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Applying EQ to business planning

Businesses today need to prioritise EQ – not just IQ – in recruitment, training and business planning.

Applying EQ to business planning

In today’s digitally enabled world, where both customer and employee expectations have increased, the job of business planning for leaders has become more complex.

For business leaders, engagement quotient (EQ) is just as important as IQ in business success. Leaders who focus on how business decisions impact the emotional engagement of employees and customers can drive higher performance and ultimately profitability.

In today’s engagement economy, it makes good business sense to evaluate your organisation’s EQ and focus business planning on interventions that enhance both customer and employee commitment to the brand.
The ability of an organisation or individual to impact customer and employee engagement relates to how emotionally fit the organisation, its leaders and front line employees are.

The role of emotional fitness in uplifting EQ

Emotional fitness relates to a person’s emotional awareness and management skills: his or her ability to self-regulate, manage stress, adapt to difficult situations, and tailor interactions to suit the needs of others.
Emotionally fit workplace cultures are associated with less mental health issues, lower costs and greater performance. They are supportive, proactive around mental health and focus as much on employee emotional wellbeing as they do on physical wellbeing.

Emotionally fit people are those who have developed the skills to manage their own and others’ emotions at work, whether they be colleagues, managers or customers. They factor into their decision-making how others are likely to feel, can manage their own emotions in challenging situations, and understand how to adjust their style to enhance outcomes.

5 key benefits of prioritising EQ skills and emotional fitness in business planning

  1. Self-awareness helps businesses ‘tune in’ and enhance profitability

    A business’s ability to tune in to how customers and employees are feeling and place emotional engagement at the forefront of decision-making can act as a competitive edge. When a business places emotional fitness at the forefront of business planning, customers, leaders and employees alike will benefit. Your people will be better equipped to tune into their feelings, have mechanisms in place to overcome negativity, and respond strategically to the emotional demands of others.

  2. Self-regulation enhances emotional wellbeing and performance at work

    Self-regulation is about applying techniques to manage emotions to prevent getting derailed by strong feelings in a way that impacts productivity of oneself and others. Such techniques help to alleviate negative feelings like anger, frustration and anxiety. Of course, these emotions cannot be avoided completely – but self-regulation techniques help leaders and employees alike manage disruptive impulses and remain calm and level-headed in stressful situations.

  3. An optimistic attitude goes a long way in driving engagement

    An optimistic attitude may sound like an obvious trait that leaders look for in their people –but a positive mindset is often overlooked in the recruitment and training of both leaders and their people. Although people usually have a predisposition to either a positive or a negative attitude, with the right development and training, anyone can learn to think more optimistically, including leaders. Positive thinking also has a flow-on effect across the organisation, inspiring and motivating team members to get engaged in their roles and projects.

  4. Empathy builds meaningful relationships and strengthens team collaboration

    Empathetic leaders are able to anticipate, recognise and meet the wants and needs of others. A leader’s ability to understand how others feel is fundamental to creating meaningful interactions with employees and customers. The most highly productive and top performing companies are comprised of empathetic people who understand and respect the needs and opinions of others and strive to create emotional engagement.

  5. People skills are the basis for a high performance culture

    Good interpersonal skills or ‘people skills’ are vital to building strong relationships and driving productivity across the organisation. With tech-based customer service on the rise, people skills are more important than ever to lifting business performance. As people struggle to make their voices heard among digital ‘white noise’, customer demand for human ‘touch points’ is increasing. Leaders and employees with a high EQ are able to better understand, empathise and negotiate with customers in today’s digitalised world.


Today’s top performing organisations are placing EQ at the centre of business strategy, focusing on the ability to emotionally connect with employees and customers as a key competitive advantage. Recruiting for and developing the emotional fitness of yourself and your workforce is the key to enhancing EQ at every level.

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