Daniel Goleman, in his popular book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’ (1995), stated that “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far”. Why is it necessary to be emotionally intelligent to thrive in today’s world? Researchers claim that superior performers possess more emotional intelligence traits (44%) than cognitive intelligence (19%). This reflects that Emotional intelligence matters twice as much as IQ or technical knowledge for high performance.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, express, understand, and regulate emotions. Emotionally intelligent people are highly self-confident, empathic, possess greater self-awareness and self-control. The concept of EQ is widely accepted in workplace and training programs are conducted globally to enhance EQ due to its vast applications to the workplace and leadership in organizations. Qualities like cognitive intelligence, decisiveness and vision along with leadership are not enough for success in workplace. Highly effective leaders also have a solid degree of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence at work is about how people and relationships function. It is about leadership, teamwork, management skills and partnership. Researches have indicated that people high in various combinations of emotional competencies outperform people who are weak in those areas. 67% of all competencies that are determined as being essential for high performance in the workplace are related to emotional intelligence. A leader’s emotional intelligence is directly related to measurable business results. When emotional competencies are used in leader selection, performance and retention rates increase significantly.
Several research studies have shown that managers with high emotional intelligence are more successful because:
- They can cognitively process more efficiently and more appropriately (Barsade, 2007).
- They tend to reap more favourable outcomes—including more favourable supervisor evaluations (Staw, Sutton, & Pelled, 1994).
- Leaders who have higher levels of emotional intelligence are also more likely to be profitable.
- Salespeople’s general positive affect toward their customers was found to significantly predict sales performance (Sharma & Levy, 2003).
- They are more efficient in decision making, with more careful, systematic, and thorough processing (Isen & Labroo, 2003).
- They are highly creative, have positive influence on the team and are better at conflict resolution.
Emotional intelligence is applicable to every human interaction in business: from staff motivation to customer service. Being emotionally intelligent is important and making your organization emotionally intelligent is the need of time. An organization which is emotionally intelligent has staff who are motivated, productive, efficient, aligned with the business, and committed. Emotionally intelligent workforce makes emotionally intelligent workplace; which enables them to work together to maximum effectiveness. This enhances employee’s personal competence and social skills which determines an organization’s success.