15 Ways You Can Boost Your Income by Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence

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Discover how high emotional intelligence can supercharge your earning potential.
Updated Jan. 4, 2024
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Emotional intelligence relates to our relationships with people, our reactions to our emotions and those of others, and how we relate to those emotions.

However, emotional intelligence can also help you advance your career, build long-term wealth, and protect yourself from impulsive decisions.

Want to become one of those in-control people? Here are 15 things that people with high emotional intelligence do to improve their finances.

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Communicate effectively

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe colleagues discussing charts and statistics

When a person can empathize and understand someone else’s reactions, it helps them communicate effectively. They aren’t anxious or avoidant and are willing to have tough conversations. 

That makes someone an asset in the workplace and can help them climb the corporate ladder and get ahead financially.

Recognize your ingrained feelings about money

Kittiphan/Adobe woman checking bills while using calculator at home

Whether you grew up in a home where there was scarcity and stress or never had to worry about money, how you were raised impacts your feelings around money today.

Highly emotionally intelligent people recognize this and process their reactions with this knowledge, helping them make smart decisions.

Don’t let your past hold you back

visoot/Adobe entrepreneur smiling and rejoices in victory

Like recognizing their feelings, emotionally intelligent people can also let go of past stereotypes or identities. They’re not stuck being “poor” or thinking, “I’ll never make money.” 

They can recognize the work they’ve done on themselves and are happy to embrace the positivity and rewards that come their way.

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Use your knowledge of others

mavoimages/Adobe three young designers using a laptop together at work

Having emotional intelligence means being able to understand and properly react to other’s emotions, feelings, and reactions. That's why highly emotional people are great leaders and friends. 

It also makes them great at sales and landing clients since they understand how to appeal to people and make a case for working together.

Become solution-oriented

Delmaine Donson/peopleimages.com/Adobe group of businesspeople sitting together in a meeting

Highly emotionally intelligent people are focused on finding a solution for a problem without getting caught up in whose idea it was or taking it personally if their idea wasn’t chosen. 

They react rationally and work with their team to get things done, establishing themselves as an even-keel leader.

Develop deep relationships

bnenin/Adobe happy colleagues working on project together

Deep relationships not only make life more meaningful, but they can also help you make more money. 

People hire people, and if you’ve connected with colleagues, clients, or even the person interviewing you, your high emotional intelligence and ability to network and influence people have paid off.

Lead when others stand back

Monkey Business/Adobe businesswoman stands to address meeting

Highly emotionally intelligent people have the control and confidence to lead in challenging situations. 

Where others may practice avoidance or defer to others, emotionally intelligent people can rationally approach a situation, delegate to others, and show leadership. This is a skill that’s recognized and rewarded in a career.

Take accountability for your decisions

deagreez/Adobe skeptic african student

Whether it’s a lucrative career or investment decision that makes them money or a not-so-great decision, highly emotionally intelligent people take accountability for their choices and learn from them. 

They take stock of how they felt following the decision and use that to inform their actions in the future.

Be an empathetic leader

insta_photos/Adobe businesswoman manager handshaking

People with high emotional intelligence lead with empathy in their workplace, setting themselves up for a more successful career. 

They put themselves in their colleagues’ shoes when making a decision and think about how their choices impact others. As a result, they earn respect, trust, and, often, a promotion.

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Practice self-control

Tiko/Adobe man holding sand clock

Whether in the conference room practicing self-control in sharing their thoughts with others or when making wise investments, highly intelligent people are in charge of their feelings and reactions. 

Even if they want to do something, they think it through first and consider its long-term impact.

Know how to influence people

Jacob Lund/Adobe businessmen talking to each other

Whether pitching a new project or making the case for an investment in new software, those who know how to influence others will become the movers and shakers. 

They get things done — and set themselves up for promotions and raises as a result.

Be happy to be part of a team

Vasyl/Adobe young businesspeople in office

Teams get things done together, and highly emotional people realize the sum is greater than its parts. They're happy to be part of a team that works together and don’t need to take all the credit. 

Team players are respected in the workplace, and executives notice when they play well with others.

Consider your legacy

(JLco) Julia Amaral/Adobe design professionals using a laptop together

People with high emotional intelligence know that their legacy matters beyond what they say and do at the moment, and that can lead them to be more ambitious in their careers, ultimately earning them more money. 

They may not be motivated by money, but with their aspirations for leadership, the money may follow.

Handle conflict effectively

Drobot Dean/Adobe young colleagues using laptop

A highly emotionally intelligent person doesn’t back down from conflict but also avoids handling it with aggression or condescension.

Instead, they look at both sides to find a compromise. This skill is valued in a workplace and can help you advance your career as you show leaders that you can move projects forward without causing drama.

Live within your means

Nattakorn/Adobe put money coin into piggy

Emotionally intelligent people recognize they have to spend less than they make. 

They live within their means because they understand that their salary is the amount it is, and they adjust their standard of living to work within that. 

Over time, they can save more money because they don’t let their impulsive wants get ahead of their needs.

Bottom line

Brian Jackson/Adobe Payday on a calendar

It’s not all about money, but highly emotionally intelligent people often set themselves up for success by understanding how to relate to people. 

This simple skill makes people feel appreciated and gives them a reason to trust the highly emotionally intelligent person.

These qualities add up to someone who can get ahead at work and make more money while building genuine, authentic relationships. It’s a win-win combination.

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Author Details

Heather Bien Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.

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