We’ve all heard the term emotional intelligence (sometimes called EI or EQ) and understand that it is a way to measure leadership acumen. As we progress in our careers, our ability to further develop soft skills, which is where emotional intelligence comes into play, can make or break opportunities for advancement. Are you aware of your emotional intelligence in the workplace?
According to psychologist and author Daniel Goleman, “Emotional intelligence refers to a different way of being smart. EI is a key to high performance, particularly for outstanding leadership. It’s not your IQ, but rather it’s how you manage yourself and your relationships with others.” He outlines four domains and twelve competencies for emotional intelligence.
- Self Awareness – This includes focus in addition to self-awareness
- Self Regulation – This includes emotional balance, adaptability, achievement orientation, and a positive outlook
- Social Awareness – Which includes empathy and organizational awareness
- Relationship Management – This includes influence, teamwork, conflict management, coaching and mentoring, and inspirational leadership
A recent article from Fast Company looks at how emotional intelligence can help you succeed in your career. We all like working with coworkers who are easy to get along with and trustworthy. Going to an office with a good culture and positive work environment can improve employee engagement.
Several studies have shown the impact of emotional intelligence in the workplace. An Egon Zehnder study found that executives with a strong EI score were likelier to succeed than those with a high IQ score or applicable previous experience. A Carnegie Institute of Technology study “found that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering,” personality, and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only 15% was due to technical ability.”
Developing emotional intelligence can help you throughout your career. For example, when interviewing for a new job, it can make the difference in getting hired or not. Many people will meet the job requirements, but emotional intelligence traits can set you apart. “According to a more recent analysis from HR Digest, emotional intelligence in the workplace became the most sought-after qualification during the pandemic.”
It’s no surprise companies are looking for employees with vital emotional intelligence. As a retained search firm, finding employees who can handle pressure effectively, make better decisions, and understand and collaborate with their coworkers is essential for our clients. These candidates also tend to be excellent listeners, empathetic, open to feedback, and set a great example of the work culture.
Just like having an edge during the hiring process, strong emotional intelligence can also help you get promoted. The more senior the role, the more interpersonal soft skills matter. Technical competency at this point almost becomes a given. Strong emotional intelligence can also improve job satisfaction.
If you’re working on improving your emotional intelligence, the article shares three areas to consider. Are you provoking unexpected reactions? If your behavior elicits anger, frustration, or negative responses, you should understand how you come across. Another area to consider is if you’re not getting the help or approvals you need. Creating allies requires understanding how they communicate and speak their language to gain their support. The third area is if you’re getting overlooked for promotions. Seek feedback to learn if you were passed over due to interpersonal reasons.
To deepen your emotional intelligence, consider the following:
- Become more aware of your own emotions
- Practice listening (really listening)
- Be curious about others
- Manage your reactions
- Be open to constructive feedback
- Show genuine empathy
- Review and reflect
We recommend reading the full article for more details on these tips. To learn more about professional development, executive challenges, and related topics, visit our blog and read more articles within our Candidate Corner category.