What is the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Business Today?

One powerful tool that helps leaders guide their teams through a change of any kind is emotional intelligence — the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions.

Organizational change is happening all the time, especially during times such as these. It can bring about a range of emotions in people, including fear, resistance, frustration, and confusion. Leading change successfully amid those emotions requires the ability to define and communicate a vision that inspires others. It also requires helping others to adjust their thinking and behavior in the workplace so that they can successfully navigate change. How can emotional intelligence help here?

One powerful tool that helps leaders guide their teams through a change of any kind is emotional intelligence — the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy and good judgment.

Not only is emotional intelligence a strong predictor of overall job success (research has found that it accounts for 58 percent of success at work), but it also influences individuals’ ability to successfully navigate the emotions and behavior of others during times of change. Here are some of the ways emotional intelligence helps leaders guide their employees through changing times.

What is Business Emotional Intelligence?

Business Emotional Intelligence is a practical, work-based approach to Emotional Intelligence that helps individuals and teams understand why people behave the way they do and how to maximize their engagement with, and performance at, work.

It is an exciting advance in our understanding of how the management of critical emotions and behaviors are linked to the success of leaders and teams.

What is the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Business Today?
What is the Role of Emotional Intelligence in Business Today?

Business Emotional Intelligence or Business EQ is about the ability to use your intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence to focus on the critical emotions and underlying behavioral traits that predict occupational performance.

The key to the Business Emotional Intelligence is self-awareness and awareness of others-it explains peoples’ capability to manage their emotions and behaviors at work and what effect it has on their potential and their performance.

The practical, straightforward approach of Business Emotional Intelligence, with its engaging and accessible business language, makes it ideal for leaders and teams to quickly understand how critical emotions and behaviors impact the success of themselves and others.

Business Emotional Intelligence consists of seven main Emotional Behavioural Clusters or scales that focus on the emotional drives and behaviors that predict success combined with a person’s awareness of them. The summaries of these are described below:


Willingness to make decisions, the need for control, the confidence associated with the decision, and the level of comfort with decision making responsibility.


Level of energy, passion, drive, and enthusiasm for work, being optimistic and positive, the need for achievement and challenge, they make up for the motivation that is necessary to get the work done.


The drive to influence others and persuade them, to be heard and have an impact.


The desire for and the enjoyment of, variety and adaptability in the workplace; the capacity to keep an open mind and be flexible with different and creative approaches.


The ability to recognize people’s problems, be sensitive toward them and consider others’ feelings, needs, and perspectives. The need to understand, to help, and work with others.

Conscientiousness (Sub-scales Structure and Rules)

The need to plan and have a structure, to be diligent, and meet deadlines; the level of comfort with conforming and following the rules.

Stress Resilience (Emotional Control)

The capability to relax and deal with the day to day pressures of work; the level of comfort with showing and managing one’s emotions, and controlling/hiding temper when provoked.

Self Awareness

This scale is an index of the extent to which an individual’s EBW scores are likely to correspond with the way that others would score them on the EBW scales.

Point to be noted:

Leaders can leverage emotional intelligence to hone in on the source of employee resistance to change and can offer ideas, strategies, and coaching that will help to overcome feelings of resistance. Some key activities that can support getting at the heart of resistance to change include:

  • Q&A sessions that allow employees to air their frustrations and fears about change
  • One-on-one discussions that provide opportunities to talk about specific employee experiences with change
  • Employee surveys that ask individuals to describe their experiences and share feedback on company change initiatives

In Short

Emotional intelligence is a valuable tool in all aspects of working life, but it is particularly important when leading in times of change because it helps individuals take the emotions and feelings of others into account. When leaders take the time to provide support, training and coaching to help individuals manage their emotions during the uncertainties of organizational change, there is less chance for resistance, fear, and distrust to derail organizational change efforts. With a combination of leading by example, providing opportunities for employee learning, and establishing forums for communication and feedback, it’s possible to fully leverage emotional intelligence to successfully lead others through change.

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Suchismita Panda