Being smart is great, but studies have shown that emotional intelligence is just as important as intellect in the workplace. The good news is that studies have also shown women are much more emotionally intelligent than men are. Here are just a few ways your emotional intelligence can help you climb the corporate ladder.
1. Your body language can win people over. Emotional intelligence is a key factor in mastering body language. Since so much of a message (roughly 80 percent, in fact) is conveyed by your body language and not your words, this is a skill everyone needs to master. Emotional intelligence means you know what signals you’re sending out, and you’re keenly aware of your body and vocal tone when communicating with others. You’re always sending the message you actually mean.
2. You’re predictable … in a good way. If you’re emotionally intelligent, you’re generally good at regulating your own behavior, regardless of your mood or circumstances. This makes those around you more likely to rely on and trust you. Those lacking in emotional intelligence tend to have more visible mood swings and are more likely to lash out or act rashly. If you get a testy client email, you’re more likely to be collected and strategic than an emotionally unintelligent colleague, who may have a meltdown in the bathroom or reply with a slew of F-words and quit.
3. You’re a better listener. Emotional intelligence means you have good communication skills. That means you know to really listen when someone is telling you something, instead of just focusing on whatever point you want to make when they finally shut up. When people know that you understand them, they’re more likely to trust you. And when you understand people, especially your boss, you’re more likely to give them what they want … which they’ll likely reciprocate when it’s time for a raise or promotion.
4. You’re a better team player. Emotionally intelligent people are better at collaborating with others. Because you can communicate effectively, you’re able to understand your teammates’ ideas and compromise. This will make you a great collaborator, as well as making you stand out individually.