Without Emotional Intelligence You Will Stop Getting Promoted

March 4, 2020 in Performance Management



Without Emotional Intelligence You Will Stop Getting Promoted

Emotional intelligence. What is it?

Is it strategic thinking skills? No. What about delegation skills? Nope. Maybe it’s the ability to get results? Not exactly. If you do a Google search on emotional intelligence, you will receive 262,000,000 results. An Amazon book search? Over 8,000 results. A Bing search? Over 755,000 results. Emotional intelligence isn’t going away, and for good reason! We need it more than ever in a world surviving on technology and minimal face-to-face interaction.

So, if you want to be promoted or hired for the job, it’s time you start giving emotional intelligence the attention it deserves.

I have worked with some wonderful leaders who exemplify empathy, motivation, self-regulation, self-awareness, and social skills. I learned so much from them. Experiencing what it means to work alongside someone with high emotional intelligence deepens my belief that if you do not possess a high level of emotional intelligence, you will not (or should not) be promoted. Controversial? Maybe. True? Absolutely.


“Experiencing what it means to work alongside someone with high emotional intelligence deepens my belief that if you do not possess a high level of emotional intelligence, you will not (or should not) be promoted.”


Earlier in my career, I worked with a group of wicked-smart bankers. We had a senior-level position become available, and of course, several of our bankers were eager to apply, including our top revenue producer. When I sat down with the CEO to discuss our candidates, he said something like: “Bob is our top producer and should receive top consideration. He is an outstanding banker and has a talent for navigating complex client dynamics.” My discussion went something like: “Bob is bottom of my list – he demonstrates little empathy or heart in his work or relationships, his ‘internal’ social skills are lacking, and he blows up with his analyst team when things don’t go his way.”

Did Bob get the job?  Nope.

We hired a less skilled, lower producing ‘technical’ banker with knock-it-out-of-the-park emotional intelligence skills. He became an amazing leader for the firm not just because of his technical skills, but because of his soft skills, too. Here’s a summary of his accomplishments. We’ll start with the left-brain results.

  • He increased employee engagement.

  • He increased retention.

  • He increased the success of recruiting top talent.

  • He increased revenue.

  • He increased profit.

While those are all very impactful and impressive metrics, it was the soft skills he brought to the table that really defined him as a great leader.

  • He inspired and motivated those above, below, and around him.

  • He exuded positivity and collaborated with ease.

  • He understood the inter-connectivity of team members – and treated everyone as if they were the most important person in existence at that moment in time.

  • He ‘walked the talk’ – with integrity with every team member.

  • He was a relationship builder and bonder. He deepened existing relationships and built new ones.

  • He was authentic. He got real with his team members.

This is only one story of how emotional intelligence can advance people in their career. Success goes beyond just results and can define you based on the way you connect, interact, and coach others around you. Without emotional intelligence, it’s likely you will stop being promoted at one point in your career.

So, my advice? Go after it! Practice self-awareness, get a coach, and be better at self-managing your emotions to create deeper relationships and new opportunities. Start valuing skills like emotional intelligence as much as you would value a skill like software proficiency or project management. Your world of possibilities will open.

Join one of our upcoming leadership workshops or programs, where you’ll hone your skills and shift your mindset as you work to thrive, inspire, and connect with the people around you.