When emotional intelligence is mentioned, there may be agreement that it’s indeed a great thing for someone to be more relatable, more self- aware and better at controlling impulsive behavior.
But does the emotional intelligence of a team really have bottom-line consequences?
While a strong consensus may not have existed before, that is changing as more companies recognize the value of EQ. Many organizations are now hiring for emotional intelligence (EQ) and evidence is mounting that EQ pays off in higher sales and productivity, and lower turnover.
Consider, for example:
- A large cosmetics company that now hires for EQ have on average sold $91,000 more than salespeople who were not hired before the new system was set up.
- The International Journal of Organizational Analysis finds that EQ competencies were positively linked to team cohesiveness.
- Manufacturing supervisors who received EQ training cut lost-time accidents by half and formal grievances by 20%. Plant productivity improved $250,000 over set goals.
- Firms with high EQ managers found 34% higher growth profits.
“Emotional intelligence really is the secret sauce,” says James A. Runde, author of “Unequaled: Tips for Building a Successful Career Through Emotional Intelligence,” and a special advisor and a former Vice-Chairman of Morgan Stanley.
Runde says that too many employees don’t realize that “brains and hard work are not enough” to give them a successful career, and too many leaders don’t understand how the lack of team EQ skills hurt performance for the team and for the organization.
“In the era of artificial intelligence and virtual reality and robots and drones – all those things are wonderful and productive, but for people trying to succeed in a solutions business, you’ve got to have people who can relate to other people,” he says.
According to psychologist Daniel Goldman, there are five elements that define EQ:
- Self-awareness. Those who are aware of their emotions don’t let them get out of control and are honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses. They work to improve and become better performers.
- Self-regulation. As they are aware of their emotions, these people don’t let themselves get too angry or jealous and don’t make impulsive decisions. They show thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity and the ability to say no.
- Motivation. Those with high EQ are very productive, love a challenge and are effective (read more here)