hoping to ^nail him^, said, “And what will you do if this doesn’t work?”

    Unflappable, Garrett shrugged and replied, “Try something else.”
  9. High IQ, High EQ: Captain of the RCI’s Rhapsody of the Seas
    Many seniors travel on cruises and when their poor eyesight and bad hips collide with a rocking ship, spilled beverages, and tendering, the results are predictable despite all caution. Last cruise I spoke on, I watched the captain come down from the bridge to visit with a couple sitting poolside. He asked the man how he was doing after his fall in the dining room, looked at his bruises, ordered drinks delivered, sat and visited.

    I know your insurance company would tell you not to do this.

    I worked in a law firm at one time and I heard it repeatedly, “If he had just apologized … If she’d even said she was sorry.”

    I rear-ended someone 2 years ago. Just flat out didn’t hit the brakes in time. The woman told me she had just recovered from a back injury and was scared. SHE was scared? I was petrified. I asked her to follow me to a parking lot. I spent 30 minutes with her expressing my concern, calming her, offering to drive her home, make phone calls, and saying how sorry I was to have added to her stress.

    Believe it or not, I never heard from her again.
  10. Low IQ, High EQ: Jen, sales.
    Jen never finished college. Her strengths on the StrengthsFinder™ are Positivity, WOO (Winning Others Over), Empathy, Communicator, Activator.  This is not the profile of an intellectual. She makes 6 figures.
  11. Unk. IQ, High EQ: Michael Jackson
    A tricky one, but, EQ involves creativity, flexibility, and intuition (rather than purely cognitive rules and formulas) and few have produced more hit singles than he. Consider his responses to an interview:
    S: “How do you write your songs?”

    Michael: ”If I sit there and say I’m going to write a best-seller, nothing is going to happen…. The way I wrote Billy Jean…I was in the car and I thought I’d like to make a song with a really cool base line, and I let it go. I just let go. A few days later, the beats just started playing in my head….The mistake many musicians make is that they get in the way of the music. Get out of the way. Let the song write itself.”

    S: “But if you don’t write it, where does it come from?”

    Michael just shrugged, paused, and said, “Above.”
  12. Unk. IQ, High EQ: Pearl Bailey
    ”There are two kinds of talents, man-made talent and God-given talent. With man-made talent you have to work very hard. With God-given talent, all you have to do is touch it up once in a while.”
Emotional intelligence is where emotions and thinking interface. Winners have high EQs and it can be learned. Why not start today!?

© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2003

Other Articles by Susan Dunn

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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