The Resurgence Of
Six reasons why EQ matters more than ever
By Bill Benjamin
In the world of Human Resources and Learning and
Development, the concept of Emotional Intelligence
(EI/EQ) is nothing new. Dan Goleman wrote the book
Emotional Intelligence in 1996 and at The Institute for
Health and Human Potential, we’ve been delivering
our Science of Emotional training programs to
organizations for more than 20 years.
Recently, there has been a resurgence in the popularity
of Emotional Intelligence as evidenced in magazines
articles – including Time, Inc. Magazine(the Inc.
Magazine article was posted 6 hours prior to my
writing this article!), Forbes, the Harvard Business
Review and many more. In addition, the number
of times the term Emotional Intelligence is being
searched on Google has increased steadily over the
past 3 years.
A World Economic Forum report recently ranked
Emotional Intelligence as the 6th most important skill
needed in 2020 in order to manage the coming 4th
industrial revolution. EI wasn’t even on the list in 2015.
For those who know the brain science of emotions,
you will know that EI also underpins the other nine
skills, including creativity, people management and
even complex problem solving.
So why the sudden resurgence of interest in Emotional
Intelligence? We work with hundreds of companies
and thousands of leaders in almost every industry and
the six factors causing this increase are:
The amount of disruption and change people are
facing. In large part this is driven by new technologies,
but we also see an increase in the number of
corporate restructurings, new product launches,
government regulations, increase competition, etc.
that are increasing how much change people are
facing. As we wrote in our All Change is Personal
white paper, effectively managing this amount of
change and disruption requires high levels of EQ.
Technology and the new demands of the workplace.
People are feeling the need to be on 24/7 and are
often feeling overwhelmed by the amount of e-mail,
texts, social media, etc. they are dealing with. In
addition, many people are feeling that work/life
balance is a nice idea but not a reality. People are
feeling more pressure and stress than they ever
The need for innovation and creativity. With the rapid
pace of technology and the ease with which new
competitors can enter a marketplace (did you know
Amazon is now one of the largest providers of cloud
computing services and competes with Microsoft and
IBM that space?), organizations need people to be
innovative, which requires collaboration, agile teams
and a culture that allows for risk-taking and failure,
which are EQ-based skills.
Service based economy. As we move to an economy
based on services and not just making products,
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