For decades, IQ was used as the sole measure of a person’s intelligence and core competencies. But now, people are realizing that IQ isn’t enough alone to succeed. In fact, studies show that it only accounts for about 10 to 20% of your performance. The rest depends on other (often interpersonal and emotional) qualifiers, some of the most important being: Confidence and “EQ”, or emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to understand emotions—one’s own and others’—and to manage and regulate one’s own emotional state. It’s a buzzword that’s gaining clout and spreading fast: A study conducted by the World Economic Forum, predicted that EQ will be one of the top ten skills wanted in the people hired. And there’s no question as to why:

Those with high emotional intelligence tend to be better communicators and collaborators because they can use the data of others’ emotional states to inform their responses. Studies have even linked higher emotional intelligence to higher job satisfactionhigher pay, increased productivity, lower levels of depression and anxiety, and even better physical health.

What’s Your EQ?
Globally, the top 10% of performers all exhibit the same EQ-linked behaviors. Psychologist, Daniel Goleman devised a metric you can use to test your level of emotional intelligence, that buckets these abilities into four key areas:

  •      Self-awareness
  •      Self-management
  •      Empathy and social awareness
  •      And relationship management

Goleman proposes that within these categories, there are specific learned competencies that set aside the “high performers”. One of these (nested under self-awareness) is—you guessed it—self-confidence…or “personal confidence” as we refer to it at ACI.

How are EQ and personal confidence related?
True confidence is fueled by accurate awareness—both of yourself and your social situation. Without this, you run the risk of developing false (over or under) confidence. Therefore the “data” collected through emotional intelligence allows you to accurately know your strengths, limits, values, wants, and impact on others—all key to ensuring that you act and react to any type of situation with confidence.

Special thanks to Elior Moskowitz for her research and editorial contribution to this post.


  • Alyssa Dver

    CEO & Founder

    American Confidence Institute

    Confidence Crusader - Neuro Nerd - Success Equalizer:  Alyssa Dver leads the American Confidence Institute which offers SHRM and ICF-accredited workshops, keynotes, eclasses and coaching certification.  She received a 2021 Stevie Award for Achievement in Thought Leadership. Alyssa also founded and chairs the ERG Leadership Alliance, the largest association for employee group leaders who are directly improving workplace diversity, equity & inclusion. Alyssa is a TEDx and Boston Best Speaker, as well as an International Book Award finalist with her 7th book, “Confidence is a Choice: Real Science. Superhero Impact.” Her work has been endorsed by thought leaders at Wharton, Harvard, MIT, Yale, UC Berkeley, The US Air Force, The US Tennis Association, Panera, Staples, Spotify, Wayfair, and dozens more. Alyssa teaches CEOs at Penn’s Innovation Center, advises students at MIT’s Trust Center, and coaches entrepreneurs for GetStarted RI. Discover all kinds of practical resources including Alyssa’s blog and podcast on