First, let's determine what emotional intelligence is. According to the common definition, emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to see and recognize your emotions as well as the emotions and motivation of other people and to manage them to achieve goals.
According to the results of numerous studies on the subject, emotional intelligence is among the top 10 most important skills required to achieve professional success.
So, let's take a closer look at what it is, and why it's so important.
Emotional intelligence (often abbreviated EI or EQ) is based on the fact that we, as humans, are capable of perceiving the emotions and feelings of ourselves and other human beings. According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence consists of five key components:
- Self-awareness. This characterizes the ability to notice and understand one's own moods and emotions, as well as one’s influence on others.
- Internal motivation. This concept characterizes the ability to move towards a goal, but of your own will, not because of the reward.
- Self-regulation. This is about the ability to control one's actions. High self-regulation means that a person is not inclined to impulsive actions, and vice versa.
Empathy. Empathy is a person's ability to notice and understand the motives of other people.
Social skills. This means having the ability to foster positive relationships with others, enabling effective teamwork in groups.
- Emotional intelligence as a powerful factor in career growth
The role of emotional intelligence is difficult to appreciate fully. Often it is compared with traditional intelligence (IQ).
A survey carried out by Career Builder showed that most Human Resource managers (about 71%) rated EQ not less than IQ. Moreover, about 75% of all respondents stated that they tend to promote the career advancement of those employees who have a high EQ, and 59% would never hire a person with low EQ at all (even if IQ is very high).
Often, EQ is considered by employers as one of the most important components of a potential leader. The EQ indicator can even determine the fate of promotion, along with purely professional qualities and skills. As a rule, the vast majority of high-class specialists (in any field) have high EQ, and vice versa; only 20% of lower level performers have high emotional intelligence.
One possible explanation for this situation is that people with high EQ can motivate themselves. High emotional intelligence allows you to concentrate on your goal and confidently move towards it, even in the absence of external stimuli, thanks to self-regulation.
One more important point should be noted here. According to Harvard Business Review, emotional intelligence can be found in both individuals (for example, a team leader), and teams (that is, a group of people). Of course, a good leader with high emotional intelligence will be able, to some extent, to adjust the work in his or her group, but the coordination of work depends largely on the interaction between team members.
By making efforts to develop the emotional awareness of all members of the team and the group as a whole, a team will develop a strong, trusting relationship, which will ensure successful cooperation and also increase overall productivity.
A famous proverb says: "Cadres are all-important." The success of the business as a whole ultimately depends on the success of the actions of each of its employees and the team. By developing the emotional intelligence of its employees, a company will be able to ensure that employees are maximally involved in the overall work, support each other, and are aimed at the desired result for the company.
Emotional intelligence also has an impact on mental well-being. It is useful not only at work, but it also largely affects personal well-being. It is quite hard to estimate accurately the happiness of a particular person since it is a subjective characteristic that may or may not depend on the availability of money, professional success, family, or any other factors.
But one thing is certain: people with high EQ understand and accept their emotions and the emotions of other people so that they can achieve success in any group: at work, with family, among friends, neighbors, and so on. They foresee and prevent conflicts.
Recent studies show that there is a certain relationship between EQ and physical health. High emotional intelligence helps us to cope with stress. The focus on results allows a person to effectively keep himself/herself in good shape with the help of physical exercise and healthy food. Scientific research only confirms what already seems obvious to us.
High EQ also helps us cope with external pressure and stress. There may be situations when a person endures stress during the workday for various reasons. High emotional intelligence will help that person cope with his/her own emotions, maintain sobriety of mind, and choose thoughtful actions. Such people better understand their own emotions and can manage them. A good EQ will allow you to work effectively in difficult situations.
Nowadays, the rapid pace of life means stressful workloads have increased, so the ability to keep working in a difficult situation becomes a must for a good specialist.
High EQ helps us to establish cooperation with others. Nowadays there are practically no areas where people work independently – the development of science and technology has led to the fact that work in any area of manufacturing, as well as customer service, is performed by a team of people. Therefore, any specialist who intends to achieve success in his or her career must have at least basic skills in teamwork and must develop emotional intelligence.
Listening is a very important skill that will help in career development. People want to be heard and to be understood, so if a person has this characteristic, it will significantly improve his/her chances of professional growth. It is also a very important quality for managers to understand what is happening within the team and react in a timely manner to potential dangers and conflicts. People with higher emotional intelligence will be in a winning situation here compared to those with low EQ.
High emotional intelligence should be a standard everyone strives for. Even those who have a low EQ will see what kind of results managers and first-rate specialists with high EQ can achieve, and this will cause them to think: “Why is this person successful? What is the difference between him/her and me?” Eventually, they will notice that a successful person is able to cope with almost any difficulty, work in difficult conditions and solve conflicts. Sooner or later emotional intelligence will become a subject of study for any employee.
High EQ is needed for managers because with it, a person can make balanced and rational decisions instead of impulsive ones.
People with high EQ make more careful and wise decisions while considering what consequences will follow different choices and how they will impact on other people – that is, they are able to assess the potential risk and damage from various decisions. A specialist with high EQ will be in demand in any industry.
Daniel Goleman notes that EQ plays an even more important role than IQ. He explains that the ability to control one’s own emotions and recognize the feelings of others characterizes intelligence more accurately than the ability to think logically.
Skillful management of your emotions is a must-have quality for leaders. A high level of EQ helps a manager understand how others see him/her, recognize the hidden motives of employees, and, if necessary, manage the situation and resolve conflicts. Emotional intelligence will help you to achieve success in your personal and professional life.