Welcome to the Golden Age of Emotional Intelligence.

Or: How’s YOUR Company’s EQ?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) was first introduced to the business world in 1998, when Daniel Goleman’s article on EQ was published in the Harvard Business Review. Goleman was one of the primary researchers who defined the term “emotional intelligence.” He also defined what behaviors indicate skill in using emotional intelligence, as well as what the lack of skill looks like behaviorally.

Simply stated, emotional intelligence is how well we understand and manage our emotions, as well as how well we establish and maintain relationships with others.

Emotional intelligence created a lot of buzz at the time of Goleman’s article. To this day, it is the most reprinted article in the HBR archives. Yet business was slow to figure out how to use this knowledge, and in some cases even rejected the concept as too “touchy-feely” to apply to business situations.

But not anymore! The field of neuroscience has enhanced our knowledge of how and why the brain does what it does. Today we have a richer knowledge of the importance of EQ skills in producing business success, and in predicting individual success. We now have scientifically validated behavior assessments that help us understand our skill strengths and skill gaps in managing our personal emotions, and in managing our professional and personal relationships.

Even more exciting are the reams of data that are now showing the direct impact these skills have on business results. Consider the following examples:

  • The Coca-Cola Company saw division leaders who developed their EQ skills outperform their targets by 15%.
  • The U.S. Air Force reduced recruiter turnover from 35% to 5% annually by selecting candidates high in emotional intelligence.
  • Fortune Brands had 100% of their leaders who went through EQ development exceed their performance targets, compared to just 28% of leaders who failed to develop their EQ skills.
  • Sales people at an insurance firm who scored high on an emotional intelligence test sold 37% more in their first two years than those who scored lower.

Now that the results are rolling in, emotional intelligence has found its legitimacy as a key business and leadership capability… with the ability to deliver stunning business results.

It’s a golden age in the exploration and application of emotional intelligence, and if your organization hasn’t tapped into the power, then now is a great time. And we have some learning opportunities that you can put to work right away.

In our next blog post, we will share with you a recent project in which Blueline Simulations worked with a Fortune 120 pharmaceutical firm in assessing the EQ skills of 80 of their leaders, including coaching provided around the assessment results, and customized training to further develop EQ skills. Mark this page and join us later, and we’ll tell you the whole story!

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