Think a high IQ is a guarantee of business success? Think again! Today’s leaders know that brains alone aren’t enough to build a team or establish it for success. Emotional engagement is just as important. There’s where the concept of emotional intelligence—or EQ—comes into play.

Maybe you’re familiar with EQ. Basically, it refers to your ability to perceive and identify emotions in the workplace and in your relationships with others. It means being attuned to the emotions of the people around you, but also to your own emotions—and making your decisions accordingly.

The Importance of EQ

Emotional intelligence is a good predictor of your success in fostering relationships and forging strong teams. It’s a concept worth learning more about, and an aptitude that’s worth developing. Let me offer some reasons why:

EQ can help you cultivate employee engagement and retention. Today’s employees don’t merely want good salaries and benefits. They want a sense of belonging. They want a sense of social contact. If you can respond to the emotional cues of your employees and provide them with that sense that they are valued members of a true team, that can help you in both recruitment and retention.

Leaders with high EQ better understand how their employees derive satisfaction. Different people define failure and success in different ways, and have different factors that motivate their workplace performance. Having EQ will help you identify these specific drivers for each employee, and to build a workplace dynamic that provides everyone with the needed motivators.

EQ can assist in team building, too. How do you get your people to collaborate? How do you structure a team that allows everyone to play to their unique strengths? EQ helps you to answer these questions and to build a team that works cohesively.

Finally, EQ can help identify good fits for management style. How should you “handle” one employee compared to another, and which manager would make the best mentor for a given team member? These are the kinds of preferential questions that high EQ can help you to answer.

As a leadership speaker, I meet countless executives and managers who are looking for that secret sauce—that competitive edge to take their teambuilding prowess to the next level. I’m telling you here: EQ is a big part of it.