The ROI of Therapy

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Welcome to Format Free Friday, when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited Advice.

I’m about to make a case for something that is going to sound painfully self-serving, but because it’s true I’m not going to let that stop me. Listen up, Folks: Of all the investments you’ll make in your career (education, training, etc,), diving into therapy is likely to yield you the greatest return on investment.

It turns out that there’s a correlation between top work performers and high emotional intelligence: 90% of those belonging to the first group also belong to the second. How’s that for significance? It comes from Forbes, and I’ve linked to it here.

According to Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, emotionally intelligent people earn almost 30K more a year than those with low emotional intelligence, and not just in privileged parts of the country. His findings are generalizable – they are consistent throughout the world, across industries and at all levels.

Why is emotional intelligence so important? Because if we can manage our own emotions, we can better manage our behaviors, and once we know how to manage ourselves, we’re better able to manage and navigate others - and the extent to which we can do that is the greatest predictor of the quality of our relationships. Virtually everything in life boils down to relationships. I remain loyal to those service providers who I gel with. If I like you and you need a favor, you’re more likely to get it from me than if I don’t like you. Ultimately, you’re going to get my business and my help if I like you. Think of the advantage that puts you in.

Unlike the other intelligence (which predicts how well we can learn and which is said to remain fixed regardless of our age and educational level), emotional intelligence can be taught. Learning to recognize and regulate your emotional response is a teachable skill. Social skills are teachable as well. So if I’ve successfully made the case for a high ROI for therapy – if I have in fact illustrated that it’s likely to be the most profitable investment of your career, why are you still reading this and not running a Google search for a therapist? Happy Friday.