Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Workplace?

why is emotional intelligence important in the workplace

Emotional intelligence has been a popular buzzword for nearly three decades, but its adoption in the business world has skyrocketed in recent years as CIOs, IT managers, MSP owners, and other business leaders have looked at different ways of explaining how to improve workplace dynamics. In recent years, emotional intelligence has become important in the technology workplace conversation for personal and business growth.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (also called “Emotional Quotient” or “EQ”) is not a new concept. References to “social intelligence,” or the ability to function with a social awareness of self and others, date back to the early 1900s. Researchers Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term emotional intelligence in 1990 when they published their research on adaptive and maladaptive emotional qualities. This launched the modern framework for emotional intelligence, which is your self-awareness and ability to manage your personal emotions, along with your awareness of the emotions of others.

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Workplace?

Emotional intelligence permeates all interpersonal interactions, and if members of your team have a low emotional intelligence quotient (or EQ), it can negatively affect their personal life and professional success as individuals, as well as the entire workplace culture.

“People prefer to work with people who are self-aware, a key trait of emotional intelligence.”

Don Crawley, Author of The Compassionate Geek

Technology managers have become increasingly aware that hiring employees with technical skills and traditional intelligence (IQ) is not enough to build a successful team. The tech industry relies on effective communication. Whether interacting with other team members or external clients, your staff needs to be able to interpret nonverbal cues like body language and facial expressions, navigate difficult situations with tact, and manage both positive and negative emotions appropriately while in a professional setting. This applies to their relationships with both customers and coworkers.

Unfortunately, these skills have been historically overlooked in many technical training programs, which has resulted in highly-skilled employees who lack the capacity to manage workplace stress, navigate emotional triggers, or develop successful relationships with clients and coworkers. The effects on a workplace can be devastating and costly, including reduced employee engagement, lower workplace satisfaction, poor customer relationships, and a deflated team culture.

But the good news is that emotional intelligence skills can be learned. They can be cultivated with training and practice. Using strategic training tools, your IT teams can develop better social skills, learn active listening techniques, foster a higher level of emotional awareness, and improve their ability to navigate stressful situations in the workplace. 

Emotional Intelligence Training for IT Professionals

Compassionate Geek’s Emotional Intelligence for IT Professionals course is online, on-demand, and available for both individuals and groups. Your team already has the technical knowledge. Add emotional intelligence training to unlock their full potential!

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