Is Emotional Intelligence The Key To Career Success?

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A single point increase in emotional intelligence brings up to $1,300 in additional annual income.

Emotional Skills Bring Success

  • 90% of high performing employees exhibit high emotional intelligence 
    • How Does Emotional Intelligence Impact Success?
    • Emotional intelligence leads to
      • Stronger interpersonal relationships
      • Improved leadership abilities
      • Greater job satisfaction
    • Those with high emotional intelligence are more likely to
      • Embrace cross cultural experiences
      • Feel positively about their employer
      • Remain with a company longer
      • Earn promotions and salary increases

In a 2021 study of Spanish workers, high emotional intelligence was a stronger predictor of salary than both age and gender

How Emotional Intelligence Became The Key To Success

  • Term was coined in a 1990 research paper by psychology professors John D. Mayer & Peter Salovey
    • Emotional intelligence is “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions.” – John D. Mayer
  • In 1995, Daniel Goleman publishes Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
    • “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. . . .Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.” – Daniel Goleman
  • What Is Emotional Intelligence?
    • Self-Awareness: Ability to understand own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses
      • A person who is self aware is more likely to
        • Take accountability for mistakes
        • Ask for help when necessary
        • Work to improve their shortcomings
        • Understand how emotions impact their work
    • Self-Regulation: Ability to manage emotional reactions and respond reasonably
      • A person who has good self-regulation is more likely to 
        • Control words and actions despite negative feelings
        • Wait for strong emotions to pass before responding
        • Accept change and adapt to new situations
        • Make calculated rather than impulsive decisions
    • Empathy: Ability to detect and predict other people emotions in a situation
      • An empathic person is more likely to
        • Accurately detect other people’s emotions
        • Understand how their actions impact others
        • Consider others before making decisions
        • Communicate well in difficult situations
    • Social Skills: Ability to get along with others in a friendly manner
      • A person with good social skills is more likely to
        • Be liked by others on their team
        • Communicate clearly with different kinds of people
        • Respond appropriately to group emotional climate
        • Maintain strong relationships with clients
    • Motivation: Ability to keep pushing forward despite obstacles
      • A person with strong motivation is more likely to
        • Ask for feedback and continually improve
        • Monitor progress toward their goals
        • Feel positively about projects goals and duties
        • Improve team morale and motivate others

Those with high emotional intelligence are 7X as likely to be effective leaders

The Benefits Of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Emotional intelligence is linked to up to 60% of performance metrics for supervisors and executives

  • Emotionally intelligent leaders increase employee engagement
    • Lower turnover
    • Higher productivity
    • Higher guest/customer satisfaction
  • Restaurant managers with higher emotional intelligence 
    • Generate 34% higher profits
    • Increase guest satisfaction
    • Improve employee retention
  • Emotionally intelligent leaders are 7x as likely to have high performance outcomes
  • How To Grow Your Emotional Intelligence
    • While many people are naturally more social or empathetic, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be learned by anyone
      • Step 1: Understand Your Feelings
        • Practice identifying your emotions in times of stress
        • Consider how your emotions impact your reactions
      • Step 2: Monitor Your Reactions
        • Pay close attention to reactions in stressful situations
        • Practice taking a break or waiting before you respond
    • Try these strategies to help practice emotional skills
      • Find A Mentor
        • In one study, mentorship helped college students with lower emotional intelligence reach the same level of success as those who graduated with high emotional intelligence 
      • Keep A Journal
        • Journaling at the end of each day may help you better identify your emotions, responses, and areas for improvement

Lots of people are smart, but without emotional intelligence, many do not succeed.


Dr. Jared Goff
Chief Editor