Emotional Intelligence – The Soft Skill You Didn’t Know You Need

IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 04/08/2022
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Key takeaways:

  •   Soft skills contribute to 85% of jobs success.
  •   As a professional, the four pillars of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.
  •   Professionals with high emotional intelligence earn on average $29,000 more.


Two women talking face to faceMany factors contribute to professional success, including graduating at the top of your class, continuously expanding your technical knowledge, and choosing great mentors. But what if this isn’t as true as you were led to believe?

A study conducted in collaboration between Harvard, the Carnegie Foundation, and Stanford Research Center concluded that technical skills only contribute 15% to job success.

Shocking, right?

What’s even more shocking is that this study was conducted in 1918. That means we have known soft skills are tantamount to job advancement and success.

The good news is that it’s never too late to develop your soft skills. From a range of time management to critical thinking, one skill we think is highly relevant is emotional intelligence.



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Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Often referred to as EQ, the concept of emotional intelligence was introduced in the 1970s by Howard Gardner and is more than simply being an empathetic person. Instead, it is the ability to recognize, understand, and regulate emotion.

In the workplace context, this means accurately identifying the emotions of colleagues, your ability to influence others’ feelings, and the ability to apply emotions to problem-solving.

Have we convinced you yet that this is the best soft skill to start developing? If you answered no, then this study will motivate you.

“[For] every point increase in emotional intelligence adds $1,300 to an annual salary.”

In a survey conducted by Dr. Travis Bradberry, results concluded that people with higher emotional intelligence make an average of $29,000 more than those with low EQs. Additionally, he found that emotional intelligence is a better indicator of high performance, with 90% of top performers exhibiting high EQ.


What You Should Know About Emotional Intelligence

Based on the figures above, it’s good to assess how your EQ stacks up and invest in developing this skill.

We must caution you that EQ is more than being empathetic and friendly. It consists of four pillars: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

The first two pillars focus on the internal environment. You must first understand yourself before attempting to interact and relate with others. To summarize, you must know who you are as a person and what motivates you.

Next, the second two pillars have an outward focus, specifically on how you relate to others. This involves being sensitive to colleagues’ needs, emotions, and perspectives to actively choose the best way to interact with them.


More About The Four Pillars of EQ

To better give you a high-level understanding, here are brief descriptions of the four pillars of EQ:

1. Self-awareness: the ability to recognize your emotions and tendencies.

2. Self-management: the ability to manage your behavior through emotional stages.

3. Social awareness: the ability to perceive others’ emotions and the motivation behind the emotions.

4. Relationship management: the ability to effectively connect empathetically and choose the best interaction based on the emotional information you’ve gathered.


Take Action: Begin Developing Your EQ Skills

Many great resources are available to develop your emotional intelligence as a professional. One of our favorites is a webinar simply titled “Emotional Intelligence.” During this one-hour discussion, Adam Schmidt focuses on the first two pillars and how they impact the evolution of a great leader. You can watch it below or on the IEEE Computer Society Video Library.

In an upcoming webinar, Adam will address the last two pillars in “Emotional Intelligence: Part 2.” For junior and mid-career professionals ready to dive into de-escalating conflict, resolving differences, and work on their ability to “read the room,” this webinar will give you the tools to develop those skills to advance your career further.



Emotional Intelligence Part 2

Develop your soft skills starting with emotional intelligence

Save your seat for the live webinar on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, at 11:00 AM EDT.

Webinar Summary

Social Competencies. In this webinar, we will discuss the two social competencies of EQ: Relationship Skills and Awareness of Others. The former is focused on de-escalating conflict, resolving differences effectively, inspiring others, and working collaboratively in teams. The latter describes the ability to “tune in” to where others are emotional, showing empathy by sensing others’ feelings and reading organizational currents accurately. Together, these are the skills we use to “read the room” and bring our best selves forward in every situation. The webinar will focus on illustrating these topics through examples and providing clear, actionable takeaways for application by participants. The target audience for this webinar is junior and mid-career professionals.

Register for Emotional Intelligence Part 2 Webinar