EQ (Emotional Quotient): meaning, benefit & use

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EQ hasn’t always been integral to management, to say the least. Unfortunately, everyone has probably heard more stories about aggressive and old-fashioned management styles where the motto is more akin to “swim or sink” than anything else. Of course, it might be because we tend to talk more about negative work environments than wholesome and inspirational examples. In any case, EQ undeniably deserves some attention. In what follows, we’ll first take a look at EQ’s meaning, then we will see how it can be beneficial to your whole business and finally we will give you our advice to successfully implement it.

Product Manager – Coachyz
In this article
EQ (Emotional Quotient): meaning, benefit & use

What is EQ?

Definition: what does EQ stand for in business?

EQ is an acronym which means Emotional Quotient. This is a measure of an individual’s
emotional intelligence. In other words, EQ is an indicator of how well you are able to:

  • assess and identify feelings;
  • understand them;
  • handle them;
  • express them in a positive and constructive manner.

This applies to both your feelings and the ones from people around you. Emotional intelligence and EQ are strongly tied to people and social skills in general since it has to do with how you use your emotions and the understanding of other people’s emotions to enhance communication and guide their thought process as well as their reactions.

Strictly speaking, emotional intelligence is the ability and EQ is the indicator but for the sake of simplicity, we will use them interchangeably. This concept is mostly used in two domains: education and business. Indeed, it is particularly relevant to business because, as we will see, having a high emotional intelligence helps a lot with management issues.

EQ: origins & creation

The concept of emotional intelligence traces its origins back to the early 20th century, with the work of psychologists such as Edward Thorndike, who introduced the idea of “social intelligence” as early as 1920.
However, the concept of emotional intelligence as we know it today can be largely attributed to the work of psychologists David R. Caruso, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in the 1990s. They published influential papers outlining the concept of emotional intelligence as a set of four key abilities: perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions. These are evaluated with the test they also invented: the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso emotional intelligence test.

Concerning the development of emotional intelligence theory, another significant figure has to be credited: Daniel Goleman, whose book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” published in 1995, popularized the concept worldwide. Goleman notably emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence in various aspects of life, including personal relationships, workplace success, and leadership.

Components of Emotional Quotient

The four abilities we mentioned above (perceiving, using, understanding and managing emotions) are the ones described and studied by Caruso, Mayer and Salovey. However, Goleman introduced a different model which has its own merits. It includes 5 EQ-related components.

emotional intelligence


The ability to perceive and understand one’s own emotions, including strengths, limitations, values, motivations, triggers, etc.

Example: a manager tends to become easily frustrated when faced with tight deadlines. By acknowledging this, they can take preventive steps to manage their stress.


The capacity to manage and control one’s emotions, impulses, and reactions in different situations. This involves being able to adapt to changing circumstances, handle stress effectively, and maintain composure under pressure.

Example: a team member who receives a disappointing performance review. Instead of giving in to self-doubt, they take a step back to regulate their emotions. They remind themselves that setbacks can happen to everyone and decide to seek help from others to perform better.


The drive to set and achieve goals, persevere in the face of challenges, and pursue personal and professional growth. Motivated individuals are often resilient, optimistic, and proactive in seeking out opportunities for self-improvement and success.

Example: an entrepreneur who, in the face of obstacles or unfortunate business events, draws inspiration from their long-term vision and remains focused on keeping eyes on the prize.

To help set your goals and thus facilitate motivation, you may want to establish OKRs or maybe use a framework such as V2MOM.

Social awareness/empathy

The skill of perceiving and understanding the emotions, needs, and concerns of others. This includes being able to accurately read social cues, show empathy, and demonstrate sensitivity towards other people.

Example: a team leader who notices a team member seems disengaged during meetings. The leader takes the time to check in with the team member, expressing concern and offering support.

Relationship management

The ability to build and maintain healthy relationships with others. This involves effective communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, and collaboration skills, as well as the capacity to inspire and influence others positively.

Example: Two employees disagree over a project deadline. Instead of escalating the conflict or avoiding it, they initiate a calm and respectful conversation to address the issue. Through effective communication, they work together to find a way out.

These five components all contribute to an individual’s emotional intelligence, influencing their behavior, relationships, and overall well-being. Please note that these skills are interconnected, each of them has an impact on the reach of the other four. For instance: without motivation, relationship management can prove really difficult to achieve durably.

What is the difference between IQ and EQ?

While emotional quotient (EQ) measures emotional competence, intelligence quotient (IQ) measures an individual’s logical skills and their overall cognitive ability.

IQ tests focus on the following competence inventory:

  • Ability to learn information as well as the capacity to comprehend and reuse it;
  • ability to identify and put aside useless data;
  • logic;
  • language;
  • mathematical aptitude;
  • multidimensional reasoning;
  • abstract cognition.

The main difference between EQ and IQ is that emotional and social intelligence can be trained and improved substantially. Enhancing IQ through personal development is not strictly impossible but the cognitive proficiencies are far more innate than acquired: to have a high IQ, you need to be born this way.

Why is EQ important in management?

Management is not just about technical and organizational skills anymore. Interpersonal and emotional competencies have become highly sought traits too. Today, emotionally intelligent people are better suited for management for the six following reasons.

Improves leadership

Leadership does not only consist in making decisions and giving orders; you also need to connect with your team on a personal level. Managers with high EQ:

  • know how to read the room;
  • understand how their team members are feeling;
  • adapt their approach accordingly.

This brings a lot of meaningful feedback, and it also contributes to creating a supportive workplace which is in turn beneficial to growth and innovation.

Improves performance

Managers who prioritize emotional intelligence can effectively engage their teams, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. EQ-driven managers create an environment where employees feel valued and inspired to perform at their best, ultimately contributing to the attainment of organizational goals.

When you do your best to understand how everyone feels, when you show empathy, people tend to feel more valued. Of course, it does not happened overnight, you need to take action over the course of a few months to see results :

  • address concerns as soon as possible;
  • be available and open in your communication;
  • recognize achievements.

Positive company culture

Company culture is the heart and soul of any business organization. It gives shape to:

  • collective identity;
  • shared values;
  • individual behaviors.

By valuing emotional intelligence, you can set the tone for a culture of respect, openness, teamwork, transparency and accountability. As we already pointed out, this improves leadership and performance but also attracts top talent and sets your business up for long-term success.

Encourages teamwork

Success mostly depends on the ability to work well with others, especially in nowadays interconnected and complex business structures. This is precisely why high EQ managers can prove to be strong assets:

  • they are able to foster strong relationships between themselves and others but also between team members;
  • they resolve conflicts in a timely and constructive manner before it has any risk to deteriorate too much;
  • they know how to bring out the best in their team members.

All of this helps create synergies that maximize collective performance and creativity.

Helps in conflict management

Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, but how it is managed can determine its impact on organizational dynamics and outcomes: conflict doesn’t have to be only negative, it can also bring lessons to everyone involved.

With a high emotional intelligence, it is much easier to deal with conflicts, because you put to use empathy, emotional awareness and all of your communication skills to de-escalate tensions and find mutually beneficial solutions.

By fostering open dialogue and encouraging perspective-taking, you transform conflicts into opportunities for learning and self-improvement. You create a safe space where differences are respected, misunderstandings are clarified, and relationships are strengthened, ultimately enhancing team cohesion and morale.

Improves physical and mental health

From all of what we already pointed out, one can easily see how mental health can be protected thanks to emotional intelligence management:

  • needs and concerns are addressed;
  • conflicts are resolved;
  • teamwork and positivity are core values of the culture.

So yes, high-EQ leaders mitigate the risk of burnout, absenteeism, and turnover by promoting resilience and psychological safety. Moreover, organizations with a strong emphasis on EQ experience lower levels of workplace stress and higher levels of employee satisfaction, leading to better mental health for individuals and the organization as a whole.

emotional intelligence benefits

In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is the secret ingredient that sets great managers apart. By understanding and connecting with their team members on an emotional level, EQ-driven managers set up workplaces where people thrive, relationships flourish, and success is greatly facilitated.

How to use and promote Emotional Quotient in the workplace?

We just reviewed all you can get from a management based on emotional intelligence, we still have to review what you need to put in place. Let’s dive in!

Understanding your emotions

One of the EQ fundamentals is self-awareness – the ability to recognize and understand one’s own emotions. This is why you should begin by encouraging employees to explore and acknowledge their feelings. Through workshops, self-assessment tools, and coaching sessions, they can develop a deeper understanding of their emotional triggers, strengths, and areas for growth. However, don’t forget to take part in those sessions, because you need to lead by example but you also need to understand your own emotions first.

Through self-reflection and introspection, every team member is better equipped to navigate challenges with greater resilience and adaptability.

Identify strengths and weaknesses

To leverage emotional intelligence properly, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every team member. Take the time to conduct personalized assessments and performance evaluations to identify individual emotional competencies.

By doing so, you will be able to tailor development plans to enhance their EQ skills. Additionally, providing constructive feedback on areas for improvement is an excellent way to support your team and help them grow on a professional level.

Defining guidelines

When you establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding emotional intelligence, you clearly communicate on how everyone should behave in the workplace. It is advised to do it in a written format so it can be visualized and serve as a reminder and a roadmap. Here are a few examples:

  • a framework outlining acceptable conduct;
  • communication norms (both internal and external)
  • conflict resolution protocols.

Give employees a voice and practice active listening

Emotional intelligence promotion in the workplace can also be done by setting and maintaining open and transparent communication channels. A good solution is to encourage feedback loops to give room to employees to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions.

It can be done by sessions or through a dedicated channel. In any case, the best is to allow everyone to do it face-to-face but some employees may be more comfortable with a suggestion box or any other written channel. Let them choose.

Feedback is an opportunity to express emotions but also to solicit guidance so be ready to provide them with advice. Don’t be judgmental, you want to foster a culture of psychological safety, trust, understanding and collaboration.

However, giving a voice is not enough. Indeed, feedback doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t really listen nor try to act on it. There is no way you can build trust with your teams without active listening:

  • give them your undivided attention, don’t look at your phone while they are talking to you;
  • try your best to fully understand what they are telling you (register of the words used, short or long sentences, meaning of the words…) and what they are not telling you (body languages, expressions, ton of the voices…);
  • don’t hesitate to ask clarification questions;
  • take notes afterwards to make sure you will remember everything.

Think then react and respond, don’t react immediately

One of the core tenets of EQ is the ability to regulate one’s emotions. So you and your employees need to learn to pause and reflect before reacting to challenging situations.

This way, you prevent impulsive behavior and the hazardous consequences that might come from it. A practical way to learn and apply this discipline is organizing mindfulness training and stress management sessions. CoachYZ can help your organization to cultivate self-control to provide all team members with the right tools to respond to adversity with composure and clarity.

Strictly speaking, emotional intelligence is not a strategy, it is a set of skills. Yet, emotional intelligence can be used as a holistic management approach to obtain multiple benefits for both your employees and your company. Indeed, every component, workshop, feedback loop is connected to one another. As a result, there is no particular order you should follow to take action, as long as you make sure to promote all five emotional intelligence skills.

Everyday at CoachYZ, we help leaders and managers to be the best version of themselves, to live up to their full potential. Be it for management techniques such as EQ training or sales coaching, we provide you with the tools you need to thrive in your role, build even stronger teams, and drive success with confidence and resilience. Discover our coaching offers!

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Product Manager – Coachyz

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In this article


EQ means Emotional Quotient. Surely, you’ve already heard about IQ. Well, EQ is the equivalent for emotional abilities: social and self-awareness, self-control, motivation and relationship management. Contrary to IQ, EQ can be enhanced through training. This concept is mostly applied in educational and management contexts, as high-EQ individuals often make for the best leaders.

Contrary to IQ testing, there isn’t a universally accepted “average” or “good” EQ score. Firstlybecause there are different scales and methodologies of evaluation. Mostly because there are multiple skills involved in emotional intelligence, it really is a complex and multifaceted concept. It’s more relevant to focus on emotional intelligence rather than on its quantification.

It is vigorously debated: some say EQ and IQ are deeply interconnected, others claim the opposite. Even the relative importance of these indicators are the main focus of fierce discussions, to the point that advocates for IQ or EQ dismiss the other as outdated or unsubstantiated.

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