What Research Says About Emotional Intelligence in the Work Place

Sue Hurst

While learning skills in emotional intelligence improves our situations at work, it also allows us to model lives that create a greater impact.

In this post, I’ve gathered the results of four different studies in various industries. Although the information is focused on training adults in EQ skills, you can imagine how their families also benefited as they modeled these skills to their children. 

• Salespeople at L’Oreal, chosen for their skills in emotional intelligence, had significantly higher sales than those selected by the company’s previous process. The annual sales of those with high EQ sold $91,370 more than the other sales agents. The net increase was $2,558,360 with an additional benefit of a 63% lower first year turnover than salespeople chosen by the company’s original process. (Spencer & Spencer, 1993; Spencer, McClelland, & Kelner, 1997)

• When manufacturing plant supervisors were trained in specific EQ abilities, such as how to listen better and helping employees find their own solutions, there was a 50 percent decrease in lost-time, a reduction of formal grievances to an average of 3 a year from an average of 15, as well as productivity goals being surpassed by $250,000. (Pesuric & Byham, 1996)

• In a retail chain, it was found that store managers who expressed emotional intelligence by being able to handle stress, were considered to be the most successful. Success was based on net profit, sales per square foot, sales per employee, and per dollar inventory investment. (Lusch & Serpkeuci, 1990)

• EQ expressed as realistic optimism has been shown to increased productivity. At Met Life, new salesmen who tested with high scores in “learned optimism” sold 37 percent more life insurance in their first two years. (Seligman, 1990)

This is just a small sampling of the well-documented research on the positive influence of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Learning these skills improves our situations as well as allows us to model lives that create an even greater impact.
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