Does Emotional Intelligence Matter to Business Success?

Success in business takes more than head knowledge.

A growing body of research is continuing to show that there’s another, possibly more important side to the story—emotional intelligence. Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence, or EQ, as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” It’s about being in tune with yourself, in tune with others’ feelings, and in control of how you express and respond to emotion. And it’s critical to building a team that can take your business to the next level.

Today, about 20% of companies are measuring emotional intelligence when interviewing candidates. They know the success of their team depends on how well they work with one another. That’s because employees with high EQ are more likely to:

  • Choose their battles rather than picking fights
  • Stay calm under pressure
  • Be better at resolving conflict
  • Have empathy for colleagues
  • Lead by setting a good example
  • Persist when the going gets tough

There are clear benefits to building a team like that. Team members with a high-EQ manager are 400% less likely to leave a job than those with a low-EQ manager. Teams with high emotional intelligence can have 50% fewer lost-time accidents. In one study, a company exhibiting high EQ saw annual profit growth 7% higher than its lower-EQ counterparts.

For a long time, intelligence quotient (IQ) has gotten all the attention. In fact, average IQ scores have improved by 25 points over the last several years. People have sought to improve business by hiring the best and brightest, and making continuous learning part of how they operate. Those are great things to do. But, during the same time, average EQ scores among adults have fallen. Knowing all the benefits of high corporate emotional intelligence, it’s time to turn that trend around. It’s time to make improving your team’s EQ part of your strategic plan for improving culture, performance and profitability.

For more in-depth information on emotional intelligence and how to improve it both at work and in your personal life, take a look at this blog post and infographic from InitiativeOne: 19 Key Facets Of Emotional Intelligence In Leadership & Workplace.

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