The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Your Career

Do you have any idea about the reason why some smart people get stuck in their careers and cannot move any further? And at the same time, why do people who have less knowledge and experience in a field become successful leaders in organizations? The important aspect, which sets people apart, is not cognitive intelligence, but emotional intelligence, which makes them able to identify and monitor other people’s emotions and create and manage productive relationships. Actually, years of research have demonstrated that this skill has a closer link with a successful career than cognitive intelligence.

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The Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a kind of social intelligence, which involves the person’s ability to monitor his or her own and other people’s emotions, to distinguish them, and to use this ability as a guide for thinking and action.

To make the definition of emotional intelligence simpler and clearer, it can be said that it is all about emotions and feelings – being aware of the emotions, understanding and recognizing them, and having control over feelings.

In contradistinction to emotional intelligence, cognitive intelligence is the ability to understand information, solve problems and make decisions.

Signs of Emotional Intelligence

After many years of study and research, scientists came up with a certain model of emotionally intelligent people. There are four groups of competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

While you are reading through them, remember that to consider yourself emotionally intelligent, should you not just have these competencies, but also understand them, manage them and use them to perform actions.


  • Emotional Self-Awareness. A person has a solid understanding of his/her own emotions, his/her strengths and weaknesses.
  • Self-Confidence. A person understands his or her own strengths and limitations. He/she operates from competence and knows when he/she can rely on somebody else. A person is willing to talk about himself or herself in a frank, non-defensive manner.
  • Accurate Self-Assessment. This sign of emotional intelligence means that a person realizes his/her values and goals in life.


  • Initiative. This sign means a person is self-motivated and keeps working hard on his/her goals even if lacks experience.
  • Achievement. A person is interested in moving himself/herself toward a certain goal or strategy.
  • Optimism. A person has a positive position in life.
  • Transparency. A person is honest about his or her feelings, goals and progress.
  • Emotional Self-Control. Emotionally intelligent people have bad moods just like anyone else does, but they do not act driven by them; instead, they are able to control them. Also, they have the ability to wait until their emotions past so they can respond from a place of reason.
  • Adaptability. A person is resilient. It means he/she stays calm under pressure and has the ability to recover quickly if it is necessary. Such a person does not panic in the face of crisis.

Social Awareness

  • Empathy. A person shares his or her own concerns and easily acknowledges other people’s emotions.
  • Organizational Awareness. Because a person understands other points of view, he or she is able to explain own ideas in a way that his or her colleagues will definitely comprehend.
  • Service Orientation. One more answer to the question ‘what is emotional intelligence?’ is that an emotionally intelligent person is a great listener. He/she is very attentive to other people and takes time to understand what they are saying without interrupting.

Relationship Management

  • Teamwork. While working with an emotionally intelligent person, people feel relaxed, often laugh and share things easily with such a person.
  • Collaboration. A person creates and maintains networks and easily builds efficient teams.
  • Influence. A person is a compelling communicator. He or she can persuasively and clearly explain his/her thoughts and ideas to others and they become motivated.
  • Developing Others. A person provides an effective feedback and willingly helps others build their skills.
  • Inspirational Leadership. A person provides a vision, which motivates people around him/her.
  • Change Catalyst. A person is not resistant to change. He or she understands the necessity for change and supports the process.

Is Emotional Intelligence Correlated with Some Personality Type?

According to the research, extroversion is greatly correlated with every cluster of emotional intelligence listed above.

Besides, older people consider themselves and are considered by others as having higher levels of emotional intelligence. Additionally, certain life experiences are associated with a higher level of emotional intelligence.

As for gender, females rate themselves and are rated by other people as having higher emotional intelligence than males. But this information is not actually confirmed.

No one can tell exactly how much emotional intelligence is important for a successful career. Most likely, this feature is just as valuable as one’s technical and intellectual skills. Thus, if you do not consider yourself emotionally intelligent, you should probably try to increase your emotional intelligence.

After all, it is proven that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust instead of a person they do not, even if the person they like less suggests a better product at a lower price. People with a high level of emotional intelligence ask relevant questions, listen attentively to others, and are usually genuine and honest.

In conclusion, the most productive people in the workplace are highly intelligent both emotionally and cognitively.