Emotional Intelligence is the intelligent use of emotions.

Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) underpins our capacity to work well with others, manage stress and make effective decisions.

What was once thought intangible determinants in success can today be accurately measured. And since emotional intelligence is changeable, these fundamental skills can be sharpened and learned to improve individual performance, resulting in better outcomes in a range of areas.

Modern neuroscience has turned around the way we think about emotions.

Science tells us that emotions play a far greater role in determining business outcomes than many leaders realise. They guide our thinking and behaviour—what we think, how we think, how we make decisions and how we act on them.

Even when we’ve made a rational decision, chances are our emotions made it first. We then establish reasons to justify our gut reaction. Emotions contain data about ourselves, other people and the world around us. They are critical to our survival. Remaining open to feelings gives us valuable early data points that help us think and act more intelligently.

Learning to perceive, use, understand and manage emotions intelligently enables us to make better choices, manage stress, work well with others and perform at our best. By increasing our emotional intelligence we can respond effectively, rather than reactively, to achieve more positive outcomes for ourselves and the people around us.

“We cannot check our emotions at the door because emotion and thought are linked—they cannot, and should not, be separated.” David Caruso

Emotional intelligence is a critical tool in business today. After years labelled a discretionary “soft skill”, two decades of scientific and business research has demonstrated the value of emotional intelligence for leaders, sales people and anyone whose job involves influencing and engaging people.

By understanding the science behind emotional intelligence and how to accurately assess, predict and develop emotional intelligence, businesses can take a far more targeted approach to selecting and developing people. For example, when PepsiCo focused on recruiting emotionally intelligent managers, it generated 10% more productivity, 87% less turnover and more than 1000% return on investment. The US Airforce saved $190 million by screening for EI among pararescuers. And Sheraton increased market
share by 24%, improved guest satisfaction and significantly reduced turnover by developing a culture of emotional intelligence in leaders.

“The higher a leader rises in the organisation the more EI matters.”
Daniel Goleman

Our white paper examines the science, practice and business impact of emotional intelligence in the workplace. We explain how and why emotions influence thinking, behaviour, performance, decision-making and results; give you a snapshot of bottom-line results and explore how leaders can achieve better results by learning to be more intelligent with emotions.

“Emotional Intelligence isn’t a luxury you can dispense with in tough times. It’s a basic tool that, deployed with finesse, is the key to professional success.”
Harvard Business Review

An emotional intelligence model: MSCEIT

Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey, originators in the science of emotional intelligence, define emotional intelligence as 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 action.” Their research identified four distinct emotional intelligence abilities.

Accurately recognising your own and others’ emotions.

Everyone experiences and relates to feelings and emotions, whether you notice them or not. Even the environment has its own emotional context, which impacts our emotions. Emotions contain valuable information about you, your relationships and the world around you. The ability to perceive emotions starts with being aware of these emotions and emotional clues, then accurately identifying what they mean. This includes being able to read another person’s facial expressions to better understand what they are feeling.

You need to recognise your own feelings and emotions so that you have accurate information about the world around you. Being aware of others’ emotions is a key to working with people.

Generating and using emotions in problem solving.

How you feel influences how you think. If you feel sad, you may view the world and react one way; if you feel happy, you may interpret the same events differently. People in a sad or negative mood tend to focus more on details and notice problems. Those in a more positive mood tend to be better at generating ideas and finding solutions to problems. Using emotions effectively means linking emotions with cognitive processes: knowing which moods are best for which situations, accessing the most appropriate mood to achieve the best outcome and being strategic in the way you think about and solve emotional problems.

If you stay aware of your emotions, then use them or shift them depending on your situation or cognitive task, the outcome may be more positive.

Understanding emotions and how emotions may change.

Emotions are complex, so this ability means being aware of complex blends of emotions and what cause them. It means recognising why you have certain emotions and understanding your emotional triggers, some of which may have been embedded many years before – such as your values and beliefs. This ability answers questions such as: Why am I feeling happy? How will John feel if I don’t tell him? What will Lee do if I email rather than call? How will Joe feel when I announce these changes?

Insight into ourselves, and others requires emotional knowledge and reflection. This knowledge helps you understand why you feel and react the way you do, and helps you understand other people better. Do you know your values? Are you clear on your beliefs and how they impact your behaviour? Do you understand the emotions of the people you care for, work with and lead?

Managing your own and others’ emotions.

Emotions contain information, so ignoring this information means that we can end up making a poor decision. We need to stay open to our feelings and emotions, learn from them, and integrate them when making decisions, reacting or taking action. Sometimes it may be best to disengage from an emotion and return to it later in order to manage it effectively. Managing emotions is about having a range of strategies to draw on in order to react and respond effectively. It also means staying open to other people’s feelings, showing care for them and developing strategies to help them manage emotions.

By effectively managing your emotions you will be more successful, as a leader, team member and individual. Imagine being more resilient personally; imagine having fewer outbursts. Imagine being able to communicate more effectively with people because you are managing your emotions rather than your emotions managing you.

71 percent of employers value EI

Positive psychology case study

A Group Strategy Manager at a multinational pharmaceutical company had been advised to improve his people skills or his job was on the line. Initially sceptical about emotional intelligence training, he soon took on the challenge of transforming his leadership and communication style. Building on his technical and strategic intelligence with the help of our coach, these new emotional intelligence skills soon hotshot his career and opened doors.

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Want to start applying emotional intelligence?

Consulting in emotional intelligence

Consulting services

We work with organisations to build emotional intelligence in leaders, sales teams, customer service staff and anyone who will benefit from these fundamental skills. We can design solutions that suit your business and help you get the most from this powerful tool.

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Would you like to learn more about your emotional intelligence abilities and start developing them? We offer individual online assessment and comprehensive emotional intelligence reports debriefed with one of our qualified experts.

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Training and accreditation

Would you like to learn how to be a more emotionally intelligent leader or assess or develop emotional intelligence in others? We train leaders and accredit HR, business leaders and coaches in emotional intelligence tools. Inhouse and open programs are available.

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Emotional intelligence articles

  • 2015-10-emotions-at-work-880x587

Why We Should Care About Emotions at Work

October 27th, 2015|Comments Off on Why We Should Care About Emotions at Work

People often ask whether emotions have a place in the workplace. Of course, humans are emotional beings. That doesn’t mean we always welcome emotions or know how to be intelligent with them. Here's why accepting a full range of emotions is vital at work.

  • Book-chapter-Connected-Worlds-1B

Leadership in a connected world

December 3rd, 2014|Comments Off on Leadership in a connected world

Smart use of emotions can improve our capacity to work well with others, engage with our jobs and lead in the 21st century. Welcome to a world of EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) over IQ.

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