Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to be Successful in Business
Here at IndustriusCFO, we give business owners, coaches and advisors all the financial analysis tools they need to serve their customers. However, they need more than this to succeed with their clients – they need another kind of smart: emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor your own and other’s emotions, use emotional information to guide your thinking and behavior, differentiate emotions and label them appropriately.
According to a November 2014 study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior from Germany’s University of Bonn, individuals who displayed emotional intelligence were more likely to make a larger annual income than their colleagues with less emotional intelligence. Being able to read emotions was linked to being able to navigate the workplace better.
In the experiment, 142 adults were asked to label emotions based on listening to children and actors expressing their feelings and looking at photographs. Those who identified the emotion correctly in 87% of the cases were categorized as having high emotional intelligence while those who scored below 60% were deemed as having low emotional intelligence.
Then, researchers asked the participant’s colleagues and supervisors to assess the participant’s political skills whether they were influential, sincere and good networkers. The results: those who could recognize emotions also had increased social and political skills – and higher incomes.
A high degree of emotional intelligence creates success. For instance, whether you’re a business coach, business owner or even an accountant, recognizing when your clients are not in the right emotional state to perform is key. It’s your job to work towards changing their emotional state and working with them, not against them.
According Travis Bradberry, the bestselling coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, emotional intelligence was first publicly discussed in 1995. Decades of research show emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets high performers against the rest.
TalentSmart, the premier provider of emotional intelligence tests and research, tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills. The results: emotional intelligence was the strongest predictor of performance.
In a Forbes article, Bradberry said emotional intelligence impacts most everything we say and do daily. It’s also the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.
Developing Emotional Intelligence
And, don’t worry if you aren’t highly emotionally intelligent – emotional intelligence can be developed. It requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of your brain. When you learn new skills, your brain grows new connections.
According to Bradberry, “The change is gradual, as your brain cells develop new connections to speed the efficiency of new skills acquired. Using strategies to increase your emotional intelligence allows the billions of microscopic neurons lining the road between the rational and emotional centers of your brain to branch off small “arms” (much like a tree) to reach out to other cells.”
Just one cell can build 15,000 connections. This growth ensures it’s much easier to make using emotional intelligence strategies and behaviors become a habit, creating success for you and your clients.