Why Millennials Focus More on Emotional Intelligence

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” -Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence is a term we hear a lot. Undoubtedly, every single individual on this planet has emotions and feelings. But that doesn’t mean they all know how to handle them. Although, a generation who seems to have a better grasp on emotional intelligence are the Millennials. In fact, they have incorporated EI into their millennial way of thinking – that is to say, realizing that emotions are a significant part of their lives and accepting, hence, managing them. In other words, they invest more in themselves than any other generation. This is exactly the definition of emotional intelligence: the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own and other people’s emotions. And here’s the deal: it is proven that EI promises more success than IQ alone – be it in the workplace or personally. So, keep reading.

1.Main components of Emotional Intelligence


“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
― C.G. Jung

Are you aware of your own emotions? Do you take the time to examine and assess them?  Chances are you don’t, or at least not enough. It’s not an easy task as we are already so submerged with all the things happening in our lives. But it is crucial if you want to become emotionally intelligent. In fact, it’s the first step you should take. Self-awareness means examining how you react to specific situations and how you come across to others. In other words, it’s being self-reflective of your emotions. Once you reflect on your emotions, many things will start to make sense; and you will have more control over them.


“Self-regulation is not simply a moral characteristic. It is biologically healthy for both your mind and the body.”
― Abhijit NaskarWise Mating: A Treatise on Monogamy

Being aware of your emotions is one thing – but having control over them is part of self-regulation. Do you tend to act impulsively? For example – in a situation where someone is being rude to you, do you respond angrily? When you are self-regulated, you don’t react too quickly or aggressively to situations or behaviours. As a result, you can escape many negative situations. Once again, it is not so evident to practice self-regulation – but if you start to think before reacting, your control over your emotions will be great and you will achieve a whole new peace of mind.

– Internal Motivation

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”
― Saul Bass

 Call it self-esteem if you like; having good internal motivation means that, regardless of the circumstances, you have the motivation and the drive to achieve the goals you want. It means you are conscious that something may just be personally rewarding (not externally) but you will engage in it regardless. This is another component of being emotionally intelligent.

– Empathy

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
― Ernest Hemingway

As you may know already, empathy means being able to understand someone else’s emotions. Unfortunately, not everyone has this quality – but emotionally intelligent people certainly do. Being empathetic means having the ability to sink into someone else’s emotions – and as a result – knowing how to help and demonstrate interest. It’s a true trait of emotional maturity. The reason empathy comes after self-awareness? Because you will never fully understand others until you understand yourself.

– Social skills

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles.”
– Jim Rohn

Having social skills means successfully managing and networking relationships. In fact, empathy is a component of your social skills too. Once you acquire enough social skills, your communication levels with others change positively. You have the ability to influence, engage and inspire others.

Now that we’ve defined each component – let’s go back to the Millennials.
They seem to be incorporating at least some of the above components in their day-to-day lives better than others. Maybe some regard them as being too complicated and “picky” in the workforce – but it means they know exactly what they want as a result of being self-aware and emotionally intelligent. It shouldn’t only be specific to Millennials – it’s a matter of choice. To be honest, once you choose to put enough attention on your emotions – anything “emotionally intelligent” is possible.

2.The promise of a better job performance

Now, specifically in the workplace, 80% of Millennials surveyed strongly believed that developing and cultivating emotional intelligence is a key aspect of their career development.

Why is that so?

Emotional intelligence is the panacea for better job performance. This shouldn’t be too hard to understand considering the components of an emotionally intelligent person…It seems coherent, doesn’t it?

Research demonstrates that “Emotionally intelligent have strong control on their emotions and therefore they have more efficient and effective interaction with their work environment and with co-workers.” In addition to “being more adept at appraising and regulating their own emotions leads to a higher sense of confidence and control, resulting in an increased motivation to take proactive actions that lead to high performance.”

It goes without saying now that since EI improves job performance, it typically also increases the paycheck.

Now, it makes more sense why millennials are into Self-care and why they correlate so well with the rise of emotional intelligence. It becomes their #1 priority in life and at work.

3. Building Better Relationships

Having the ability to manage emotions means enhancing relationships with thought-through strategies. That is to say, when one reaches a good level of emotional intelligence, he/she builds stronger communication and enhances the ability to manage conflict. As a result, Millennials – in this case – build better relationships on the long term.

In general, real empathy builds trust. And maintaining positive relationships builds trust – it guides others towards a vision. So, think of EQ as the key to trust and positivity. Once you’ve gained solid EI, you can teach others how to master it! There are only silver linings to knowing and managing emotions.

To wrap it up, whether you are a Baby Boomer or a Gen Xer, don’t be afraid to be in touch with your feelings – it will unfold in so many positive ways. Luckily today, most companies start recognizing the importance of EI. Besides all benefits that emerge from this type of intelligence, it also brings greater mental health and builds the most crucial leadership skills. Leaders: it is your responsibility to adopt new management styles to effectively manage Millennials with higher emotional intelligence than others. Others: bear in mind that at the end of the day, those who are the most committed are ones who are in touch with their emotions.

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