Emotional Intelligence: Why is it Important?

By Matt Arnerich - Inspiring Interns - London

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In our last article, we dipped our toe in the water of Emotional Intelligence and found out exactly what it means. This time, we look at why employers value it quite so much…

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is all about how skilled we are in understanding and regulating our own emotions, while being capable of recognising the emotions of others. Importantly, having high EQ is advantageous to your career in a huge number of ways. No wonder employers value it so highly.

Below are some of the key skills linked with high EQ and why they’re valued so highly be employers across the career spectrum.
 

Clarity of Thought

Being in charge of your emotions ensures that you don’t allow your own emotional response to cloud your judgement in the way that many people do. By truly understanding how you operate, you can follow the most logical path when faced with a problem instead of being influenced by how it makes you feel. This allows you to step away from the problem and ace important decision-making, while offering the best solutions when faced with difficult problems.
 

Composure

By managing the disruptive emotions that can get in the way of effective work, having high EQ also allows you to work with composure and self-control. When faced with stressful situations, you’re able to focus on what’s important and not allow yourself to get overwrought with the pressure. People without this ability can often end up looking busy without being very effective because deep down they are unable to cope with the pressure. Flapping is never useful when trying to close deals or deal with a high workload.
 

Admitting mistakes and learning from them

An important part of self-awareness is knowing when you get things wrong as much as when you get things right. By admitting your mistakes both to yourself and to others, you’re able to own them and learn from them, which is essential for self-improvement; we often learn more from mistakes than we do from success. On top of this, understanding your weaknesses is key to working within a realistic framework of what you are capable of, while still aspiring to improve.
 

Strong work-life balance

People with high EQ are generally adept at separating their work and home life by managing their different emotions and so are able to achieve genuine downtime. This not only produces more diverse workers that have interests outside of the work environment, but allows you to come to work refreshed and ready to get stuck in. Refreshed workers tend to work more effectively and efficiently while it also prevents burnout; after all, what goes up must come down and a strong work-life balance is imperative to keeping you at the top of your game.

On top of this, you have an awareness of the conditions in which you work best in and the self-confidence to implement them to allow for the best work environment.
 

Effectively deal with change

People who have it together emotionally tend to not be disrupted by change very easily; disruption is often caused by fragility and a low self-confidence which are not traits of people with high EQ. As a result, you tend to be adaptable and capable of moving with change as well as being able to recognise and promote innovative ideas in a leadership role. By understanding other people effectively, you can identify competent architects of change and people who tend to come up with innovative ideas.
 

Leadership

People with high EQ tend to make natural leaders; they understand what makes others tick and so therefore they tend to be skilled at highlighting what motivates people and follow through with it. They’re also adept at facilitating their team’s growth by identifying what’s important to them, as well as being naturally good at conflict resolution. The self-belief associated with high EQ tends to also make them naturally good in groups of people.
 

Negotiation and sales

Again, the ability to understand how others think and feel is integral here. They’re able to identify the needs of others and once they have done so, tend to have good instinct on saying the right thing at the right time to get those people on their sides. As a result, they’re adept at closing sales and very effective in customer-facing roles and negotiation.
 

Motivation

By understanding what works for you, you tend to have an understanding of what is important to you, and coupled with a general ability to work effectively, people with high EQ are usually highly motivated. The ability to meet and excel this self-imposed level of high quality you expect of yourself means you tend to find it easy to self-motivate. Also, self-awareness tends to lead to an ability to deal with rejection or failure, as short term obstacles don’t tend to easily damage your self-belief.

Now that we understand why a high EQ is so advantageous to a successful career, next time we’ll go on to looking at ways to improve your own emotional intelligence.

Matt Arnerich works as a content writer over at the UK's leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. He specialises in careers advice for young people looking to get into graduate jobs and internships, although writes across the spectrum of recruitment, job hunt tips and personal development. Check out the Inspiring Interns blog for specialist graduate careers advice, or if you're looking to hire a graduate, then get in touch!

 

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