Why happiness is the key to success

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 April, 2011, 12:00am


It is commonly believed that a person with a high IQ and EI (emotional intelligence) can succeed in the workplace. But perhaps that's no longer the case. HQ - the happiness quotient - is the new key to being popular at work.

HQ is a new concept that can mean several things. When it applies to work, it refers your ability to create a pleasant and interesting atmosphere for interaction with colleagues. Although it is not yet an official definition used by psychologists and management consultants, there are many ways in which HQ can affect one's life.

For example, Xiao Yang is a project manager at a media company in Guangzhou. He is a gifted designer and his ideas win him compliments and admiration from others. But his colleagues say it is difficult to work with him because he is such a perfectionist and is very proud.

A colleague, Li Hongyao, says Xiao is too self-centred. 'Once he has made a decision about a design, he won't allow any further discussion on it,' she says. 'And he will call you names if you don't live up to his expectations or don't pay attention to details at work. We can't communicate with him.'

By contrast, another project manager, Sunny Zhao, is not as talented as Xiao but has lots of friends in the company. Zhao is amiable and encourages others to express their own opinions in group discussions. She often joins her workmates for dinner or a few drinks after work.

'I try to think what I can do to enhance the cohesiveness of the team,' she says. Zhao's efforts have paid off and she has been promoted quicker than Xiao.

Zhao Yurun at Shineshow Cultural Communications is one employer who pays attention to HQ when managing his staff. He points out that the key value of HQ lies in giving priority to others' feelings.

'A person can't fit in if he fails to make others feel happy and at ease, even if he has a high IQ and EI,' he says. 'The ability to make others happy is a great charm. Sometimes being an interesting person is more valuable than being a talented one.'