Relevance of emotional intelligence in the workplace

Emotional intelligence is one thing that unites emotions and intelligence by casting emotions as purposeful sources of information. It can lead oneself to stay connected to the social environment as well as make sense of the surroundings. In a workplace setting where we are expected to be more and more practical, emotional intelligence can prove to be a milestone in bringing the people together because human emotions are more or less universal and cannot be unfelt. An organization whose environment is rich with EI, the employees feel cared for, which consequently enhance their productivity. It all happens at a subconscious level for the employees but is a thought out initiative of the employer. 

employees with higher emotional intelligence

In his book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ and Working With Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman puts forth five categories of emotional intelligence. A person  with these aspects tend to be fuller with emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness: This is what helps one under their own strengths and weaknesses. They are the ones who have spent a good amount of time in retrospect and figured themselves out. They are more conscious about the impact they and their actions have on people around them. They do not shy away from criticism and use it constructively.
  2. Self-regulation: This is a characteristic which enables one to know ‘when to stop’. They come with a sense of maturity about sharing their emotions when needed and constrain themselves when not. There is a time and place for everything.
  3. Motivation: More on the lines of self motivation, people with higher EI are driven by their own might and ambition. They are filled with a sense of resilience and optimism when they find themselves in a disappointed state. 
  4. Empathy: This carries the ability of establishing a personal-professional relationship with colleagues. Empathy develops compassion and understanding of human nature and makes the person respond genuinely to other’s concerns. Obstacles and issues are a part of every workplace and are somehow inevitable. Empathy helps in stepping into the shoes of another person and thus understanding the situation at hand better.
  5. People skills: This aspect helps in building rapport and trust with people around more quickly. This quality makes oneself avoid power struggle and mistrust. Such people are not insecure and remain confident about their performance. They are able to enjoy the respect of others around them. 

These factors can help in assessing the emotional intelligence quotient in a person. 

emotional intelligence in the workplace

EI in the workplace is a two-way tale. The engine can not be run by one party alone. Let’s look at it from various perspectives.

Emotional intelligence: The employee angle

Address the issues that are hampering the workflow respectfully. Do not expect them to be understood on their own. Know what the job requires, what your supervisor requires and deliver it while retaining your own integrity. Account for self-assessment, figure out what you could be lacking and use it to improve on yourself while considering the ways to get ahead. 

Emotional intelligence: The team player angle

The goal is common. And when you feel that you automatically find yourself paying your share in boosting the morale and spirit of your team. This is not easy, not everyone will look at it in the same way and instead place their own interests over and above. Keep your expectations low but know when to demand respectfully. Dodge away assumptions and keep the communication as transparent as possible. 

Emotional intelligence: The boss angle

The toughest way to be but the best too! Anticipate what problems people might face. Empathise with your employees and learn about them, their personalities and what motivates them. Know that you are at an intimidation position, therefore sometimes you will need to be the one to take the first step. Inspire them and realise their individual potential. Try to ensure where you can go flexible and you absolutely can not. Do not baby them but let them know that you are there.

Emotional intelligence can cultivate relationships because it helps in overriding the elimination of emotions. They facilitate a better understanding of what each and every one goes through. It calls for better communication, exchange of information and a healthier work environment.


Salovey, P., & Grewal, D. (2005). The Science of Emotional Intelligence. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(6), 281-285. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from

PÎRVU, C. (2020). EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – A CATALYST FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN MODERN BUSINESS. Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, 15(4), 60-69. doi:10.2307/26955975

Raising Your Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide--A Hands-on Program for Harnessing the Power of Your Instincts and Emotions

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