Does a talent need a high IQ? Yes, some minimum level at least. Will that be sufficient to be successful? No. One might be a brilliant mind, but due to a lack of emotional intelligence not be able to convey content. On the other side one could connect to others very easily, but due to limited understanding of facts not be an interesting communication partner. Both – IQ and Emotional Intelligence (EQ)  are required to be successful.

With intelligence we typically refer to IQ – the ability to digest facts. IQ can be measured and predictions about the person’s ability to digest information in the future can be made.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to detect emotions, qualify them and ideally also influence these. It cannot be measured (some methods were tested but are very unreliable). Emotions and behaviour of a person cannot be predicted. It depends on the specific situation – and all the smallest details of that situation. A similar situation with a slight difference that reminds the person of a significant event in the past that required certain behaviour, might change the situation completely.

Options for decision making are usually processed with conscious weighting. But in a stressed reaction, e.g. in an emergency, intuition takes over. Our brain literally takes a shortcut – through the amygdala (amygdala hijack). Experiences learned during childhood form the base of our guts feeling – a reflexive unconscious comparison. Re-programming these reflexes is possible with time and effort. Therapy – experiencing a different outcome than the one that a reflex is trying to avoid – can influence the unconscious decision making.

Once one comprehends the emotional surrounding, one can influence it:



  • ability to read emotions: detect and decipher emotions in faces, pictures, voices
  • recognize their impact while using guts feelings to guide decisions



  • controlling one’s emotions and impulses
  • adapting to changing circumstances
  • use emotion in thinking and problem solving



  • ability to sense, understand, and react to others’ emotions
  • comprehending social networks
  • ability to detect small variations of emotions
  • recognize/ describe how emotions change over time


Relationship management

  • ability to inspire, influence
  • vary emotions while managing conflict
  • use positive and negative emotions to achieve goal



What does each of you see when entering a room full of people – e.g. a party? What do know about the other people when leaving?

The ones with a high emotional intelligence will know many details about: who is befriended with whom – and who would like to be friends with whom? Who dislikes whom? Who is jealous, angry, stressed, frustrated, who has a peace of mind and what changed their emotions during the evening. All of that ‘reading’ will have happened unconsciously.


EXAMPLE   Many of the ‘Just For Laughs’ gags are based on amygdala hijack reactions:


Tenfold trains Emotional Intelligence to their Sales teams. See how they believe it impacts their work: Tendfold