What is the meaning of Emotional Intelligence in Business?

what is emotional intelligence in business

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In the recent era, the importance of leadership is gradually replaced by the sense of emotional intelligence, especially in business. Emotional Intelligence or EQ has proven that when it has been given priority, it has brought success in work, increased the quality of work, and introduced peace in personal life and the workplace. It motivates people to concentrate on work and affects their overall well-being. People with high EQ have become more favorable for employers to hire and experience extra advantages.

Being an entrepreneur, you might be wondering that being highly educated and unprecedented is not the only quality needed to succeed in your career. It would help you consider the emotional quotient or the ability to acknowledge one. You need to control your emotion and empathize with others. Emotional Intelligence is much required in the healthcare industry, mental health, customer service, hospitality, law enforcement, emergency response roles, and transportation. In a job like this, it is crucial to have power over your feelings and feel the emotions of others. With the help of this information, it would be easier for managers to take important decisions for the business.

Salespeople, business leaders, and different professionals have considered Emotional Intelligence in succeeding in their business since the 90s. The most significant historical leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr had set an excellent example in emotional intelligence. So, many managers and business owners start thinking, “What is the role of Emotional Intelligence in business today?”

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence, also regarded as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the potential of a person to oversee one’s feelings and empathize with others. A highly emotionally intelligent person can acknowledge their own emotions and the same they encounter in others. Then they take action accordingly, which aids them to succeed in return.

Emotional Intelligence positively affects the business, creating a quality culture in the workplace for employees to survive. Employees become comfortable sharing their knowledge and working in a team which would increase the productivity and profit of the business.

The theory of EQ was coined in 1995 by Daniel Goleman, a science journalist, and psychologist who wrote a book called “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.” In this book, Goleman explained the significance of a person’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ) compared to their Emotional Quotient.

Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence?

As per Goleman, EQ consists of the following elements.

1. Self-Awareness

You need to perceive and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, emotions, and moods. Moreover, a self-aware person knows how these things have consequences on others. They are not easily influenced by criticism. Instead, they take criticism as a lesson to learn and adapt. They would apply this lesson moving forward.

2. Self-Regulation

You need to reason before any action and convey your feelings adultly with moderation as a self-regulatory person. It would help if you controlled your impulses and held your overwhelming thoughts and emotional responses and gave a pause before you take any action rather than being influenced by these factors.

3. Internal Motivation

High EQ people are ambitious, and they follow their goals to achieve self-development and self-gratification. They do not consider money, titles, external praise, or esteem their motivator. They can opt for humanitarian work out of passion rather than seeking out a job that would pay more than sufficiently. You cannot motivate them with money.

4. Empathy

Empathy is the potential of understanding and share the feelings of others. It is about sharing the emotional feeling another person is going through. It is slightly different from sympathy. When a friend loses a family member, you show sympathy with flowers and a hug. Empathy shows the friend that you can feel what your friend is going through by sitting beside him, accompanying him in that challenging situation, and helping the person come out of the problem. Empathy can bring out the best within you and show your originality.

5. Social Skills

People with emotional intelligence can build respect and trust with others. They can maintain good relationships and create networks. Power struggles and deceitfulness do not matter to them.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence in business

People cannot work in a team in a workplace with a low EQ culture. Employees can reciprocate in a passive or belligerent approach to their day-to-day interactions.  

On the contrary, organizations that give importance to high EQ have experienced a safe and warm working environment where people would work in a team to eliminate any issue, take the blame for any mishaps, and maintain calm under pressure.

In an experiment that involved 2600 hiring managers, 71% voted for Emotional Intelligence (EQ) against intelligence quotient (IQ). On asking, they gave the following reasons.

  • People with high EQ can keep themselves calm under extreme pressure
  • They can listen patiently to any matter. They don’t jump to give their own opinion.
  • They can set an example. These people can lead.
  • These people can take more relevant business decisions.
  • They can accept criticism well, blame their own mistakes, and interpret lessons from them
  • They restrain their emotions and can have thoughtful, sensitive, and mature discussions with others.
  • They are experts in solving any disagreement.
  • They can empathize with their co-workers; they can strive to control their overwhelming thoughts and acts following their feelings.

Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Business

1) Brings positive company culture

The number of quality employees depends on solid company culture. Companies that receive the devotion of great talent earn 33% more profit than companies with poor cultures and companies taking time to adapt EQ.

2) Improves Leadership

Every organization needs a solid leader to manage or deal with any situation and connect with people under their supervision to make an organization successful. A manager is someone who oversees the employees’ direct reports. Only a leader can empathize with the employees by bonding trust with every individual inside the organization and motivating them to succeed and achieve their goals.

3) Cultivates collaboration and teamwork

According to statistics, 86% of employees and business leaders state that the absence of participation or cooperation and lack of communication can cause failed business. A company that gives more importance to EQ builds a better environment where employees feel safer and respected and do not fear losing. This extent of comfort in an organization helps in quality teamwork, which might increase output and accomplishment rates.

4) Aids in conflict management

Individuals provided with EQ can better undertake criticism and remain calm in a conflict. This helps save time from arguing and offers more time to fix issues.

5) Motivates others in adapting strong communal skills

As we say, smiles are infectious; all other emotions can be contagious. Emotions directly affect others, resulting in empathy, responsibility, motivation, and teamwork. These could inspire every employee within the organization to follow you and cheer them up for cooperation.

Management and Emotional Intelligence

Managers with Emotional intelligence take the supervisory approach from a different angle than authoritarian managers. They feel the need of communicating with every staff member and the respect to be given to every individual. In the 21st century, managers who want to be successful need a more profound sense of the definition of Emotional Intelligence and the necessity of application.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Leadership is the quality in managers that every employee seeks out. Managers with magnificent leadership qualities tend to have Emotional Intelligence. They have high standards of integrity and excellent communication skills. 

Managers who are aware of their own emotions are more prone to understand and empathize with the feelings that have a significant effect on others. All managers need to be regarded as leaders whose action speaks louder than words.

Managers who provide time to the employees, listen to their problems and help fix them use the emotional quotient as a strategy. Most employees acknowledge the best managers who deal with them with due respect. Managers need to seek some time out to focus on the employees’ needs and make themselves available.

How to Improve Current Employee’s Emotional Intelligence

Sometimes employers must consider building a bond with the existing employees by improving their emotional intelligence. Here are a few methods to accomplish this.

Train for each EQ Domain

Interactive training programs and long-term coaching support are required to build, improve, and utilize the above four EQ domains: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills. Every employee should use EQ to communicate with any team member to maintain professional relationships better and meet their own emotional regulation needs.

Practice Meditation

An essential aspect of emotional intelligence is the capability of regulating own emotions. Meditation is one of the most traditional, effective, and popular methods of achieving this trait. Managers should be aware of the stress in the workplace and introduce stress reduction programs and employee wellness plans. Managers need to know that highly stressed employees can fight to regulate their emotions.

Set an Example

Employees search for leadership qualities to set them up as an example in their workplace. The ability to regulate and display emotions in front of them is one of the qualities they seek in their leaders. Suppose managers take one step forward in maintaining emotional intelligence in the workplace. In that case, it delivers a message to the employees that this is one of the essential factors that the company values. This may encourage the employees to raise their emotional intelligence and motivate them to go through the programs.

Get HR Involved

HR of the company should be involved in improving or applying emotional intelligence by creating a formal process. These processes can be an essential part of exiting and retaining interviews for the employees. By making it a necessary program for the existing employees, they would take this program more seriously and would try to improve their emotional intelligence. HR needs to give constant feedback and reviews to the employees after each program. Employees with poor reviews need to go through the programs repetitively.


Emotional Intelligence has an essential effect on your well-being and drives you towards the success of your business. Several lessons can be adapted from emotional psychology, which would help you apply in your company’s program to maintain and upgrade the emotional intelligence among the employees. Suppose any company can utilize the above domains of Emotional Quotient (EQ). In that case, they can achieve better work quality with minimum stress levels. It would promote emotional competency to improve employees’ work performance and career success. It also helps to create a positive work culture.


1. Is Emotional Intelligence Genetic or Learned?

This is still not clear whether there is a connection between emotional intelligence and genetics. One’s opportunities, awareness, and environment are the factors that decide one’s capability of having emotional intelligence. If you are required to cultivate the core domains of emotional intelligence, you need to learn and practice the programs held by your company.

2. How is Emotional Intelligence developed?

Your company sponsors emotional intelligence programs to develop or improve your emotional intelligence. You can adapt emotional intelligence through programs like role modeling, direct experience, and didactic instruction. Managers or leaders also play some role in developing one’s emotional intelligence. Their feedbacks are essential here.

3. How does Emotional Intelligence impact Work Performance?

When you feel down or overwhelmed about something in your personal life, it would be difficult for you to come to the office to keep those feelings aside. That would seriously affect your performance. So, it would be best if you had the power to control your emotions before coming down to the office to concentrate on your work.

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