Emotional intelligence is ‘mind over emotions’.  A person with emotional intelligence does not react emotionally on autopilot.  A typical person acts 40%-60% of the time on auto pilot.  A person with emotional intelligence acts on autopilot much less. 

The leader’s (your) mood and temperament drives the behavior of his/her followers.  Gallup found that it influences up to 70% of the employees’ behavior.  If you are a leader at any level, emotional intelligence is important for your effectiveness and success.  The higher in the organizational hierarchy you go, the more important EI becomes. You’ve often heard that successful senior executives, CEOs and business owners are like politicians.  For example, the VP of Engineering does little engineering anymore but needs to learn how to deal with his peers and superiors in nuanced ways. 

The CEO’s words carry much sway with the employees.  Several studies show that EQ is more important than IQ for senior business leaders.  A leader needs to gauge the emotional state and use the right ‘triggers’ to ensure the desired effect.  That requires a conscious decision (left brain) combined with emotional intelligence.  You have to be a great manager to run a business, particularly if you want to grow it.  A Gallup survey found that only 10% of employees in businesses have the talents to be great managers.

Culturally, the older generation is not technology-savvy but in the bargain did business the ‘old-fashioned way’ – in-person.  In the process, they also became more emotionally intelligent.  The tech-savvy younger generation, whether the Gen X, Y or millennials, consequentially have lower emotional intelligence. Of course, the younger generation has ‘digital EI’.  A higher EI will enable you to connect with people better, network and achieve your business goals more easily.  Whether you are negotiating a deal, striking a partnership or hiring a new employee EI can help you do better.