Emotional Intelligence – Why Is It So Important?

the cover of a book called "Tom Norman: Emotional Intelligence" with a photo of a woman from the back in a cornfield, her arms raised

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Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. What I find so amazing is that some people are born with it and some people learn it along the way. Although some researchers say you either have it or you don’t.

The following excerpt by Jessica Cambridge and Tom Norman discusses the importance of emotional intelligence:

Chapter 1: An Overview on Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (also known as EQ) is the person’s ability to manage, use, identify and understand emotions in optimistic ways to overcome struggles, have compassion with others, resolve conflict, relieve stress and communicate effectively. EQ creates an impact in various aspects of our lives, such as the way we behave and interact with other people.

If you have a high EQ, you can recognize your own emotional state as well as others. Your EQ serves as your level of understanding the emotional aspect of relating with people in order to establish genuine relationships, achieve greater success at work and live a more fulfilling life.

Why EQ Is Very Important?

As we all know, it’s not only the smartest people that are the most fulfilled and successful in life. Perhaps you know someone who is 100% academically-inclined but he or she doesn’t know how to value personal relationships. Having intellectual intelligence (or IQ) is not enough to become successful in life. An above average IQ can get you to college – true! But in the end it’s your EQ that will help you handle the emotions, anxiety and stress of college life especially during examinations.

Emotional intelligence affects:

Your relationship with others – By controlling and understanding your emotions, you’ll be able to express how you understand and feel the emotions coming from your family, friends and work colleagues. Also, this allows you to communicate with them more effectively and develop a meaningful work and personal life.

  • Your mentality – Unmanaged stress creates impact in your mentality, making you susceptible to depression and anxiety. If you cannot manage or understand your emotions, there is a good chance that you will suffer from mood swings which can ruin work or personal relationships and leave you feeling isolated.
  • Your physical being – If you are unable to overcome stress, this can lead to severe health problems. Unmanaged stress speeds up the aging process, contributes to infertility, raises blood pressure, suppresses the body’s immune system and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. In line with this, the crucial step to improving your EQ is by learning how to manage stress levels in your body.
  • Your work performance – Having an EQ helps you shove the social complexities of your workplace, lead and encourage workmates and most importantly, excel in your performance. Today, most companies view emotional intelligence as important as their employees’ technical ability hence they require EQ tests when hiring.

Personally, I think that emotional intelligence can be developed and that we can train out minds to think in a rational way. That means, taking time to think things through before acting.

How To Develop Leadership Skills Starting With You


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“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell.

Have you ever thought about being a leader? To be an effective leader, you must have “soft skills”. That’s what will set you apart from other leaders. But maybe you feel you can’t develop your leadership skills because you are not in a position of leadership. So how you can improve without practice? Well, there are plenty of ways to practice leadership and it starts with you.

How can this be?” you may ask. It starts by you leading yourself. In fact, I am a believer that in order to be a good leader, you have to lead yourself first. A definition of a leader is someone with the ability to make sound decisions and inspire others to perform well. But, how do you expect to inspire others if you can’t even control your own actions? Say you set goals and you know they are important to complete. Yet every attempt, you end up postponing them. If you can commit to doing something for yourself, how do you expect others to commit to you? Ask yourself, “What are the outcomes that I have set for myself?” Do you even know what they are? You see, leadership starts much earlier than when we get into a leadership position at work or school.

Light box Leadership has listed the following 7 simple yet powerful core principles to effective self-leadership:

  1. Know your personal mission, values and vision
  2. Be responsible and accountable for your actions and reactions
  3. Develop self-awareness in all areas of your life
  4. Cultivate EQ Emotional Intelligence
  5. Be financially responsible
  6. Be physically healthy
  7. Create goals, systems and habits to succeed

Practice responding to the following:

I intend to:


How will I do it?

How will I know it worked?

What will I do next?

Next week’s blog: The fact is that we all have opportunities to lead. Let’s discuss more about leadership skills. Seizeing Opportunities

Week 1: Introduction: The Softer Side

Week 2: What are the Most Important Soft Skills?

Week 3: Five Key Principles of Successful Connection