Emotional intelligence has become the buzz word for modern day corporate culture. The "robots" of previous decades have been left behind and replaced by a newer, more sensitive approach. Staff want to buy into a vision, be part of a journey, feel like more than just a small cog in a big wheel.

But is this necessarily a good thing? Or is the ability to understand, appreciate and control emotions also an opportunity to manipulate? Is the engaging, charismatic CEO playing on emotions to boost productivity, simply as a means to an end?

Emotional intelligence is no different to intelligence in a certain respect. It is not whether it is more or less that's important, but the fact that it's a tool to be used. A CEO can use EI to inspire, the HR Manager to understand, and the accountant to explain.

Are we using it wisely?

Adam Grant, in the article, 'The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence,' warns that if we start to teach EI in schools and incorporate it fully into the workplace, we also need to integrate the values that go along with it. Read the full article here.

Zara is an Associate at Profile Asia and is based in the Hong Kong office.

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