EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE VS SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE – Which Is More Important in Business Etiquette?

We often hear the phrases “emotional intelligence” and “Social intelligence” – but what do they really mean, and which is more important when it comes to business etiquette?

There is no question that emotional intelligence is important, but as a leading Civility Expert, I have to point out that Social Intelligence- your ability to pick up on, and respond appropriately, to verbal, nonverbal and contextual cues of others and of the situation are hugely important- maybe even more important than Emotional Intelligence. This because EQ looks inward where SI looks outward. In a busy, stressful work world where change is rampant and there is increasing diversity as well as frequent communication barriers, looking UP and OUTWARD – that is paying attention to others and focusing on what is going on around you, more than being stuck in your own head or thinking about your personal needs and wants, is critical to building trust and to successful interactions.