May 29, 2023

1 min reading time

4 Reasons why developing the emotional intelligence of your people managers is essential right now

For most of us working in the HR field, with so much change happening it’s hard to know what to focus on – upskilling/reskilling programs, writing hybrid working policies that fit everyone, figuring out how to measure wellbeing, improving our employee value proposition, or motivating employee performance in ways that take all of this into consideration. In the West our economies and societies are re-settling into a different shape and we’re shifting as fast as we can to adapt – welcome to the ‘new normal’.

Here at C-me we know that in any organisation - no matter what you choose to focus on - the emotional intelligence of your people managers will make your hard worked plans fly or fail. Any change you need to bring must be tied in with continual development of your people managers’ emotional intelligence to give your best laid plans a chance at success. Let me unpack this a little…


Let’s ask the obvious question: what is emotional intelligence (EI)?

Also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ), EI sits within the family of soft skills/human skills that help you thrive in any social environment, which includes work. Emotional intelligence is often mistakenly used interchangeably with soft skills. However, ‘soft skills’ as a category includes a much wider group of skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and digital literacy, which we wouldn’t class within emotional intelligence.

“Emotional intelligence (EI) is most often defined as the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions. People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, and adjust emotions to adapt to environments.” Wikipedia.


Reason Number 1: People Managers can’t lead well without competent emotional intelligence

It’s reasonable to see emotional intelligence as the moderator for many of our soft skills. For example, emotional intelligence is what enables us to excel in soft skills like teamwork, leadership, professional attitude, work ethic, and intercultural fluency. The greater your emotional intelligence, the greater potential you have at excelling in your soft skills.

People managers clearly need astute soft skills and, therefore, developed emotional intelligence in order to lead others effectively.

It is not possible to manage any other person well without competent emotional intelligence because of its relationship to self-awareness.


“The core of high EI is self-awareness: if you don’t understand your own motivations and behaviours, it’s nearly impossible to develop an understanding of others.” Laura Wilcox, Emotional Intelligence Is No Soft Skill


 The good news is that emotional intelligence can be developed. Some say it can’t, but we wholeheartedly disagree. We have decades of experience in helping people develop their emotional intelligence. Jump to the end of this article if you want to find out how we can help.

If you need more convincing, then we’ve drawn on some influential voices on current workplace issues to give you 3 more reasons why we believe that the emotional intelligence of your people managers is key to the success of your future plans.


Reason Number 2: The Great Resignation

In our modern business environment emotional intelligence is lacking en masse. “We know this because in recent years record numbers of employees have walked out of their jobs, and studies are showing that one of the great drivers of this movement was a common feeling of “I don’t particularly like my boss” because they felt so mistreated or misunderstood. Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE (founding president of the British Academy of Management). 


The ability to understand and treat each staff member fairly, without letting negative bias, personal beliefs, our own emotional issues, get involved is the art of the emotional intelligence to regulate and manage ourselves as bosses.


 Reason Number 3: Wellbeing

Again, from Professor Sir Cary Cooper who recently listed the emotional intelligence of line managers as core to a genuine wellbeing culture at work:


“A wellbeing culture is not mindfulness at lunch. The main core parts of it are: do we have the right line managers (who have enough emotional intelligence) throughout the organisation, from shop floor to top floor? Do we have a long working hours’ culture? Do we have high levels of sickness absence and where and why? Do we have an EAP for people who are not coping? Are you looking at mental health? What is your support system like? 


The only way to ensure your wellbeing policies are effective and meaningful is to have line managers with the emotional intelligence to apply them and adapt them to each individual team member they lead.


Reason Number 4: Hybrid Working

In their recent thought leadership piece ‘The Future of Work Trends 2022: A New Era of Humanity’ KornFerry explain:


“Organizations will need to understand what jobs and what talent is truly remote-able. People with different psychological ‘personas’ will have widely varying preferences and abilities to work from anywhere. Some roles will need to be broken apart and remade as a set of tasks and competencies that can be performed virtually. Organizations will need to get creative about how work gets done. This might include shifting from synchronous to asynchronous work (where work doesn’t happen in meetings but independently on shared documents) or ensuring that employees on a particular task are all remote or all in person. Leaders that have the emotional intelligence to connect with people on different channels will be essential.”


KornFerry are identifying emotional intelligence as the real skill in demand right now. People managers need training in how to connect with diverse teams, with different work styles and capacities for constant change; a one-policy-fits-all approach isn’t working any more.


It takes training to understand different psychological personas. This is what we do. If you want our help to train your managers in how to do this, book a demo with our C-me team.



Developing emotional intelligence is one of our specialisms. Perhaps you’re wondering what a psychometric profiling company can say about emotional intelligence? We use psychometric profiling data to help you understand how you and your team and everyone in your organisation is motivated and prefers working. We help teams grow in self-awareness and understand each other better; we help managers understand how to motivate each member of their team and how to successfully have the tough conversations, when necessary. We help team members understand how to work with people completely different from themselves. We can actually do a lot with the data we gather, such as giving you insight in to how your C-suite team is functioning, and who your best next hire could be by understanding your organisation’s psychometric behavioural profiles. To find out more book a demo with our team.


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