The Surprising Secret to Success in Tech

Posted on 06/01/2022 

by Yemi Jackson

All of us know that in the tech world, the smarter somebody is, the much better he or she will do, right?


New findings show that the most successful engineers, rise to the top, not because of their IQ. Surprisingly it's their superior emotional intelligence that gets them there. 

A recent study in the journal Career Development International found that engineers' level of psychological and social intelligence predicted about 30 per cent of their effectiveness, as ranked by their coworkers, while IQ and character had no significant effect. 2-5 per cent would generally get people excited so this result is huge.

Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) focuses on self-awareness, empathy, motivation, self-regulation, and social skills. If we can’t manage or understand our emotions, we can lose control in situations that cause an emotional response (e.g. if you get criticised at work regarding your performance, or have a disagreement with a colleague). 

Tech companies are tuning in to what this means for their teams. 


In the past, an engineer may work well alone, huddled alone in a cubicle, lost in their own world and their technical abilities would make the most significant difference in their success. However, things have changed.

Today, especially in larger companies, engineers work in teams, interact with clients, are required to sell others on their vision and use people skills, not just technical ones.

Tech has become a collaborative and creative field, where teams focus on collaboration to deliver products in short time frames, gather feedback and repeat the steps. Working this way requires clear, concise communication, the ability to discuss in an orderly way to achieve the best product, and separate feedback on your work from feedback on your personality.

The industry is heavily male-dominated and deeply set in its cultures. Women are known to generally be more empathetic.

Therefore, with the same levels of IQ and technical ability, the opportunities for female advancement is huge, provided they are given a chance.


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