Leading people is tough. But, you don’t have to be tough to lead.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) and its benefits for your organisation

Today’s workplace is more competitive, collaborative and fast-paced than ever before.

New technologies have opened up many ways to connect and collaborate with coworkers. However, with these benefits come challenges like hiring the right people, getting them motivated to perform their best and keeping office relationships healthy.

Empathy and social awareness are two of the most important skills for thriving in a modern workplace. These traits are also known as emotional intelligence (or EQ), as they deal with how we perceive and react to our own emotions and those of others.

Knowing how to manage your emotions while remaining compassionate towards others is a distinct set of abilities that will positively impact your organisation in almost any role or department.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive and understand emotions and to use this information to enhance thinking and improve relationships. It is the ability to monitor one’s own feelings and thoughts and those of others, to distinguish among the feelings that are being experienced, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

EQ is not to be confused with general intelligence, which is a person’s ability to solve problems and think rationally.

As people progress in their careers, they’ll face challenges that aren’t related to skill or experience, like getting along with coworkers and maintaining healthy relationships. These are things that can be addressed with emotional intelligence.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

According to a study from the Association for Psychological Science, there is a definitive link between emotional intelligence and success, with those who have strong EQ skills faring better in work and life.

EQ is a critical skill for managers and employees, regardless of role or experience. A good EQ score can predict a person’s success better than their IQ score. A high EQ score is also a good predictor of high-performance ratings, above and beyond other factors like age, gender, education, and years of experience.

As time goes on and technology changes, the workplace will continue to require people with higher EQ skills. This will be increasingly important as we see the rise of AI and automation in the workplace.

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for Employees

Improved communication – People with higher EQ are better at reading their own emotions and those of others. This makes them better at listening and communicating in the moment, which is key to resolving misunderstandings and resolving conflict.

Better collaboration – When you think and act with empathy, you’re less likely to be competitive and more likely to collaborate. This is a valuable trait in any industry that requires collaboration, like marketing, sales and software development.

Increased productivity – Productivity is about more than just getting things done. It’s about getting the right things done. EQ enables you to be more selective with your energy, which is critical for avoiding burnout.

Higher retention rates – Workers with a high EQ are more satisfied with their jobs, which leads to a lower turnover rate and higher overall morale.

Better sales – If your company relies on sales, then having employees with a higher EQ will be a distinct advantage. Employees with higher EQ will be better at understanding customer needs and working towards a mutually beneficial solution.

Better leadership skills – Stronger emotional intelligence skills are often associated with stronger leadership skills, too.

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence for Companies

Employee retention – Companies with employees who are more satisfied with their job and less likely to leave.

Better customer satisfaction – Customers who are more satisfied with their experience are also more likely to make future purchases.

Higher productivity – Stronger emotional intelligence skills help employees to be more productive and to get the right things done.

Improved team dynamics – Stronger communication skills enable employees to work more effectively together.

Better talent acquisition – With a better hiring process that focuses on EQ skills, organisations will have less turnover and more productive employees.

Better innovation – Stronger creativity and problem-solving skills are critical to innovation in any industry.


How to Develop EQ in the workplace

Put an emphasis on hiring – No matter how much you try to train away bad EQ, there will always be some who just don’t have it. The best thing you can do is to hire people who have it in spades.

Focus on training – Once you’ve hired the right people, there are ways you can train them to have stronger emotional intelligence.

Establish consistent office culture  – A consistent and healthy culture will help to eliminate the need for people to overthink their emotions.

Focus on building relationships – When you build strong relationships with your coworkers, the need to think about their emotions goes down.

Show appreciation for others – Being thankful for the people around you is one of the best ways to boost your emotional intelligence.


Emotional intelligence is a critical skill for thriving in any role or industry, but especially so in the modern workplace. Having strong emotional intelligence will help you to be more effective as a leader and better able to manage your team. It will also help you to make stronger connections with your coworkers and produce better results. The sooner you make emotional intelligence part of your culture, the sooner you’ll start to see these benefits.

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