What Is Emotional Intelligence and Its Importance

What Is Emotional Intelligence and Its Importance?

Last updated on 26th Sep 2020, Artciles, Blog

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Aravind (Sr Manager - People & Culture )

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  • In layman terms, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the capability of a person to manage and control the emotions, not just of themselves but even of the people around him. Here we will discuss the importance of emotional intelligence.
  • Daniel Goleman quoted that “CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence.’’ There is also a famous saying –“Magic comes alive when intelligence combines with emotions.’’
  • One may think that emotions have nothing to do with intelligence. But that’s the key aspect of success in an organization.

As much as it is important to have experience and skills, it is also very essential to have the emotional intelligence to sustain one’s leadership role, for the following reasons:

  • Emotional intelligence helps to relate to others in much better and effective ways.
  • Necessitates the need to admit and learn from mistakes thus cutting down on the major ego issues in the organization.
  • It also enables them to have control over the emotions and have thoughtful discussions.
  • Ensures leaders to be good in active listening.
  • Moulds a leader to take criticism positively.
  • It helps to stay calm even when under pressure.
  • One in three hiring managers emphasizes that EI should be a pre-requisite in hiring and promotion.
  • EI is more important than IQ (Intelligence Quotient) because a person who has good workmanship but incapable of apprehending his team’s issues can end up in creating a negative work environment which isn’t good for the team or the organization.
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Components of Emotional Intelligence

In the book “Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”, one of the most popular psychologists Daniel Goleman lays out five key components of emotional intelligence.

1. Self-Awareness 

It is to have knowledge about oneself, mainly the strengths and weaknesses. This enables a person to know how to react to different people and different situations that arise in the workplace. People who are self-aware, are in most cases, self-confident too. The only way to improve one’s Self-awareness is to step out of their comfort zone.

2. Self-Regulation 

It is the art of regulating one’s emotions to be able to manage and have self-control over it. also, necessitates the need to manage one’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior to get positive results.

3. Motivation 

People with high EI tend to be more positive and optimistic in their approach. Thus, making themselves highly motivated. Also, they are more flexible with their work and possess the ability to handle any situation.

4. Empathy 

Empathy is very important for every working person, especially for people in leadership roles. It is very important to put oneself in the other person’s shoes to ensure there is a good mutual connection between the employees.

5. Social Skills

A person with high EI always cares for others and also tends to get along well with everyone.

Why does Emotional Intelligence Matter?

Theodore Roosevelt quoted that “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’.

Emotions are a part of being human and the EI quotient is the heart of being human. EI helps people to take care of themselves as well as the wellbeing of others.

Emotionally intelligent people could inspire and lead others. Thus, ensuring strong relationships along with enabling them to be successful in their workplace. Also, in our personal lives.

What is the Difference between IQ and EQ?

Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Since school, we have all heard this term. It is the measure of one’s intelligence. It is the score one gets from several standardized tests designed to evaluate intelligence.

They can make mental connections easily and they tend to think in a very abstract way.

Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) 

It refers to the capability of a person to manage and control their emotions. And, to possess the ability to control the emotions of others. It is the key skill that one needs to have to achieve success in their personal lives and as a professional.

Thus, EQ is more important than IQ because as much as it is important to be intelligent, it is also important to be equipped in knowing how to control emotions, especially at the workplace.

Why Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) is Needed in the Workplace?

  • To have self-regard, to accept yourself as you are.
  • To have the assertiveness to be able to say what you need to say when you have to say it.
  • To have a social responsibility to achieve sustainability for the organization.
  • To have the impulse control to delay or resist an impulse.
  • To have flexibility which enables one to be willing to work for the betterment and ensure they readily respond to changing expectations and situations.
  • To be able to work with your competencies.
  • To build strong relationships with employees and face the day to day challenges at the workplace.

EQ and Recruitment

Employees are hired based on their Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and their Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ). Although there are many psychometric tests to determine one’s EQ, the hirers mostly prefer to evaluate it in person, which is more practical.

So now that we look at what is Emotional intelligence is and why it is important, let us now focus on how to improve one’s EQ.

How to Improve your Emotional Intelligence?

Let’s see a more realistic and practical approach to this.

There are seven ways to improve Emotional Intelligence:

1. Reflect on Your Emotions 

It means that one must be self-aware. Because, when the person is aware of their emotions, they will know to control their emotions.

2. Ask for Perspective

What we see, may not always be true. Hence, it is very important to take feedback from others about our emotional behavior in our workplace.

3. Observe 

When a person is equipped with good self-awareness, they must be able to observe their own emotions.

4. Pause for a Moment 

It is very important to cultivate the habit of thinking twice before saying or doing anything. This could help well to manage our emotions in the workplace.

5. Become More Empathetic by Understanding the “Why’’

It is very important that one must understand the other person’s emotions and try to look at the ‘’why’’ question behind their emotional behavior.

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6. Choose to Learn from Criticism

Isn’t it obvious that none of us would like to be criticized? But, sometimes we miss out on the constructive criticism because of our ego. When we take the criticism in the right way, then, that would help us to grow and become a better employee and a better human.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice


As the saying goes, practice makes a person perfect. To know the importance of emotional intelligence, one must practice. This is possible when we try to have control over our emotions in every situation by being patient.

Some More Ways by Which we Can Improve our Emotional Intelligence are:

  • To have an effective resolution.
  • To stay positive.
  • To be mindful of non-verbal communication.
  • Reduce stress.
  • To stay connected to your emotions.

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