How to use emotional intelligence EQ to fuel your career development

How to use emotional intelligence EQ to fuel your career development - two smiling women happy at work, one sat one standing looking at a laptop together

What do you do when you want to get ahead in business? Do you work 12-hour days, desperate to impress your boss? Do you take on a whole host of extra tasks to show that you’re willing to support the team, even if it means you’re stretched beyond belief? Or do you focus on yourself? Exercising your emotional intelligence in situations like these, can be the answer.

In my earlier blog post, I looked at what emotional intelligence means for career development. In this blog post, lets discuss how you can use emotional intelligence, or EQ, to fuel your career development.

Here are seven benefits of EQ for personal and professional success.

1. Strengthening Relationships

Emotional intelligence (EQ) can help build better relationships with your friends and colleagues and make things run more smoothly in all aspects of life. For example, if you need to request some work from a colleague whom you suspect is feeling down or overwhelmed, how and when you make the request should be different than it would be if you thought that they were in a ‘good place’. If you are a manager who must introduce a significant change, your awareness of how people react to change might inform how you choose to approach it. If you must persuade a client to take a course of action about which they have doubts, understanding what makes them tick is likely to improve your chances of success.

It’s that thought piece, to evaluate a situation and a person’s feelings before you engage them, that will help make the difference and build a stronger relationship moving forwards.

2. Improved Communications

People with high EQ speak clearly and respectfully – whomever they are speaking to. Because they are more connected to others, emotionally intelligent people can react calmly, give appropriate feedback to the situation, and achieve better engagement in the whole communication process. This can increase their chances of making meaningful connections, making it great for networking, general interactions at work and your personal life. Speak how you’d like to be spoken to – may sound cliched but it’s true. Speak clearly and with respect and you’ll build stronger connections in the process.

3. Motivating Others

Once you have a strong understanding of your own emotions and how to read and adjust the emotions of others, you’ll be able to motivate them. You can help co-workers become more productive and be their best selves. This is particularly important for those looking for leadership positions as you’ll be in control of other members of staff and be responsible for guiding them. If you can regulate your own emotions and use that as a platform or example for others, then it’s a major tick in the box for your manager when it comes to discussing promotions/leadership roles.

4. Improved Productivity

People with high EQ can manage themselves and their daily tasks.  For instance, if you realise that you are feeling stressed, you could take steps to relieve the cause or (depending on your job) rearrange your day to leave more complicated or arduous tasks to a better time. This in turn could improve your productivity. As such, emotional intelligence allows you to strengthen your inner resilience. Emotionally intelligent people also know how to help others settle down and focus as their skills allow them to solve problems and manage conflict more efficiently. Consequently, they are more productive and help others to be the same.

5. Increased Performance

EQ is a critical factor that sets high performers apart from the average ones, as it allows them to focus their energy in one direction achieving incredible results. It’s the strongest predictor of performance as compared to other workplace skills and, according to a study, 90 per cent of top star performers are also high in emotional intelligence. Only 20 per cent of below-average performers are high in emotional intelligence, meaning it’s not necessary to have a high EQ to be one of the top performers, but with lower EQ, the chances are less.

6. Higher Reward

Research shows that the road to higher income relies on the quality of your relationships. People earn more money as they become more emotionally intelligent. The study shows that people with high emotional intelligence earn an average of $29,000 more annually than those with less emotional intelligence. These results hold for each industry, with people at all levels, and in every region of the world. The equation couldn’t be simpler; improve your EQ and improve your chances of earning more money.

7. Futureproofing Your Career

As the digital age transforms into the age of artificial intelligence, finely tuned Emotional Intelligence will be more important than ever because machine learning will not be able to replicate the most human of qualities: empathy, motivation, leadership, and savvy. Emotional intelligence will be what sets us humans apart from robots and allows us to maximise the value that can be gained from automation.

Emotional intelligence is perfect for helping modern workers deal with periods of stress and leave them with clearer thoughts that can see them focus themselves as they look to advance in their careers.

A high EQ is a desirable trait for employees to demonstrate, especially as it has such a strong correlation to performance within your role. It goes without saying that employers will look out for those who will perform better, in all iterations, so having a high level of EQ could potentially open doors to new roles and opportunities.

The best thing about it is it’s all in your control. You have the power to make these changes today if you want to. Emotional intelligence may be one of the greatest tools you can use for furthering your career.

Emotional Intelligence is one of the subjects we discuss in our Career Labs which provide employees with a dynamic learning environment to build career development skills. Find out more at

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