Why Managers Need to Boost Their Emotional Intelligence

November 30, 2017

2:30 pm

Telling people they need to raise their emotional intelligence sounds like an insult: Who wants to hear they aren’t intelligent enough for their job? But emotional intelligence, also called emotional quotient or EQ, is an essential factor in the work life. Here’s why a high EQ matters, and what steps you can take today towards boosting yours.

EQ: The “Hidden Key” to Success

Emotions tend to be overlooked in favor of logic and facts: How many times have you seen a tortured, self-centered genius on a TV show, for example? Walter White and Dr. House definitely should have taken a few emotional intelligence remedial courses.

But you don’t want your life to be gripping TV. You want a better job performance — and 90 percent of top performers have a high emotional intelligence. You want a higher salary — and those with a high EQ average $29,000 more per year than those without. You want be the competitive choice for a tech position — and 21.5% of IT professionals say that emotional intelligence is the most difficult quality to find at their organization.

The final proof that EQ will take you farther than IQ? 70 percent of the time, according to a Visual Capitalist article, “a person with an average IQ can actually outperform a person with more smarts.” Those fictional TV geniuses don’t look so great now.

How to Boost Your EQ

Writing at performance management software company Lattice, Sulagna Misra unpacks the elements of a strong EQ via the four-quadrant method: Self-awareness, awareness of others, self-control, and control of others all comprise a high EQ.

You can check out the article for a deeper explanation of each quadrant, complete with examples of good and bad responses to a situation.

With a healthy EQ, managers can respond to their employees’ needs while ensuring everyone’s goals are met by providing compromises when required.

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.