Defining Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Emotional Intelligence, or EI, describes an ability or capacity to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, and of others. Our EQ, or Emotional Quotient, is how one measures Emotional Intelligence.

Emotions have the potential to get in the way of our most important business and personal relationships. According to John Kotter of Harvard Business School: “Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else – it is not a question of strategy that gets us into trouble; it is a question of emotions.”

Is EI Important to Leadership Development and Performance?

Research tracking over 160 high performing individuals in a variety of industries and job levels revealed that emotional intelligence was two times more important in contributing to excellence than intellect and expertise alone.

EI Training Develops more Effective Managers and First Line Supervisors

Supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional intelligence competencies to help raise their EI skills in areas such as how to listen better and help employees resolve problems on their own, how to empower and inspire others, and how to become more effective personal leaders.

After training:

  • lost-time accidents were reduced by 50 percent
  • formal grievances were reduced from an average of 15 per year to 3 per year
  • the plant exceeded productivity goals by $250,000 (Pesuric & Byham,1996).

In another manufacturing plant where supervisors received similar emotional intelligence training:

  • production increased 17 percent
  • there was no such increase in production for a group of matched supervisors who were not given emotional intelligence training (Porras & Anderson, 1981)

Training in EI Competencies Develops Stronger Leaders

The following chart depicts the number of times those individuals who became president or CEO displayed emotionally intelligent competencies, compared with those who were passed over.

EQ Competencies
EQ Competencies Frequency Shown
Self-control 7X
Empathy 3X
Teamwork 2.5X
Self-confidence 2X
Achievement Orientation 2X


Cognitive Competencies
Cognitive Competencies Frequency Shown
Analytical Thinking 1.2X
Conceptual Thinking 1.5XC


Note: Although those who became president or CEO showed cognitive competencies more frequently than those passed over, this difference was not significant.


Can Profitability be Attributed to Emotional intelligence?

Not only does emotional intelligence greatly contribute to job performance and leadership skills, it has also been found to increase profits. The following chart shows the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) competencies with a high enough emotional quotient (EQ) to positively affect performance (based on 360 data), and the amount of profit generated at a multinational services firm per year per partner.
As the chart shows, self-regulation appears to have the greatest impact on profit generation.


Can you increase your Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Quotient?

Most Definitely Yes!