EQ TRENDS

Learn More About the Latest EQ Trends, Research, & Insights.

Stay up to date on the latest trends in emotional intelligence with current research, hot topics in the news, and insights from experts.

TalentSmartEQ Research

COLLECTIVE EQ: A CASE STUDY

At the end of 2008, TalentSmartEQ evaluated how the collective EQ of the U.S. population had changed since 2003 and discovered a substantial increase in the emotional intelligence of the U.S. workforce between 2003 and 2007. Skeptics might be tempted to discount a four-point increase in five years but consider the impact a seemingly small temperature increase say one or two degrees has upon our ecosystem. The same is true with human behavior in the workplace, where the frozen poles of low emotional intelligence were starting to melt. But then, in 2008, for the first time since we began tracking it–collective emotional intelligence dropped, underscoring just how susceptible to change these skills truly are. Click below to read more on the environmental trends and their impact at scale.

HOW MUCH DOES GENDER MATTER?

We were curious to investigate evaluated how individuals identifying as Male and Female scored on the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal. In 2003, we found some stark contrasts between the EQ skills expressed by men and women. Women outperformed men in self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. In fact, self-awareness was the only EQ skill in which men were able to keep pace with women. But by 2008, times had changed and so had men. Men and women were still neck and neck in their ability to recognize their own emotions–just as in 2003. But men had caught up in their ability to manage their own emotions. Click below to read more about the EQ score trends relative to gender.

IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP

Does EQ change based on leadership level? We measured EQ in half a million senior executives (including 1,000 CEOs), managers, and line employees across industries on six continents. Scores climbed with titles, from the bottom of the corporate ladder upward toward middle management. Middle managers stood out, with the highest EQ scores in the workforce. But up beyond middle management, there was a steep downward trend in EQ scores. For the titles of director and above, scores dropped and CEOs, on average, had the lowest scores in the workplace. Click below to understand why high EQ matters no matter how high up the leadership pipeline you find yourself.

Additional Research & Trends

3 RESEARCH-BACKED REASONS YOUR LEADERS NEED EQ TRAINING

A recent review took a close look at the emotional intelligence of leaders. Their goal was to understand if the EQ of a leader impacts their direct reports, and if so, how. In looking at the leader-follower relationships of more than 6300 leaders, three key points came to light:

  1. Employees reporting to high EQ leaders are more likely to perform higher and have greater job satisfaction.
  2. Employees reporting to high EQ leaders engage in more organizational citizenship behaviors (such as showing altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, conscientiousness, and civic virtue.).
  3. Employees rate their leaders’ EQ as highly valuable across cultures and around the world.

 

EQ FOR GOOD, OR FOR EVIL? THE RESEARCH SAYS “GOOD” ALL THE WAY…

Critics of EQ like to make the claim that people high in emotional intelligence can use their social skills in manipulative or inauthentic ways. But, what does the research say? Do emotionally intelligent people manipulate the way critics say they will?

No. In fact, they do the exact opposite. In a review looking at EQ and organizational citizenship behavior with over 16,000 people, researchers found that:

  • Higher EQ is related to greater organizational citizenship behavior.
  • Lower EQ is related to counterproductive work behavior.

EQ IS HIGHLY TRAINABLE: A DEEP LOOK AT THE TRAINABILITY OF EQ

There are a lot of trainings out there but only a select few are supported by the same breadth and depth of research that supports EQ training. A comprehensive review of 16 years’ worth of EQ training studies (76 studies), shows that emotional intelligence is a highly trainable skill set.

The researchers, Victoria Mattingly and Kurt Kraiger, looked at studies across a wide range of people, jobs, industries, and backgrounds. Across all these studies, they found that people trained in EQ improved significantly compared to those who didn’t train.

The authors noticed one other critical element. Those studies that used a more active and experiential approach to training—they skipped out on boring lecture-style trainings in favor of active approaches such as practice, feedback, and coaching—showed even greater improvements.