People with high emotional intelligence are likely to earn more than their colleagues, a new study has found.
While IQ remains a strong indicator of success in your career, research published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour (August 2017) suggests that those with a high level of emotional understanding will have higher salaries.
The study tested US university students’ levels of emotional intelligence during their studies and then followed them for 10 years after to see where their careers took them. It was found that the students who scored highly for emotional intelligence were on higher salaries across all industries compared to those who scored lower for levels of emotional intelligence.
So, what makes emotionally intelligent people more financially successful? Emotional intelligence means being able to read people’s emotions and at work this skill means you can effectively influence other’s behavior. This makes you a great leader and motivator, as you understand what each individual in your team needs to reach their potential. It can also make you a great negotiator and helps you to deal with clients, as you can read the situation and influence it appropriately.
The study showed that those with high emotional intelligence often used this to develop relationships in the company’s network, accessing information and knowledge for colleagues that helped them to personally develop and improve their performance – thus earning promotions and salary increases.
Emotional intelligence also indicates a level of self-awareness and emotional balance, which means they were open to accepting feedback and learning from mistakes. This again helps personal development and leads to senior members of the team noticing them and picking them out for progression opportunities.
While emotional intelligence is important at any stage of your career, you will find that the further you climb on the professional ladder, the more important it becomes. More senior roles require you to inspire, motivate and influence others. So, based on the research you can assume that higher emotional intelligence will give you a greater chance of climbing the ladder.
First, you need to become emotionally aware. Take note of your own thoughts and emotional reactions to situations, and how these might be seen by others. Make a behavior diary and review your emotional reactions, give yourself feedback on positive and negative aspects of your reactions and how you can improve your empathy.
Second, take part in more team activities at work that involve social interaction. This gives you more opportunities to develop your empathy and help you to learn how to deal with stressful and complex social situations.
And lastly, ask a mentor or colleague to help you to develop your emotional intelligence. Start asking colleagues for regular feedback on your reactions and use this to improve.