With so many technical skills you can learn to improve your performance at work, emotional intelligence might be at the bottom of your to-do list. But more and more studies show that investing in your EQ can actually help you advance in your career faster than, say, mastering Excel or learning to code. Here are five reasons why you should make increasing your emotional intelligence a top priority:
- It will make you more friends at work
Becoming more emotionally intelligent means increasing your empathy and social awareness —two skills that help you win more friends at the office. Think you don’t need friends at work? Think again. Research done by the OfficeVibe found that 70% of employees say friends at work is crucial to a happy working life. Employees that have a best friend at work are 137% more motivated to develop as a person and as a professional, and have a 35% higher commitment to quality.
- It will help you perform better in any job
Emotional intelligence plays a big role in your productivity —it’s what helps you meet that sales target in spite of your recent breakup, and quickly turn out an impeccable press release in the middle of a crisis. According to EQ experts Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, EQ is responsible for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs. “It’s the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.”
- It will make you money
Emotional intelligence has been proven to help you bring home a bigger paycheck. According to Bradberry and Greaves, people with a high EQ make approximately $ 29,000 more per year. “The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $ 1,300 to an annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world,” they wrote. Their thesis is supported by a recent study from the University of Bonn, which found that people who are good at recognizing emotions have an income that is “significantly higher”.
- It may land you the job
“CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise—and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence,” an executive told Daniel Goleman. Companies like Johnson & Johnson and L’Oreal have realized that hiring people with a high EQ saves them time and money in the long run, and so have incorporated emotional intelligence as a criteria in their recruiting processes. Even if the company you want to work for doesn’t assess emotional intelligence, having worked on your EQ skills will still pay off when you go on your job interview —self-awareness, self-regulation and social awareness will help you keep your cool and connect with your recruiters more easily.