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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Business

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Emotional intelligence is an ability distinct from academic intelligence – the cognitive capacities measured by IQ. These two different kinds of intelligences express the activity of different parts of the brain.

“Emotional intelligence is being able to monitor and regulate one’s own and others’ feelings to guide thought and action” – Peter Salovey, Yale & John Mayer, University of New Hampshire

Five Key Emotional and Social Competences
● Self-awareness: Understanding what we are feeling at the moment, and using those preferences to guide our decision making; having a realistic assessment of our own abilities and a well-grounded sense of self-confidence.
● Self-regulation: Handling our emotions so that they facilitate rather than interfere with the task at hand’ being conscientious and delaying gratification to pursue goals; recovering well from emotional distress.
● Motivation: Using our deepest preferences to move and guide us toward our goals to help us take initiative and strive to improve and to persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations.
● Empathy: Sensing what people are feeling, being able to take their perspective and cultivating rapport and attunement with a broad diversity of people.
● Social Skills: Handling emotions in relationships well and accurately reading social situations and networks; interacting smoothly; using these skills to persuade and lead, negotiate and settle disputes for cooperation and teamwork.

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Crucial for Leadership
A study conducted by researchers at Hay/McBer in Boston on competency studies at forty companies proved that 53% of the star performers showed greater strengths in EQ as opposed to IQ at 27%. Ie: emotional competencies were twice as important in contributing to excellence as were pure intellect and expertise.

In another study for the US office of personnel management, Marilyn Gowing supervised a thorough analysis of competencies that set superior performers from interior ones for virtually all federal jobs found that for lower level positions such as clerical work, there was a high premium of technical expertise. But at higher levels, interpersonal skills mattered more than technical skills for setting the star performers apart.

Did you know that a SA pioneer Prof. Reuven Bar-on has designed the gold standard in EQ tests in the world? Known as the Reuven Bar-on EQi, the assessment is the only one recognised by the SA Medical and Dental Council of SA. The Reuven Bar assessment can be booked through us. For more information contact [email protected] or call (011) 781-1444.

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