Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is one of the most powerful personal qualities in business. In fact, 71% of hiring managers said that they place more value on a high EQ than a high IQ! Employees with a good EQ are excellent listeners, strong, empathetic team players, and are good at staying calm under pressure.

What is EQ?

Emotional intelligence has many components, but it boils down to being able to manage and interpret your feelings and emotions, as well as those of the people around you. EQ also includes:


Empathy is often confused with sympathy, but the two are actually quite different. Empathy involves sharing in the emotional experience that another individual is having. Empathetic people can feel the emotions of other people, and genuinely understand what they are going through. They’re willing to make the changes necessary to better meet the needs of others.


People with a high EQ are self aware. They know their own strengths and limitations. They’re highly adaptive, and take criticism well instead of becoming offended. They understand their moods and emotions, but are never controlled by them. Instead, these individuals think before speaking, and are considerate of the impact that their words have on others.

Strong People Skills

Because of their empathy and self-awareness, individuals with a strong EQ possess excellent people skills. They can form strong bonds with their friends and coworkers, and are passionate about contributing to their team and helping others reach their full potential.

How to Increase Your EQ

If you want to increase your emotional intelligence, there are many ways to practice! The following suggestions will help you improve:

Think Before Speaking

Be purposeful about taking time to pause and think before you speak to someone. This ensures that you take time to process, and don’t say anything rashly. Make sure that you listen to others before speaking. This will help you better understand their emotions, learn about what they need, and work to develop a solution for both parties. By pausing, you’ll shift your focus from your own needs to the needs of others.

Speak with Kindness

Be intentional about speaking to others with kindness. Make sure to praise other people! When you speak positively to others, there’s less of a chance that they will speak and act defensively. They’ll also be more open to listening to you if you’re kind. Don’t be afraid to apologize if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings or misunderstood them!

Emotional Intelligence is a highly sought-after quality. By practicing and improving your EQ, you’ll be able to build strong workplace connections and become a better employee.