Talking about emotions has long been a taboo topic in the workplace. However, when we study the greatest leaders, they all tend to share a rare and exciting skill: high emotional intelligence. How can an individual inspire others? With emotional intelligence! And yet, is it possible to improve this soft skill?
Where does emotional intelligence come from?
Emotional intelligence is a concept which emerged from the University of Yale in the early 1990s, thanks in large part to the works of American psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer.
In 1996, journalist Daniel Goleman drew inspiration from their research in a book now considered to be the founding text of the popular adoption of emotional intelligence: “Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”. That book topped the bestseller lists for months.
But why is emotional intelligence so important today?
Far more than just a buzz word or fleeting fad, emotional intelligence has become a permanent fixture of the professional landscape. It is useful to businesses in general, but also to employees specifically as they go about their day-to-day work. Emotional intelligence makes organisations and the people who work for them better.
In a world undergoing profound technological and organisational transformations, it contributes to value creation, puts human qualities front and centre and helps to influence corporate culture by working on the personal qualities of employees and managers.
At the individual level, it also plays a crucial role in the development of leadership. This is probably the most immediate and most important impact of emotional intelligence – when it is correctly passed on, taught, nurtured and shared.
Emotional intelligence: the latest holy grail for managers
Recruiting new managers based on their experience, university degrees and professional accomplishments is relatively straightforward. That’s the way all businesses have recruited new people for decades now.
But when it comes to deciding whether that person has the right qualities to fit into your team, communicate effectively, convey the right message, listen with intelligence and patience, understand and anticipate the emotional needs of others – well that’s a much more arduous task.
Understandably so, since “emotional intelligence” is not a line that often features in CVs.
Furthermore, even though it is increasingly regarded as a key priority within HR departments, the impact, necessity and management of emotional intelligence are not always clearly appreciated.
Emotional intelligence is a soft skill.
As opposed to hard skills (know-how), soft skills are personal qualities connected with attitude and approach. They include reliability, adaptability, the ability to resolve conflicts, flexibility, creativity, ethics, the capacity to find solutions to complex problems, cultural intelligence etc.
Emotional intelligence is one of the most important soft skills of all, since it has a direct or indirect impact on all the others.
And like hard skills, soft skills can also be learned.
Find out more on how to develop your emotional intelligence in the white paper from ESCP Executive Education available for download below.
Download The ESCP Executive Education White Paper
Use emotional intelligence to strengthen your leadership skills
License and Republishing
The Choice - Republishing rules
We publish under a Creative Commons license with the following characteristics Attribution/Sharealike.
- You may not make any changes to the articles published on our site, except for dates, locations (according to the news, if necessary), and your editorial policy. The content must be reproduced and represented by the licensee as published by The Choice, without any cuts, additions, insertions, reductions, alterations or any other modifications.If changes are planned in the text, they must be made in agreement with the author before publication.
- Please make sure to cite the authors of the articles, ideally at the beginning of your republication.
- It is mandatory to cite The Choice and include a link to its homepage or the URL of thearticle. Insertion of The Choice’s logo is highly recommended.
- The sale of our articles in a separate way, in their entirety or in extracts, is not allowed , but you can publish them on pages including advertisements.
- Please request permission before republishing any of the images or pictures contained in our articles. Some of them are not available for republishing without authorization and payment. Please check the terms available in the image caption. However, it is possible to remove images or pictures used by The Choice or replace them with your own.
- Systematic and/or complete republication of the articles and content available on The Choice is prohibited.
- Republishing The Choice articles on a site whose access is entirely available by payment or by subscription is prohibited.
- For websites where access to digital content is restricted by a paywall, republication of The Choice articles, in their entirety, must be on the open access portion of those sites.
- The Choice reserves the right to enter into separate written agreements for the republication of its articles, under the non-exclusive Creative Commons licenses and with the permission of the authors. Please contact The Choice if you are interested at email@example.com.
Extracts: It is recommended that after republishing the first few lines or a paragraph of an article, you indicate "The entire article is available on ESCP’s media, The Choice" with a link to the article.
Citations: Citations of articles written by authors from The Choice should include a link to the URL of the authors’ article.
Translations: Translations may be considered modifications under The Choice's Creative Commons license, therefore these are not permitted without the approval of the article's author.
Modifications: Modifications are not permitted under the Creative Commons license of The Choice. However, authors may be contacted for authorization, prior to any publication, where a modification is planned. Without express consent, The Choice is not bound by any changes made to its content when republished.
Authorized connections / copyright assignment forms: Their use is not necessary as long as the republishing rules of this article are respected.
Print: The Choice articles can be republished according to the rules mentioned above, without the need to include the view counter and links in a printed version.
If you choose this option, please send an image of the republished article to The Choice team so that the author can review it.
Podcasts and videos: Videos and podcasts whose copyrights belong to The Choice are also under a Creative Commons license. Therefore, the same republishing rules apply to them.