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Emotional Intelligence: the Intelligence of Success

“CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise – and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence.” – Goleman.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity that allows us to become aware of our emotions, understand the feelings of others, tolerate the pressures and frustrations we endure at work, increase our capacity for empathy and our social skills, and increase our possibilities for social development. We can define it as the set of skills that allow greater adaptability of the person in the face of changes.


Why is it important?

It has been seen that being smart will not bring you success in life. Possibly many of us know people who are very good academically but find it difficult to build and maintain good interpersonal relationships. Being intelligent does not mean that you will be successful, but rather that human beings must seek to develop other skills in order to achieve success. The intelligence quotient can help you assimilate and learn new things, however, the emotional quotient is the one that will help you conduct yourself in the best way to the different circumstances that are presented to you. By making the right combination of both intelligences, the person will be better able to face the challenges that life presents.


Emotional intelligence in the workplace

In the workplace, there is a continuous occurrence of moments of tension, stress, and hostility. Therefore, promoting emotional intelligence in companies is a good way to improve the environment for workers.


Daniel Goleman, also known as “the father of emotional intelligence” explains that, despite popular belief, intellectual intelligence (IQ) only accounts for 20% of a person’s success. The other 80% is given to emotional intelligence (EI). On the other hand, according to the Capgemini study, productivity can increase by up to 20% when team members use emotional intelligence correctly.


Emotional intelligence can be learned and developed.


How to develop emotional intelligence?


  1. Having an assertive style of communication.

Communicate your thoughts, opinions, and needs in a direct way that is still respectful to others.


  1. React in a way that proceeds to resolution.

Being able to understand that in times of conflict the goal is the resolution of the problem by making a conscious decision that is aligned with that is a key aspect of a person with emotional intelligence.


  1. Be an active listener.

Be conscious that in conversations listening for clarity is important for you to understand what is being said, and then you will be apt to respond. Another important tip is paying attention to the nonverbals details.


  1. Have motivation.

To motivate others with your attitude, you have to be self-motivated yourself. Set goals and be resilient when the challenges arrive.


  1. Maintain a positive attitude.

Be conscious of the temper of others, and guard your attitude accordingly. Keep an optimistic outlook and be aware of the things that help you have a good day.


  1. Practice self-awareness.

Knowing your emotions and how they can influence others around you can be very useful to enhance your communication skills.


  1. Accept critique well.

Being able to take critique well rather than making it personal and getting defensive is important. Take a second to understand where the critique is coming from and analyze how it can be affecting others, or your performance, and think of a way to constructively resolve the issue.


  1. Practice empathy.

Empathy can allow us to respect and understand people with different opinions and situations. It is key to relate to others on a basic human level. Being empathetic is emotional strength, not a weakness.


  1. Learn leadership skills.

Having excellent leadership skills is essential. Setting yourself high standards can be an example for others to follow. Having initiative and great decision-making and problem-solving skills is the best compliment.


  1. Be approachable and sociable.

Have a smile and communicate a positive appearance. Understand how to make use of social skills based on your relationship with whomever you’re with.


  • Goleman, D. (1996). Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than Iq. Bloomsbury.

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