Go back

Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Business Success

Read in 4 minutes
Published on: 31 Aug 2022

Have you ever felt that your workplace fails to understand you? Have you ever felt lost and lonely in your workplace? Then, emotional intelligence can help you understand your feelings and the feelings of your coworkers. This blog will cover how emotional intelligence is essential for professional success. 

Emotional intelligence, also known as the Emotional Quotient, is a powerful element that can bring a brand new perspective to your professional life. However, it's also a commonly overlooked skill, especially when workspaces are more involved in personal benefit than community progress. 

The truth is no success is possible if you plan on climbing the ladder alone, disregarding the needs of others. In business, when creating social circles with consumers and employees is the base of development, it becomes mandatory to have the ability to read a person. Your employees and customers are not mere steps of success. They are resources that need to be taken care of to be more valuable to your business.  

Save your time. Learn this in as little as 1 minute.

We’ve got 500+ bite-sized content to help you learn the smarter way.

Download the app

Forget that they said involving emotions in business is wrong. The new smart is to not only involve but use the right emotions in the right moment. Staying in touch with your emotional intelligence can be the key to a prosperous business. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Simply put, emotional intelligence is a person's ability to evaluate emotions and communicate with them. It means observing a person's feelings to react and engage with them. 

The theory was first proposed by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990. According to the duo, emotional intelligence is a "social intelligence" that requires a person to analyse their own and others' emotions. This allows the person to think and act accordingly based on the situation. 

The theory was further developed and given a prominent shape by Daniel Goleman. According to Goleman, emotional intelligence can be far more significant than natural intelligence, a.k.a IQ, in attaining success. Goleman proposed five elements of emotional intelligence, which combine to form the overall emotional quotient of a person. These are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Internal motivation
  • Self-regulation
  • Social skills
  • Empathy

Let's understand these elements one by one in the next section.

Elements of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence has 5 main elements based on which you can evaluate a person's emotional intelligence. Let's take a look at these elements:


Self-awareness can be defined as being aware of your emotions and understanding them. Recognising your constantly occurring and evolving emotions is essential for understanding yourself. Rather than shielding those emotions as unimportant, self-awareness allows you to face and sort those emotions. 

Another important aspect of self-awareness is not labelling any emotion as negative or positive. For instance, many would consider anger to be a negative emotion. However, instead of calling it negative or positive, you should consider it appropriate or inappropriate. Anger can be appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in others. 

Emotional intelligence allows us to recognise and differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate emotions. When you effectively analyse your emotions, you help improve your actions and are in more control of the consequences. 

Internal motivation

Self-motivation means driving yourself towards improvement and being committed to achieving your goals. It means taking the initiative and being ready for new opportunities with an optimistic mindset. 

Self-motivation is a crucial skill for any management position. Often, you will face obstacles, and self-motivation can help you stay energetic and motivated through such times. Try self-motivation by being more assertive and having reasonable expectations from yourself. 


Self-regulation is the skill of managing your feelings and emotions. When you face inappropriate feelings, it may cause you to act on impulse. Self-regulation manages your feelings and helps you perform with a rational mind. These are the components of self-regulation:

  • Self-control
  • Conscientiousness
  • Trustworthiness
  • Innovation
  • Adaptability

Self-management skills are important to manage your feelings and emotions at any time of the day. With self-regulation, you become more in control of your emotions rather than letting them control you. You begin valuing your emotions more and also learn to understand and respect how you feel. 

Social skill

Social skills are the fundamental base for building excellent interpersonal skills. These skills are critical in various situations of life. Whether you are an employee, team leader, or CEO, social skills can help you build a clear and influential image. 

Social skills aren't just about the interactions you have with other people. It includes other skills too. For instance, social skills include qualities like how well you listen, how trustworthy you can be, and how charismatic you can be in conversations. 

As you build your social skills, you will develop self-esteem and confidence. The more valuable conversations you share with others, the better you get at showing the best version of yourself. More confidence also means being more capable of sharing positive personal dialogue. It builds trustworthy relationships with other people. 


Empathy is the skill of recognising other people's feelings and needs. Whether you are connecting to someone on an individual level or in a group, empathy can help you elevate the experience. Here's how empathy helps us:

  • It helps us develop deeper relationships by building a loyal base through understanding others' situations. 
  • It encourages diversity and political awareness. It makes people feel accepted and motivated despite their differences. This helps in creating a positively secure environment. 
  • It helps you understand more about the complexities of emotions and feelings. You can also seek feedback to clarify if you have understood a person's feelings correctly. 
  • It builds an environment built of mutual trust and respect for each other. Being empathetic means, nobody laughs at your feelings or looks down on your emotions. There are no judgements, rejections, or belittling statements. 

So, you understand the various elements of emotional intelligence. But how is emotional intelligence significant for business?
Let's delve deeper into how emotional intelligence can profit your business.

How is Emotional Intelligence Significant for Business?

Often, business workspaces undermine the importance of emotional intelligence in their overall performance. You must have heard of employees complaining of unfriendly and unmotivated environments. Customers, too, find their way into complaint boxes when they feel their emotions were misunderstood or not acknowledged the right way. 

Emotional intelligence can have a significant impact on how a company progresses. Let's look into the pointers below to understand how.

1. Helps in understanding issues between employees

Management of employees is not the easiest task in the world. Many obstacles can hamper not only your progress but the development of the business in its entirety. Even though everyone works for the same goal, their personalities can differ and sometimes clash. Emotional intelligence can assist you in acknowledging this diversity and reacting accordingly to maintain peace. Having empathy for those who work for you can help you understand them better. In doing so, it gets far easier to resolve conflicts. 

2. Helps in understanding the client's business objectives

Not all clients come with mechanical tasks. Most clients will need you to understand the emotion behind the project they are working on. You need to understand not only the financial and intellectual but also the emotional perspective of their goals and objectives. 

When you connect to a client, you need emotional intelligence to assess their needs. This is also a vital step to attracting more clients in the future. When a client feels understood, the chances of a long-term business relationship grow. Looking for solutions for your clients in both intellectual and emotional aspects will build their confidence in your abilities. When a trustworthy bond is established, you won't need to go out of your way to sell an idea. It can turn into an organic effort. 

3. Enhances customer experience

A company is not just about the products and services but also the relations it builds throughout the journey. Customers and customer experience are critical aspects of a business's success. Incorporating emotional intelligence into your work is easy. You need to know what your customer needs, their doubts, how to convince them to trust you, and how to build a longer bond. You will need to put yourself in their shoes to understand the core of the issues. 

For example, a customer is indecisive about whether they want to buy your services or products. Instead of being pushy to sell your products and services, you will have to deal with the customer less aggressively. Look for opportunities where it is easier to convince them to buy. Understand why they are hesitant to buy your products and find solutions accordingly. Is it the budget? Is it the fear of durability? Or is it because they think they don't necessarily need it? Even if they don't purchase anything from you, leave a positive impact so they can return to buy. 

You understand why emotional intelligence is essential for your business. But how can you use emotional intelligence the right way to improve the performance of your business? The following section explores the answer to this question. 

6 Ways to Improve Business Performance with emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence isn't just about being kind to others or having compassion in the workplace. It's about building a work environment that feels secure to customers, employees, and clients. People should not be scared to interact or express their concerns. Some of the best workplaces in the world practice constant communication to ensure that people related to the company feel emotionally secure. 

That being said, here are five ways you can use emotional intelligence to lead your business ahead. 

1. To Overcome Business Challenges

The most common challenge faced in a business is not understanding why certain people behave the way they do. Knowing what motivates a person to react positively can help create more work engagement. 

For example, if an employee's performance is degrading, you can discuss what demotivates them instead of shouting at them. Try to be sensitive and understand how they are feeling. There could be many reasons for a person's underperformance. Emotional intelligence will help in analysing the reason behind it. You can look for solutions together so that they can perform better.

2. Use Emotional Intelligence to Increase Loyal Customers and Followers

Emotional intelligence is the skill of evaluating what goes on in a person's head. You can connect with your target audience deeper if you know what your target audience needs. When customers get what they want, they have a higher chance of returning for more. 

3. Use Emotional Intelligence to Build Trustworthy Relationships

Emotional intelligence focuses highly on building relationships that have more clarity. Professional associations are crucial for the growth of your business. Observe, comprehend, analyse, and respond accordingly. Don't draw blatant conclusions. The best would be to take your time to process and understand in-depth about a situation.

For example, if your internal team refuses to work together, you need to hear them out individually to understand their perspectives. Being emotionally intelligent will allow you to understand where the conflict began. As a result, you can come up with a solution that will be fitting to everybody's likes. 

4. Using Emotional Intelligence with a Colleague or Team Member

Notice a member of your team who seems to be unmotivated and unfocused? They have not been able to present their best work. It's unusual for them because they always give their 100% at work. 

Using emotional intelligence, in this case, would mean recognising their behaviour and acknowledging that this is not who they are. You would understand that something must be bothering them, which is why they cannot pay attention to their work. 

You can take the first step by contacting them via mail and asking them to have a quick chat with you about their performance. Keep it light-hearted since you don't want to come off as someone unforgiving. 

Have a face-to-face chat with them and let them explain why they are lagging. It could be a health crisis, a family issue, or other problems. Listen to their explanation intently and try to understand how they are feeling. 

Let them know that you understand how they are feeling and that if they are having a hard time dealing with work, the company can let someone else work on the project they are handling. You can offer them a day's rest so that they can process their feelings and return with a clear mind. 

Do not add more stress to the situation by ignoring their reasons or emotional distress and attacking them verbally for not working hard enough. Instead of blaming them for their mistakes, focus on how things can get better. 

5. Using Emotional Intelligence to Deal with Rude or Offended Clients

Now and then, you will face clients or customers who won't be on their best behaviour. The bad ones will tire you out, drain the resources you provide, and still lack satisfaction. The good ones will add value to your company's growth. Tackling these two types of clients or customers will need emotional intelligence on your part. 

The good ones are easy to deal with. However, dealing with the bad ones needs a little more thinking. For example, imagine if a client ghosts you for the first meeting and asks you to place another meeting without explaining why they couldn't attend it the first time. When the client is asked to provide a reason for disappearing without notice for the first time, they get angry and blame you for their inability to attend the meeting. 

Such cases are not common, and you need emotional intelligence to differentiate red flags from genuine reasons. If you can sense these red flags beforehand, it can save you a lot of hassle. 

Emotional intelligence is an important trait not just for the employees of a company. In fact, the world needs to have leaders with high emotional intelligence now more than ever. Why? Let's understand how leaders with EQ can shape the world better. 

Why does EQ matter for leaders? 

The world is looking for leaders with more emotional intelligence. Gone are the times when strictness was considered the highlight of leadership. The mantra to be a good leader in any firm or society is understanding the people you are looking for. Here are some reasons why EQ in leadership roles matters:

1. To boost individual performance

A good leader will always encourage others to be their best version. Emotionally intelligent leaders are great at collaborating and communicating. This builds a trustworthy bond in the team them pushes everyone further towards growth. 

2. To gain respect

Great compassion brings forth respect from colleagues. It creates a beautiful work environment. A culture that is built through compassion is strong and full of potential. Leaders are looked upon as role models. Because the employees respect the leader, they will be more productive and engaged in work. 

3. To shape the organisation better

A leader is the tone and the shaper of the organisation. Without emotional intelligence, the leader and the organisation can face severe consequences. Employees will be less engaged and less motivated, and there will be a high turnover rate. Low performance can even get the company blacklisted. 

4. To explore new levels

While a leader might run the present state of the organisation, lacking emotional intelligence can discourage the firm from exploring new levels. Lacking emotional intelligence means failing to see the opportunities that knock on the door. It could be a client, a consumer, or an employee. Eventually, when the people you work with will realise your lack of intelligence, they won't feel like working with you, and you will lose the potential growth that could have been possible otherwise.

So, you see how emotional intelligence is such an important skill. Do you need some help to improve your emotional intelligence?

KoolStories is a  micro learning platform with kool creators to help you learn new skills. If you want to grasp the science of emotional intelligence in-depth, you can check out the KoolStories micro-courses on Emotional Intelligence. You can connect through chats and more and learn how to use this skill in your daily life to bring the best outcome. Learn to be emotionally intelligent with our expert creators. Grow your potential with like-minded people and shape your life for the better.

Live curious, live passionate, live KoolStories. 


Is emotional intelligence different from regular intelligence?

https://www.koolstories.com/blog/kool-stories-the-social-learning-appYes. While regular intelligence is about a person's academic abilities, emotional intelligence is how a person evaluates, controls, and expresses emotions. 


Is emotional intelligence genetically inherited?

The link between genetics and emotions is yet to be proven. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence can be attained by gradual practice. Empathy, motivation, self-awareness, and self-control are skills that you can achieve through constant practice.


Can I work better if I am emotionally intelligent?

Yes, you can. Having emotional intelligence can have a positive impact on your work life. You can analyse other people's emotions faster and work accordingly, giving you brownie points now and then. 


What if my boss does not have emotional intelligence?

Dealing with a superior at work which lacks emotional intelligence can be tricky. You can either speak to them about the problematic areas or choose a workplace encouraging emotional intelligence. 


How can I improve my skills of emotional intelligence?

You can practice the five aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, social skills, and empathy. More practice will help you learn more.


Is emotional intelligence different from regular intelligence?

Yes. Following are the differences between regular and emotional intelligence:

-IQ uses logic to solve problems whereas EQ understands emotions to sort problems. 

-IQ deals with adapting to the physical environment around that challenges one's reasoning. EQ deals with changes that cause emotional challenges.

-IQ is about understanding abstract ideas. EQ is about coping with abstract emotions. 

-IQ is measured through access to education. EQ is measured through self-awareness and self-regulation.  

What if my boss does not have emotional intelligence?

In case your boss lacks emotional intelligence, here's what you can do:

-Convey to them how their behaviour puts forward wrong leadership roles.

-Listen or understand why they lack emotional intelligence. Is it because of insecurities? Or is it a sheer ego battle? Or are they too idle which is why they require some "entertainment" every now and then?

-Focus on your work rather than on work politics to give yourself a break.

-Quit in case you and your senior are incapable of coming to a common ground.