The Big Bang Theories’ Sheldon Cooper is a classic example of why it is important to have a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). In the TV sitcom, Sheldon demonstrates what it is like to have a high IQ without a corresponding high EQ. Daniel Goleman wrote about why this may be problematic in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More than IQ.
Sheldon is a very intelligent human being. This is something that he constantly points out to nearly everyone he meets. However, his high IQ is not tempered with interpersonal skills. Having strong intrapersonal and interpersonal skills are an important part of having a well-developed EQ. Sheldon may be an over-exaggeration of someone that lacks these skills, but we have all met book-smart people who just do not seem to understand how to interact with others.
Some companies’ yearly performance reviews may consider how employees demonstrate “concern for impact”. In other words, the company want employees to be aware of how they came across to other people. Any employee that has to deal with other people on a daily basis must learn to see themselves as other see them. What may seem as perfectly acceptable behavior to an individual may come across as offensive to someone else. Companies are placing more importance on developing individuals’ EQ levels and hiring people that have already developed interpersonal skills.
Sheldon is almost robotic in his lack of people skills. He does things because he has been taught that “it is the social convention” to do so. For people who see any part of their personality in the Sheldon character, I recommend reading Goleman’s book. I also think that it is important to read books about how to improve EQ levels. There are some sites on the Internet that help people improve emotional intelligence. Check out the following links: