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In the world of business, we are often told that emotions have no place at the conference table. This is a huge mistake because emotional intelligence can help you connect with co-workers, close business deals and more effectively accomplish your goals.

So what does it mean to be emotionally intelligent? Should you start weeping during conference calls or passing out love beads at your next business meeting? No. Well, only if you really want to.

Emotional Intelligence, as defined by the concept’s developers Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer is “the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.”

The best illustration of emotional intelligence as a learned ability did not come from a scholarly publication but from the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. In the beginning of the story, Scrooge presents an example of low emotional intelligence. His intrapersonal intelligence is so low, he is incapable of creating emotional wellness for himself despite his wealth. In fact, his self-awareness is so bad, it takes three ghosts to help him figure himself out. His interpersonal intelligence is, of course, legendarily bad.

Near the end of the story, however, Scrooge presents an example of elevated emotional intelligence. He develops strong self- awareness, he becomes capable of controlling his own emotional destiny, and his empathy and social skills blossom. Scrooge demonstrates that emotional intelligence is something that can be developed.

What happens if you’re too busy to wait around for three apparitions to teach you the benefits of empathy and self-awareness? At Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute, we can teach you how to strengthen your emotional intelligence and use it to further your productivity and make you a happier worker, all in just 20 hours of class time. We believe that emotional intelligence is a skill and one that can be developed in any person with emotions (we haven’t tested on robots yet).

Why would you want to develop this skill for your business? The first thing emotional intelligence enables is stellar work performance. Studies have shown that emotional competencies are twice as important in contributing to excellence as pure intellect and expertise. Emotional intelligence makes people better leaders. Most of us understand it intuitively based on our day- to- day experience interacting with those whom we lead and those who lead us. Perhaps most importantly, emotional intelligence enables the skills that help us create conditions for our own sustainable happiness.

Now doesn’t that sound more productive than a three martini lunch?

SIYLI Suggestion:

Pause before you respond to a situation. Take a breath, pause to fully understand what you’re feeling in body and mind, then respond. It may change the way you react.