Developing Emotional Intelligence: Putting on Your “Feeling” Cap

Published Tuesday, July 20, 2010 1:33 PM

Ever since author Daniel Goleman wrote Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ the business and life-coaching world has been abuzz about EI's role in creating success. But what exactly is emotional intelligence, why is it considered so important and what role if any does it have in the business world?

Do You Know Your EQ?

Plays Well With Others

Goleman defined emotional intelligence as the ability to control one's impulses and emotions, to feel empathy and to demonstrate social competence in interpersonal relationships.

Over the years, debate has ensued over the significance of EI;  is it truly a measurable form of intelligence? Does it really trump old-fashioned intelligence?

I'll leave that debate to others but my study of collaborative work and the importance of team building in the workplace leads me to conclude that emotional mastery-that is the ability to listen, understand, calm down and to think rationally under duress-as well as the ability to work well with others are assets both in business and life.

Mastering Emotional Intelligence

So, how does one develop greater emotional intelligence and how best to employ that ability in the workplace? Books abound on the subject such as Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and Quick Emotional Intelligence Activities for Busy Managers but this succinct article from provides a useful Cliff Notes. Tips include:

  • Observe how you react to others: Do you rush to judge or stereotype? Or do you accept differences in personality or opinion?
  • Examine how you react to situations: What gives you stress? What tools help you remain calm under duress?
  • Look before you leap: Consider how your actions affect others before you get started. How would you feel if in their shoes?
  • Do a self-evaluation: What are your weaknesses and strengthens? Understanding yourself helps you relate to others.

Looking for motivation to further develop your emotional intelligence skill set? People with higher EQ's are better salespeople, produce greater revenue for their companies and are likely to keep their jobs longer according to The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, which includes representatives from Johnson & Johnson, American Express Financial Advisors and the U.S. Federal Government among others. 

Do you believe emotional intelligence is an important asset in the business world? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers


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