Emotional Intelligence had its early start with Reuven Bar-On in the early ’80s under the name: Emotional Quotient (EQ) – when it was compared to the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).  Dr. Bar-On wanted to answer the question, “Why does a high IQ not directly correlate to success in business and life?”

Salovey and Mayer coined the term Emotional Intelligence and Daniel Goleman in his New York Times bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, brought it into the awareness of the general public.

Emotional intelligence is defined as “a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.” 

There have been many studies on Emotional Intelligence over the years.  One study by Martin Seligman looked at “learned optimism” – referring to the reasons people find when they fail or experience setbacks.  Optimists tend to see events as specific, short term and external:  “The glass is half full now.”   Pessimists see events as global, permanent and internal:  “I’m a loser and I’ll never have water.”  In his study at Met Life, Seligman found that optimistic salespeople sold 37% more insurance in their first two years than their pessimistic counterparts.  The company hired a special group of optimists who had failed the initial screening and outsold the pessimists by 21% in the first year and 57% in the second.

What does this mean for your business?  That people with more emotional intelligence will be more successful and thus make your business more successful.  The solution is two-fold:  hire people with high emotional intelligence and develop the emotional intelligence of the people you already have.

EQi 2.0 logoThe EQ-i 2.0 is a self-assessment that is easy to administer.  With the support of a coach, you and your employees can develop personal development plans to increase your skills and competencies.  Competencies, such as: empathy, controlling emotion, and showing appropriate emotions can be increased.

Taking it to the next level is the EQ-i 360.  It is the same assessment as the 2.0 and it is completed by the manager, peers and direct reports of the person completing the self-assessment.  The 360 provides the ability to see where there are gaps and blind spots in how the person sees herself and how she is seen by those around her.

With increased self-awareness and feedback that either supports the assessment or opens doors for discovery and discussion, there is a huge opportunity for growth and development.  As people grow and develop their emotional intelligence, they will communicate with each other more effectively and be more resilient in the face of setbacks and challenges.  As the average EQ/Emotional Intelligence goes up, so does the chance of achieving business gold!   What would that do for your people?  What would that mean for your business?