Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important In Business

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important In Business

Why Emotional Intelligence is Important in Business 

By Mark Wager

There are different types of intelligence in the workplace, there are the people who have the classic type of intelligence who have the ability to store and recall a large amount of data. Ask them anything and they will give you the right answer. These academics are highly intelligent and are an asset to any organisation but there is another form of intelligence, one which is much more important if you want to become successful and that is emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence, also known as EQ, is the ability to understand your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. This allows you to communicate effectively, empathise with people and build relationships and anyone who has achieved success in business will tell you that the business world is all about successful relationships. I remember a time when a smart young lawyer started in my office with amazing qualifications  and we were excited to see her add value yet by the end of the first day people where coming through to me saying that she was  rude, unfriendly and unnecessarily upsetting people. It seemed that even though she was intelligent she was clearly lacking emotional intelligence and despite her many qualifications if she couldn’t learn how to get along with people her career was going nowhere. 

Some of the most successful business people I know don’t have an amazing academic record but what they do possess is the ability to understand people, knowing what to say and when to say it and more importantly they understand what not to say. Many a business deal has been lost due to poor relationships because fundamentally we want to work with people we like and if that is not forthcoming then doing business becomes very difficult. However there has been many occasions when people have done extra work or have been extra accomodating for someone who they have a connection or an understanding with. Being successful in business is all about building successful relationships and successful relationships can’t occur without emotional intelligence.

To give you an idea of what emotional intelligence is, here is a situation that I’m sure you have witnessed several  times. Imagine  two friends who have had a falling out. An argument that has left you  puzzled about what happened. So you talk to each friend separately asking them to describe what happened and when they each describe their own version of happened, you hear two completely different stories. I’m sure you have all been in this situation before so let me ask you which friend is lying? The truth is neither of them are lying. What actually happened is that each friend is describing to you their own perception of what happened and perception is reality. They each believe their own version of events. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand how different people see the world in their own way thereby avoiding misunderstandings and arguments.

The good news is that emotional intelligence is like any other skill. It can be improved with the right attitude and with the right amount of effort and it all starts with humility and respect. If you can accept that then how you see the world may be different to how others see the world and if  you have the humility to admit, that  maybe just maybe your view may be wrong then you are on your way to success. In  order to capture success you need to respect people enough to accept that their viewpoint is valid and instead of acting as if they are wrong. Put in the effort to see things from their point of view then you might be surprised with how this may change your own understanding.

Success may be many things but it’s never a singular effort, no matter how good you are you can’t achieve success in business on your own. You need people whether you need to work alongside them or they are your suppliers, business partners or most important of all your customers, people are an integral part of your journey to success. This journey will be long and difficult but if you embrace emotional intelligence then you will give yourself an important advantage. So by understanding people and relating to them  your business relationships will become business partnerships.

“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can't ignore it” - Jack Welch

About the Author

Mark Wager is a Leadership Coach with over thirty years of managerial experience across a range of industries. A former Broker Sales Manager with a London Finance House and a National Manager for the Ministry of Justice Mark specialises in working with Leaders helping them overcome the barriers, both technical and mental standing between themselves and success.

A strong believer in taking complex leadership & psychological theories and making them accessible to people regardless of their background, education or industry Mark has helped develop Leaders from some of New Zealand’s leading organisations such as Fisher & Paykel, Heartland Bank, NZRL, NZ Netball, NZ Soccer, NZ Basketball, Amnesty Int, Barnardos, Oxfam, Red Cross and many more.

If you are serious about becoming a better Leader then contact Mark today 

Posted: Tuesday 13 April 2021


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