Emotional Intelligence: A Hidden Key to Career and Workplace Success
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Emotional Intelligence: A Hidden Key to Career and Workplace Success

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When the term “intelligence” comes up in regular conversation, most of us associate it with a person’s capacity to acquire knowledge and new skills.

This type of intelligence can be measured with IQ, which helps us determine if the test taker is closer to a Stephen Hawking or a Lloyd Christmas on the smarts scale. And certainly, given no other data, a hiring manager would likely prefer to choose someone on the Hawking end of the spectrum.

But while IQ is useful, it’s also clear that emotional intelligence (EQ) can be a difference maker in any professional role.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Have you ever met an entrepreneur with so much empathy and awareness, that they can read people in every situation and relate? Or a salesperson that will always genuinely put your success ahead of their own personal gain?

These are powerful qualities – and emotional intelligence is all about the ability to better navigate social situations, including with colleagues, bosses, and clients.

Today’s infographic comes from Aumann Bender & Associates, and it defines emotional intelligence while explaining the benefits of higher EQ in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

Emotional Intelligence: A Hidden Key to Career and Workplace Success

Even if someone is smart in terms of IQ, it doesn’t necessarily translate to career success.

In fact, emotional intelligence explains why 70% of the time, a person with an average IQ can actually outperform a person with more smarts.

Quantifying EQ

Although the topic of emotional intelligence may seem “touchy-feely” for some, the benefits of having a higher EQ are cold, hard facts to ponder:

  • A whopping 90% of top performers have high EQs
  • Emotional intelligence explains 58% of a leader’s job performance
  • People with higher EQs make an average of $29,000 more per year than people with lower EQs
  • Every one-point increase in EQ equates roughly to $1,300 in annual salary
  • Research shows that EQ is crucial across all industries and sectors

So the next time you’re looking at how to get an edge at the workplace, consider that it’s not just knowledge or skills that you should be after.

Sometimes there is a higher ROI in the “soft skills”: being more self-aware, learning how to effectively express your opinions or emotions, finding ways to bounce back from adversity, or managing stress or negative emotions can be more important than technical skills in improving career performance.

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Visualizing the Odds of Dying from Various Accidents

This infographic shows you the odds of dying from a variety of accidents, including car crashes, bee stings, and more.

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Infographic: The Odds of Dying from Various Accidents

Fatal accidents account for a significant number of deaths in the U.S. every year. For example, nearly 43,000 Americans died in traffic accidents in 2021.

Without the right context, however, it can be difficult to properly interpret these figures.

To help you understand your chances, we’ve compiled data from the National Safety Council, and visualized the lifetime odds of dying from various accidents.

Data and Methodology

The lifetime odds presented in this graphic were estimated by dividing the one-year odds of dying by the life expectancy of a person born in 2020 (77 years).

Additionally, these numbers are based on data from the U.S., and likely differ in other countries.

Type of AccidentLifetime odds of dying (1 in #)
Motor vehicle accident101
Complications of medical and surgical care798
Alcohol poisoning1,606
Accidental building fire1,825
Choking on food2,745
Drowning in swimming pool5,782
Sunstroke6,368
Accidental firearm discharge7,998
Drowning10,386
Airplane accident11,756
Bee or wasp sting57,825
Dog attack69,016
Lightning strike138,849

For comparison’s sake, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,000,000. In other words, you are 4000x more likely to die by a lightning strike over your lifetime than to win the Powerball lottery.

Continue reading below for further context on some of these accidents.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., with a 1 in 101 chance of dying. This is quite a common way of dying, especially when compared to something like bee stings (1 in 57,825).

Unfortunately, a major cause of vehicle deaths is impaired driving. The CDC reports that 32 Americans are killed every day in crashes involving alcohol, which equates to one death every 45 minutes.

For further context, consider this: 30% of all traffic-related deaths in 2020 involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

Drowning

The odds of drowning in a swimming pool (1 in 5,782) are significantly higher than those of drowning in general (1 in 10,386). According to the CDC, there are 4,000 fatal drownings every year, which works out to 11 deaths per day.

Drowning also happens to be a leading cause of death for children. It is the leading cause for kids aged 1-4, and second highest cause for kids aged 5-14.

A rather surprising fact about drowning is that 80% of fatalities are male. This has been attributed to higher rates of alcohol use and risk-taking behaviors.

Accidental Firearm Discharge

Lastly, let’s look at accidental firearm deaths, which have lifetime odds of 1 in 7,998. That’s higher than the odds of drowning (general), as well as dying in an airplane accident.

This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, since the U.S. has the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. More importantly, these odds highlight the importance of properly securing one’s firearms, as well as learning safe handling practices.

As a percentage of total gun-related deaths (45,222 in 2020), accidental shootings represent a tiny 1%. The two leading causes are suicide (54%) and homicide (43%).

Interested in learning more about death? Revisit one of our most popular posts of all time: Visualizing the History of Pandemics.

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