FIVE reasons you should invest in your emotional intelligence

Jun 2, 2021 | Blog

Emotional Intelligence was a term coined by psychologists John Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990.  Daniel Goleman is one of the leading theorists in this area, and he defines EI as a person’s ability to manage his feelings so that those feelings are expressed appropriately and effectively.

According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the largest single indicator of success in the workplace.  By improving your emotional intelligence, you are improving your leadership ability, competitive advantage, and performance.

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness allows us to be aware not only of our strengths and weaknesses but also of the emotions that we are experiencing and the impact they have on our performance.

According to organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich, we believe we are much more self-aware than we are.  95% of people believe they were self-aware when in reality only 10-15% are.  Eurich argues that working with team members who are are not self-aware can cut a team’s successful performance in half and lead to an increase in stress.

2. Increased empathy

Empathy is more than just recognising someone’s feelings, it is the ability to feel what they are feeling, to put yourself in their shoes.  Empathy allows us to build a sense of connection with others, this leads to more productive connections within the organisation.  It also allows us to understand your colleague’s perspectives, which in turn leads to more effective communication.

3. Reduced stress and resilience

Resilience is a learnable skill, although some may be born with a greater ability naturally, resilience can be developed and learned over time.   People who are highly emotionally intelligent tend to also be highly emotionally resilient.  When you’ve developed your emotional intelligence, you can cope with stressful conditions and maintain a positive outlook, and be less likely to burn out.  This is because emotional intelligence leads to greater self-awareness of the emotions we are experiencing, and greater self-regulation, the ability to manage our emotions and reduce stress, particularly in difficult circumstances.

4. Greater performance

Goleman found that leaders get hired for their business expertise and intelligence and fired for lack of emotional intelligence, in particular, their social awareness.  Research also found that those with high emotional intelligence are 127 times more productive than those with low emotional intelligence.  There is also an argument that emotional intelligence is responsible for at least 58% of job performance.

5. Resolve conflicts

As emotional intelligence leads to a greater understanding of other perspectives, more effective communication, and greater self-awareness it stands to reason that this will result in less conflict within your team and organisation.

One major area in Goleman’s emotional intelligence model is relationship management.  Essentially this is your ability to influence and diffuse conflict, managing your relationships with others.

Joseph Grenny, co-founder of VitalSmarts, research showed that every unaddressed conflict can waste at least eight hours of an organisation’s performance time, due to gossip and de-motivation.  The ability to reduce conflict is therefore key to ensure greater performance.

We hope you have found this article useful and are convinced that emotional intelligence training is key.  We have several courses you may be interested in, please check them out here.