Emotional intelligence has become a popular topic in the field of psychological research. It’s especially popular in leadership development.

Research about the way today’s workforce interacts is a growing field. And EQ is also a critical component for one’s wellbeing.

But developing your EI is important if you want to have a successful career.

Many experts believe emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) may be more important than IQ . It’s certainly a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and happiness.

In fact, according to a report from the Robert H. Smith School of Business from the University of Maryland:

“71% of hiring managers said having EQ is more important the IQ and 51% of them said that they would NOT hire someone with a high IQ but a low EQ”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Let’s break it down so it’s easy to understand.

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify your own emotions and the emotions of those around you.

It is generally said to include these 5 dimensions:

  1. Self-Awareness: Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions.
  2. Self-Management: Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses.
  3. Motivation: Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take action, commit, follow-through, and work toward our goals.
  4. Empathy: Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively.
  5. Social Skills: Build relationships, relate to others, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team.

Critical areas in which Emotional Intelligence can support you:

  • Physical Health – The ability to take care of our bodies and to manage our stress. This has an incredible impact on our overall wellness. It’s heavily tied to our emotional intelligence.
  • Conflict Resolution – When we can discern people’s emotions and empathize with them, it’s much easier to resolve conflicts. It will probably even help you avoid them before they start. We are also better at negotiation due to our ability to understand the needs and desires of others. It’s easier to give people what they want if we can perceive what it is.
  • Mental Well-Being – EI affects our attitude and outlook on life. It can also alleviate anxiety and help you avoid depression and mood swings. A high level of EI directly correlates to a positive outlook on life.
  • Relationships – By better understanding and managing our emotions, we are better able to communicate our feelings in a constructive way. We are also better able to relate to those with whom we are in relationships. Understanding the needs, feelings, and responses of those we care about leads to more fulfilling relationships.
  • Success – Higher EI helps us to be stronger internal motivators. As a result, we can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better support systems and persevere with a more positive outlook.
  • Leadership – The ability to understand what motivates others to relate in a positive manner. Also, to build stronger bonds in the workplace inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize the needs of his people. Then, know how to meet them in a way that encourages high performance.

For resources on growing workplace EQ:

Lastly, here are 9 signs your manager may lack emotional intelligence:

  1. Unable to control their emotions.

    Emotionally intelligent people are able to regulate. Therefore having control of their emotions. If your manager is prone to lashing out in anger they likely lack EQ.

  2. Clueless about your feelings.
    The ability to read others’ nonverbal emotional cues, such as facial expressions, is a critical part of EQ. If your manager can’t read your obvious displeasure, they probably have problems making emotional connections.
  3. Can’t maintain friendships.
    High-EQ individuals have strong networks of friends and acquaintances. If your manager is unable to maintain good relationships with colleagues, this is an indicator of low EQ.
  4. Always has a “poker face.”
    While reading others’ emotions is important for EQ, so is the ability to express your own. If you can never tell what your manager is really feeling, it’s likely they’re missing this element of EI.
  5. Is emotionally inappropriate.
    Making bad or inappropriate jokes. Getting angry over nothing. Not realizing that he/she is angering someone. These are signs that your manager doesn’t understand the social workings of emotions and emotional expression. And this understanding is another important aspect of EQ.
  6. Can’t cope with sadness.
    An inability to manage others’ emotions indicates a lack of emotional intelligence. Low-EQ individuals have particular difficulty in reacting to others’ negative emotions.
  7. Is emotionally “tone deaf.”
    We communicate a great deal of emotion through tone of voice. If your manager can’t sense your irritation, it may be an indicator that he or she is not skilled at detecting emotions.
  8. Can’t really be sympathetic.
    Empathy and sympathy involve recognizing others’ emotional states and reflecting back appropriate emotional concern. This is a complex skill that suggests high levels of emotional intelligence.
  9. Has no volume control.

    Of course, we’re talking about emotional volume here. Too-loud emotional reactions suggest difficulty in controlling emotions.

Final Thoughts:

Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood. In fact, it’s still being researched even as I write this. However, what we do know is that emotions play a critical role in the quality of our lives. It’s probably even more critical than our actual measure of brain intelligence.

Tools and technology can help us learn information. But nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.

If you are now wondering how your EI level stacks up, there are a few places online to take a free emotional intelligence assessment.

With Leadership,

Joshua Miller

Joshua Miller is a creative leader and impactful executive coach.

His career spans both the advertising world and the world of leadership. In advertising, he was the creative lead, responsible for the campaign strategy for Fortune 100 brands. Today, he is an innovator. He’s supporting the executive development and change management for many of the same companies.

Joshua studied at Syracuse University, NYU and Stanford. He combines that background with his deep knowledge of organizational behavior, performance and change management. He focuses on the analysis, design, development, delivery, and evaluation of scalable and global talent development solutions programs.

Joshua is a Master Certified Coach. He trained with the International Coaching Federation and CTI (The Coaches Training Institute).