Intelligence helps – but only so much

A high intelligence quotient is by no means a voucher for professional success. Being smart helps, but according to a range of research it’s three other and often overlooked talents that can make all the difference, reports The Entrepreneur.

Picture: Pixabay

Self regulation. The famous Stanford “Marshmallow” study placed treats in front of children and told them they could eat it now, or wait and be rewarded with a double amount. After tracing the lives of the children into adulthood, they found those who resisted performed better academically, earned higher salaries and were less prone to obesity. Such self-regulation or discipline can be trained like a muscle.

Empathy. It’s the difference between “I think you're wrong” and “I understand where you’re coming from.” Empathy is the ability to put yourself on exactly the same page with your customer or whoever you’re engaging with. Keep the words of Teddy Roosevelt in mind, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Resilience. Psychologist Angela Duckworth studied successful individuals at West Point Military Academy, rookie teachers in tough neighbourhoods and salespeople in private companies. She noted the common factor wasn't social intelligence, good looks, physical health and I.Q. It was grit, the resilience when faced with adversity either physically or psychologically. Grit can also be described as “growth mindset”. When wrestling with a problem, a fixed mindset says we’re failing and not cut-out for the job. A growth mindset believes we’re getting closer to the solution and gaining mastery.

Read more at Entrepreneur

Barbara Bierach