Why is Emotional Intelligence So Important Anyway?

By Jeannea Spence

The more traditional predictors of successful performance – intelligence, education, experience, and personality – are no longer sufficient predictors in today’s workplace and also do not sufficiently take into account employees as human capital — as people. People who are “happy” are proven to be much more productive and successful than people who are unhappy. Happiness may, at first glance, seem to be a nebulous concept, but research in social behavioral science consistently indicates that happy people are people who communicate effectively, form and maintain strong and mutually-satisfying relationships and possess powerful coping strategies. People with high emotional intelligence have these qualities and people without high emotional intelligence do not – regardless of how high their IQ (intelligence quotient) may be.

In fact, EQ is twice as important as cognitive abilities (IQ) in predicting success and happiness, and accounts for 60 percent of job performance. Emotional Intelligence transcends age, gender, race, and – unlike IQ – is not permanently fixed. Compared to IQ, EQ can be more reliably (and less controversially) measured, substantially strengthened, and effectively developed.

This key predictor of success and happiness that may once have been difficult to articulate, has now become a mainstay within most successful organizations. More than ever, employers determined to foster an effective and productive workplace environment rely on Emotional Intelligence assessment, training, and coaching as a mix in their learning and development programs.

The following is a brief introduction to the many workplace applications of Emotional Intelligence: (Source: by MHS (Multi-Health Systems), administrators of the EQi-2.0, the most widely accepted Emotional Intelligence assessment for the business community)

Selection and Succession

Used in conjunction with existing evaluation criteria (experience, qualifications, interview results), properly interpreted Emotional Intelligence scores provide unprecedented predictability. You will better know whom to hire and whom to promote, have better success aligning the right people with the right jobs, and achieve greater clarity in planning for the succession of senior leadership.


Emotional Intelligence is elastic — those who lack it can acquire it and those who have it can enhance it. Emotional Intelligence assessments identify areas of strength and weakness, around which training and coaching can be designed. People at every level of the organization — from new hires to C-suite executives  — can develop their Emotional Intelligence skills and see their job performance improve significantly.


As most experienced leaders are acutely aware, social and emotional competencies are critical to managerial success. Emotional intelligence leadership reports help organizations formulate clear profiles and development plans for up-and-coming leaders.

Team and Organization Building

The Emotional Intelligence tools go beyond the success of the individual. Tools are also available for assessing the Emotional Intelligence of teams, departments, and the organization as a whole. With the implementation of appropriate programs,  entire organizational cultures can be re-engineered to deliver higher productivity and better bottom-line results.

Global Versatility

Ethical use of EQ assessments in a variety of cultures and languages is a top priority and effective assessment tools don’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or age, and the results can be used without fear of bias. Results for each assessment are statistically compared to a large normative sample that carefully represents the population’s demographics.

In summary, the higher a person’s EQ, the greater the chance for success and happiness as a leader or individual contributor, parent or child, adult child to your parents, partner to your significant other or candidate for a job – and these skills can be improved without regard to educational level, gender, cultural background, or age. It’s never too late to make a change for the better!

Contact Jeannea about how to better assess and improve the EI in your organization.