Emotional Intelligence: Workplace Tips That Actually Work

Does higher emotional intelligence correlate with higher success?

The interest in EQ, ie emotional intelligence, in the workplace is based on the realization that abilities such as self-knowledge, self-leadership, empathy and social skills distinguish the most successful employees and leaders.

This applies even more to senior managers where the way they lead themselves and others means a great competitive advantage.

When was emotional intelligence established?

The concept of emotional intelligence was established in psychology in the 1990s and interest in the field has since increased explosively, not least in work-related contexts.

There are several reasons to take EQ seriously in the workplace, but research shows that two of them stand out more than the others:

  • People with higher EQ experience greater satisfaction with their job than those with lower EQ. This also applies to those led by leaders with a high EQ.
  • There is a strong link between high EQ and good work performance.

Is emotional intelligence and job satisfaction strongly linked?

It has long been a known fact that emotional intelligence and job satisfaction are strongly linked. The research clearly indicates that employees with a high emotional intelligence tend to have a higher job satisfaction than those with a lower emotional intelligence.

How can we improve emotional stability in companies?

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a powerful indicator of satisfaction and success in life and at work. It can be defined as the ability to identify, understand and regulate one’s own and others’ feelings.

That is, it is the ability to handle emotions well. Both ours and others’. Since Daniel Goleman made this concept known, the study of emotions and feelings has increased.

The stress of modern life, intense competition in the field of personnel and work, stress and the requirement for constant professional development, among other factors, contribute to changing the emotional state of most individuals and their well-being.

Emotional intelligence: Self-compassion – the tool to overcome conflict in the workplace?

It is well known that conflicts in the workplace most often arise between colleagues who work closely with each other, such as staff and managers.

To be effectively connected to and collaborate with others, we must have self-awareness and the ability to access our own thoughts, moods, and bodily emotions.

Most important of all, however, is self-compassion – that we are kind to ourselves. It is difficult to create relationships with others if you are your own biggest enemy, if you hate or dislike your own thoughts or feelings.

Kristin Neff specializes in research in self-compassion and identifies three main components: being kind to oneself, being compassionate and being aware.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a concept that emerged in the 1990s as a subject for academic discourse and quickly gained influence as an important concept in business psychology and the study of workplace dynamics.

The term is often abbreviated EQ (“Emotional Quotient”) as an equivalent to IQ (“Intelligence Quotient”). An employee with a high EQ is more flexible, versatile, driven and productive.

EQ is just as important or perhaps even more important than other more concrete skills and qualifications. Simply put, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to interpret, understand and manage the emotions of both yourself and those around you.

It is about staying cool under pressure, making others feel safe and understanding how a behavior can affect the environment.

While IQ aims to measure cognitive ability, emotional intelligence is rooted in our behavior. It may feel abstract or arbitrary at first glance, but our brain is a system and it is important to treat it as such.

As human beings, we have the knowledge to manage, adjust and improve systems so that they work in the best way, and this can and should also apply to our own emotional well-being.

A certain person may have all the skills needed for a job, but if he can not communicate in the team and can not control his own emotions, it will negatively affect the quality of work.

How to improve your emotional intelligence

All people have emotional intelligence. Having high emotional intelligence is really just about knowing how to embrace and improve that intelligence.

In his extensive work on studying and defining emotional intelligence, behavioral scientist Daniel Goleman highlighted five core competencies that must be cultivated to achieve a high EQ:

1. Emotionally intelligent people pay attention to how they feel

Daniel Goleman identifies self-awareness as a key component of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize moods and emotions.

Another part of being self-aware involves being aware that one’s emotions and moods can affect other people.

The ability to deal with one’s own emotional state in relation to others is a basic requirement for emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence: So exactly how do you become self-aware?

Emotions may appear as something that only exists in the world of the mind, but in reality we can experience and express emotions physically.

This is what we call self-awareness.

For example, when you get angry you may experience the feeling of “blood boiling” and when you are nervous you may shake or get a feeling of “butterflies in the stomach”.

When you are happy, you may feel light and energetic. If you can recognize these physical indicators in yourself and can understand when and why they occur, you will be able to understand, anticipate and manage your emotions better.

Much of this is simply about personal reflection.

Take a moment to stop and ask yourself how you are feeling, and ask how and with what you contribute in your workplace.

If you feel isolated or have difficulty communicating within your team, consider why this is the case and if there is anything you do or say that could create the problem.

Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and try to understand how different situations affect you or trigger emotional reactions.

When you work, ask yourself if you produce the same results when you are frustrated as when you are happy, and strive to understand how your mentality affects your job and your productivity.

Intuition has a very close connection to emotional intelligence. Intuition revolves around our perception of a situation, and we can use our intuition to understand our feelings in depth.

This does not mean that you should always follow your intuition – nor should you always ignore it – but you should in any case acknowledge it and examine it, so that you can create a better understanding of your own views and feelings.

Self-awareness also means that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses and are realistic about your abilities.

Acknowledging your weaknesses is the first step towards overcoming them, and as you acknowledge your strengths, you will become more motivated and strengthen your overall well-being.

2. Emotionally intelligent people are capable of regulating their own emotions

Self-regulation is absolutely fundamental to emotional intelligence. Understanding your own feelings is important, but it is not very useful if you do not know how to use this knowledge.

This is why emotionally intelligent people think about their emotions before acting on them.

These people are aware of what they are feeling, but they do not let emotions control their lives.

Emotional intelligence: This is how you self-regulate

Avoid making impulsive decisions and act on whim. Thinking before you act is a big part of self-regulation.

Think about how your actions or words can affect your environment and your team, and think about whether you communicate your ideas in the most productive and constructive way possible.

Self-regulation is something that can definitely help you in the workplace, but the technology behind it can and should also be used in the rest of your life.

Being active and keeping your hobbies out of work, maintaining a healthy sleep cycle and finding a safe and healthy outlet for anger or frustration are examples of important factors in regulating your emotions and balancing your energy so that you do not take negativity with you. at the workplace.

The tools and techniques behind self-regulation can be compared to those practiced in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is designed to help us deal with our problems by adjusting our thought process and our behavior.

CBT is often used to treat mental illness and mood swings, but the techniques and skills on which the system is based can undoubtedly also be used to facilitate self-regulation.

3. Emotionally intelligent people are motivated

Emotionally intelligent people feel motivated to achieve their goals and are able to manage their behavior and emotions to be successful in the long run.

They may be nervous about a life change, but they know it is important to deal with this fear.

When they start to change something, they know it will take them closer to their goal.

Emotional intelligence: How to stay motivated at work

If you are struggling to find the motivation, ask yourself what it is you are really looking for in your job and your career, and keep asking until you have an answer you are rooted in.

Find out what drives you, where you want to be in the future and what you need to do to get there.

Set realistic but challenging goals that give space for your personal passions and dreams, so that you know how and why you work for yourself even when you work for others.

Setting goals regularly is a great way to encourage motivation and increase productivity.

Focus your energy on the parts of your job you enjoy and reason with yourself so that you can understand that the parts you dislike may be necessary for you to reach the parts you like.

Use the aspects of your work that you enjoy to motivate yourself in other areas.

Ask yourself why you like these aspects and why you do not like the others. If you feel completely unmotivated and burnt out at work, it may be time to discuss this with your superiors.

If you are not happy at work, this is not only bad for you, it is also bad for them, so do not be afraid to talk about these problems. Motivation is contagious.

Your enthusiasm, optimism and accuracy will be reflected in your environment and help create a positive workplace driven by passion and not just the salary specification.

4. Emotionally intelligent people notice how other people feel

Empathy is another requirement for emotional intelligence. Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s feelings.

Emotionally intelligent people are able to understand how others feel, which helps them to interact in several areas of life, such as at work or at school.

If an employee is upset or frustrated, it is easier to know how to respond if you know how that person feels.

Have compassion for the members of your team, listen to them and respond constructively.

An aggressive or dismissive attitude will only block communication and well-being in your workplace, and this can have significant negative consequences for your work and leadership.

5. Emotionally intelligent people have excellent social skills

Emotionally intelligent people also tend to have excellent social skills. This is at least in part due to their ability to keep track of their own as well as others’ feelings.

They know how to manage people effectively, maintain healthy social conditions and help people around them to be successful.

Try to be aware of body language, both your own and other people’s. Strong interpersonal skills mean that you can “read the room” and understand what fits and does not fit in a particular situation, without anyone having to say a word.

When it comes to empathy and social skills, it is important to remember these steps:

  • Be open and genuine and encourage the same from other people
  • Pay attention and try to find out if a colleague in the team seems burnt out, and if so, take action
  • Set aside time for social activities
  • Listen to your colleagues
  • Do not interrupt people
  • Make sure your feedback is always constructive

Benefits of emotional intelligence at work

Assessing workers’ emotional intelligence can be beneficial to a company for many reasons.

1. Emotional intelligence = higher productivity

The same study revealed that 10% of research subjects with a higher level of emotional intelligence performed better in their work than those with a lower level of EI.

Another study conducted by a Dallas company, which evaluated the emotional intelligence of all its employees, found that those with higher EI scores were up to 25% more productive than those with low scores.

2. Emotional intelligence and employee stability

A prestigious Fortune 500 company, which used personality assessment for several years in an attempt to reduce its high turnover on its sales team, found that the strategy was ineffective.

So by conducting the EI assessment, which includes topics such as stress management, self-awareness or social skills, he was able to reduce his high turnover by up to 67%. The company estimates that more than $ 30 million has been saved as a result.

3. Emotional intelligence: More sales

In a study by the Fortune magazine, it revealed that those sellers with a high level of emotional intelligence managed to sell up to 50% more than those with a low EI level.

4. Emotional intelligence: Improved handling of difficult situations

Two investigations, one in a retail company and another in a company in the construction sector, showed that workers with high scores in IE handled difficult situations better and had fewer work accidents.

5. Emotional intelligence: Workers’ satisfaction

A bank was forced to reduce its staff by 30% due to the recent economic crisis.

The level of emotional intelligence of the workers who remained in the company was evaluated to place the workers in the positions in the organizational structure according to the results.

As a result, the bank did better with fewer employees and workers reported being happier in their new positions.

6. Emotional intelligence: Better customer service

A luxury car sales company that focused its entire marketing plan on the customer experience expanded and wanted to hire the right people to do the job of providing the best possible customer service.

In the staff selection process, the IE evaluation was used to select the candidates with the best profile.

A year later the company was ranked in the top 10% of the best ranked car companies.

7. Emotional intelligence: Improve organizational communication

A study by the company Towers Watson concluded that the EI improves communication with employees, which has a positive impact on the company’s results.

Communication is crucial

A team that knows how to communicate and understand each other will always work better, and the skills I have described above are based on solid communication, both with the team and himself.

Smooth communication is important whether you work together in an office or teleworkers. Using technologies and tools such as Dropbox Paper to facilitate open communication and direct feedback will help you develop emotional intelligence, as the work and collaboration of the team becomes more effective.

What does a workplace with high emotional intelligence do?

A workplace with high emotional intelligence will become more productive and driven and ultimately create a healthier and happier environment.

You do not have to be best friends with all colleagues, but understanding them, how they think and how their own behaviors and actions are perceived makes a big difference.

Working with emotional intelligence means that you do not let your emotions interfere with the quality of your work or your relationship with the team.

This means that you know how to use your strengths and recognize and overcome your weaknesses. People with high emotional intelligence will not ignore a problem or a negative emotion, but instead confront them in an immediate and constructive way.

Is IQ better than Emotional Intelligence?

High EQ is just as important as high IQ in the workplace – or maybe even more important.

Using and improving emotional intelligence will help you increase your self-confidence, control, decision-making ability, and your overall mental health.


Improve your emotional intelligence

Improving your emotional intelligence requires a lot of work, but it is possible. It is actually necessary if you want to succeed on a personal level and improve your relationships with others.

Check out this video on Youtube if you want a quick summary on the subject:








This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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