Emotional Intelligence – Personality

Same or Different?

What the research says:

  • EI is a distinct construct from personality. Can predict performance above and beyond measures of personality (Petrides, Furnham, 2001)
  • Some overlap (Leary,et al., 2009)
  • Meta-analysis: Some overlap but “EI does add incremental validity over personality, yet personality does not add incremental validity over EI.” (Van Rooy, Viswesvaran, 2004)

EI’s advantage over personality measures is that it is dynamic and can be improved through coaching, training and development, whereas people tend to feel “stuck” with the personalities they are dealt. (Stein, Book, 2006)

So which one should we use? The answer is of course; it depends!

If you are looking for tools to use in recruiting and selection of the right person for a job, you are wise to use IQ and EQ. However, no recruitment decision  should be based solely on EQ or on IQ for that matter.

If you want a tool to use for team building where the object is for people to have a better understanding of each other and which personality profiles the team consists of, then a personality test can be useful.

If you are looking at developing people, be it in a group setting or on an individual basis, then an EQ tool is the best choice.

Remember that IQ and personality are pretty stable over life and do not change much while EQ is dynamic and we can all improve and be more effective – or the other way around.