Why Managers Need to Boost Their Emotional Intelligence

Adam Rowe

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 Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and he has an art history book on 1970s sci-fi coming out from Abrams Books in 2022. In the meantime, he's hunting own the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.