When psychologist and author Daniel Goleman published his book Emotional Intelligence in 1996, few might have predicted how great of an impact it would have on the business world.

Two years later, in 1998, Goleman carried his emotional intelligence (EQ) research into the workplace and published Working With Emotional Intelligence. It began a shift in thinking that would take the business world by storm. More research was conducted and Fortune 500 companies began implementing EQ principles into their operations.

With even better research and some surprising new findings, Goleman wrote The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace, published in 2001. More and more large organizations began paying attention to the idea of Emotional Intelligence and the trend continues to grow today.

Goleman’s research began in 1990 when he was a science reporter for the New York Times. He stumbled across an article in a scientific journal in which the two authors, both notable psychology professors, introduced the concept of emotional intelligence. Goleman was fascinated by the idea. It led to a pursuit that has defined much of his professional life and success.

The idea of emotional intelligence began as a look into how the brain processes emotions. The study eventually evolved into identifying intricate patterns of how individuals view themselves, work with each other and manage relationships. These principles proved to be valuable in professional, academic and personal success. According to the research, those individuals with naturally high EQ were more likely to succeed.

Where EQ differs from IQ however, is that the principles of EQ can be strengthened and learned, even at a rapid pace. Organizations worldwide have taken advantage of this, implementing emotional intelligence training and competency development into their work environments.

In the workplace, EQ is essentially one’s ability to self-assess, understand others and effectively maintain working relationships. Those with high EQ skills have proven to be much more successful in the workplace. In addition, EQ has proven to be the difference in those with high leadership potential.

In little more than a decade, these concepts have poured though the corporate world with enormous amounts of success. In most organizations, lists of competencies are now smattered with EQ driven skills. Whether a company recognizes those skills as coming from the EQ revolution or not may be debatable. While many organizations have gleaned some pieces, many of the concepts are just now being understood for the first time.

One thing is certain, however. Emotional Intelligence has moved beyond the image of a fad and has proven to be an avenue for increased success in the workplace and leadership development. Now more than 15 years since Goleman published his first book on EQ, the results have exceeded everyone’s expectations. Goleman’s research has truly revolutionized the way most companies approach training and development.

About the Author

Ryan McSparran is a freelance business writer. Ryan covers topics related to organizational development, including the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

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