Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Research has proven that the development and enhancement of emotional intelligence is more important than technical expertise or IQ when creating sustainable positive change in an organization. Emotional intelligence is key to advancing an organisations’ work culture, developing exceptional performance, and improving results.
All humans use a combination of thoughts and feelings to understand and interact with the social environment in which they find themselves. Biologically we are engineered to feel before we think. When we sense a threat to our environment, when we are passionate, or when we are under stress, it is emotions and feelings that drive us to action. Most of the more influential books over the past 100 years, like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, are effectively championing emotional intelligence. Success in life is totally contingent on positive self – regard, impulse control, optimism, independence, accountability, sensitivity to the needs of others, social responsibility, and the acknowledgement that our thoughts impact our feelings, and our feelings drive our behaviour.
A Practical Look
In recent times, ‘scientificization’ of Emotional Intelligence has demonstrated how specific skills of emotional intelligence are crucial for leadership success, and how these skills can be enhanced. In our EASI® system, where the “E” stands for Emotion, we understand and appreciate that the role of emotion and emotional intelligence is essential to any organisation that aims to be people – oriented, efficient, productive, and innovative. Understanding emotional intelligence and how emotion permeates the workplace at both an individual and group level is, in fact, the first step in authentic employee engagement.
Emotional intelligence, in practice, is the ability to recognise and understand emotions in oneself and others, and to use this ability to manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make better decisions. Cognitive intelligence, or IQ, is fixed and stays the same all our lives. EQ, on the other hand, can be developed and improved. Recent research indicates that 58% of performance in all types of jobs is attributable to emotional intelligence. This relationship is so strong and direct that every point improvement in EQ score is equated to an increase of R20 000 in annual earnings!
Therefore, for organisations, and particularly non-profits, to be successful, it is essential that they learn to maximise their EQ skills. This aspect of our EASI® methodology is key to our clients’ success, and establishing the emotional connections that facilitate trust, synergy, and effective conflict resolution turns out to add more value to the bottom line than concentrating on production only. As Aristotle said so many years ago: Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.