Talking Points
December 2023

Where Business, Brains, And Emotion Come Together

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a growing interest in the business world. It defines leaders and influences corporate success. So we thought we’d take a quick look at this enigmatic yet increasingly popular topic.

So what exactly is EI?
Emotional intelligence, in short, is people skills. But it involves more than that. It’s being aware of both your own and other people’s emotions and using that awareness to influence thinking and behavior.

Why EI is important to business.
Research seems to indicate that people with a high EI quotient are more mentally balanced, excel in job performance, and exhibit tremendous leadership skills. And Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who popularized the concept of EI in his 1995 book, found direct ties between emotional intelligence and measurable business results.

A key ingredient for leadership.
Goleman’s studies concluded that traditional leadership qualities—intelligence, determination, and vision—aren’t always enough. The most effective leaders, he noted, demonstrate EI qualities such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and refined social skills.

EI and you.
Here’s another eye-opening fact about EI—those with high EI generally earn $25K to $30K more each year than those with a lower EI. This correlation between high EI and higher earnings is consistent in every profession, at every level, in every nation. So here are a few ways you might be able to increase your emotional intelligence.

  • Work on raising your self-awareness. Observe your strengths and weaknesses, and be honest about them. Knowing your limitations presents an opportunitiy to improve yourself. Also, keep an open minded regarding other’s opinions, their criticisms of yours, different ideas, and new experiences.
  • Recognize your emotions and manage them. People with high EI observe and respond to emotions, instead of rashly reacting to them. Remain calm and try to diffuse tense situations by listening rather than talking. Others will appreciate it.
  • Show genuine interest in people. Be diligent in your interactions. Get names. Ask about lives, jobs, or personal interests. And remember what you learn. The deeper relationships you foster may prove helpful when you need a professional favor.

Think about it. Business success takes intelligence, commitment, and sometimes daring. But the thing it requires most is cooperation. If you can increase your emotional intelligence, you’ll be better prepared for any situation, and prosperity will likely follow.

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