EI (Emotional Intelligence) Is Good for People and for Business (book excerpt)

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This is an excerpt from Carolyn Stern’s new book, The Emotionally Strong Leader, out September 13.

It is easy to tell you from my vantage point that EI is good for people and business, but here are some stats to back up my claims:

• EI helps companies retain good people. 

Employees who work for a manager skilled in EI are happier at work, more inspired and productive, and more committed to their employers. A study found that employees who have the same amount of work are inspired 80 percent of the time when they have a boss with high EI and only 28 percent of the time when they have a boss with low EI.

• EI improves employee engagement. 

EI helps ensure that employees feel valued and appreciated for their efforts and are more fulfilled in their roles. EI accounts for 15.9 percent of variance in employee engagement. “Compared with disengaged teams, engaged teams show 24% to 59% less turnover, 10% higher customer ratings, 21% greater profitability, 17% higher productivity, 28% less shrinkage, 70% fewer safety incidents and 41% less absenteeism.”

• EI improves employee experience. 

Employees enjoy their work more when they feel valued, cared for, and appreciated for their contributions. Connecting with the person, not just the employee, improves how they feel and perform at work. A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that the benefits of EQ coaching extend beyond the workplace, including higher levels of happiness and mental and physical health, enhanced social and marital relationships, and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

• EI improves team performance. 

Teams skilled at EI benefit from clearer communication, higher levels of cooperation, and a greater capacity for innovation. According to a study, “Executives who lacked emotional intelligence were rarely rated as outstanding in their annual performance reviews, and their divisions underperformed by an average of almost 20 percent.”

• EI facilitates leader development.

Leaders who understand the importance of EI are more self-aware, confident, authentic, and motivated and can inspire their teams. A forty-year study of PhDs at UC Berkeley discovered that EQ is 400 percent more powerful than IQ in determining who will accomplish more in their industry.

• EI improves the bottom line.

Companies who invest in developing EI within their leadership enjoy stronger financial performance over time than those who don’t. According to a study published by the Carnegie Foundation, personal skills accounted for job success or failure seven times more than technical skills.

Excerpted from The Emotionally Strong Leader: An Inside-Out Journey to Transformational Leadership by Carolyn Stern. Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Stern & Associates Inc. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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