In today’s professional sphere, technical knowledge is only half the battle. The bulk of a successful employee’s profile comes from emotional intelligence, or EQ. Coined in 1990, EQ leads people to have stronger interpersonal relationships, improved leadership abilities, and greater job satisfaction. 90% of high performing employees exhibit high EQ.
What skills fall under the umbrella of EQ? The 3 main abilities outlined by the term’s founders (psychology professors John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey) are perceiving the emotions of one’s self and of others, understanding the signals emotions convey about relationships, and managing emotions in ones’ self and those around them. Other definitions expand this concept to include empathy and motivation.
While true that some people are naturally more empathetic or socially inclined than others, emotional intelligence is a set of skills that can be learned by anyone. No matter one’s exact occupation, it is always a benefit to know how to consider others before making decisions and communicate clearly with different kinds of people. Resources like mentorship and journals can help one understand their feelings and monitor their reactions, the 2 most necessary steps to improving emotional intelligence.
The benefits to improved emotional intelligence in the professional sphere are immense. As mentioned before, emotionally intelligent employees are better workers. Employees with high EQ are more likely to feel positively about their employer, remain with a company longer, and earn promotions and salary increases. The difference can be dramatic; a single point increase in emotional intelligence brings up to $1,300 in additional annual income. In a 2021 study of Spanish workers, high EQ was a stronger predictor of one’s salary than either age or gender.
Today’s professional world values leaders who can bring people together. Emotional intelligence in business gives people the tools to do just that.