Why Emotional Intelligence Matters in the Workplace?

Updated: Aug 2

Have you thought about your habits and behaviours that might benefit your work performance? If you haven't, then you may need to look deeper into your emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a way to keep yourself in check and cultivate mindfulness which you can apply to your personal life and work environment.

Emotional intelligence is an individual's ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express emotions. People with high EI usually make great leaders and team players because of their ability to understand, empathise, and connect with the people around them. It's a better indicator of success in the workplace and can be used to identify good leaders, team players, and people who work best by themselves. It helps employees be more aware of their emotions and analyse and adjust their behaviour before it becomes a psychosocial risk for a client, a co-worker or the organisation.

According to a study entitled, The Emotional Intelligence of HR, only 30% of companies look for emotional intelligence during their hiring process, thus giving them a significant loss in the long run. Meanwhile, another study showed a reduced turnover from 65 per cent to 15 per cent within 18 months of implementing an emotional intelligence screening assessment.  When employees have empathy and understanding of other people's emotions, they can make decisions that work for everyone and can find new ways to complete tasks more efficiently.

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, there are five elements

of emotional intelligence:

1. Self-awareness.

 It is recognising and understanding one's emotions, motivations, and abilities. Self-awareness allows us to understand how our emotions affect others. Being self-aware helps employees understand how they are perceived by co-workers, clients, or managers; it also allows leaders and employees to accept feedback from their colleagues.

2. Self-regulation.

It is the ability to control one's impulses, regulate emotions before speaking or acting, and express one's self appropriately to bring a more positive effect on a situation. Emotional outbursts, without self-regulation, can likely affect work relationships. Self-regulation, however, allows employees to take responsibility for their actions, adapt to change, and

respond appropriately to co-workers and clients' emotions and behaviour. 

3. Motivation.

It gives people interest in learning, self-improvement, and the strength to keep going despite their challenges. It provides employees goals and desires to accomplish, which can develop different feelings throughout the process and improve employees' emotional intelligence.

4. Empathy.

It is recognising and understanding other people's emotions and reactions. According to Goleman, this can only be achieved when self-awareness is achieved, as he believes people must understand themselves first before understanding others. In the workplace, empathetic employees can understand their colleagues' feelings and handle workplace situations more effectively.

5. Social skills.

These are the skills needed to communicate and interact with

other people. Strong social skills in the workplace allow employees to speak, listen,

and resolve conflicts more effectively.  Social skills enable leaders to connect and communicate with their members effectively. It helps and encourages employees to make friends, build rapport, and gain the trust and respect of their colleagues.

Why does emotional intelligence matter at work?

Emotional intelligence can significantly influence many aspects of your work life, which is why emotional intelligence matters at work.

Leadership - The most inspiring and successful leaders are always self-aware. They continually assess themselves and their leadership style and determine how it influences their teams. Leaders must be self-aware to understand the emotions of the people they lead. How can you be expected to understand anyone else if you don't know and understand yourself? Your team will probably be at risk if emotional intelligence is not present in you.

Job performance - Being aware of yourself and feeling motivated helps enhance skills to perform high-quality work and improve the ability to resolve conflicts at work.

Professional/Work Relationships - In handling your emotions appropriately, you build stronger professional relationships with team members and superiors. It also improves your skills in defining and enforcing professional boundaries in the workplace.

Health - Emotional intelligence contributes to better psychological health, and a low EI level will cause psychological risk. You can maintain healthy well-being when you feel fulfilled with your work.

Emotional intelligence can improve how you interact with others and your chances of creating a more productive environment conducive to achieving tremendous success.

It might seem an overwhelming thought, but developing a higher Emotional Intelligence can help benefit your professional (and personal) relationships and support your professional ambitions more than possible.

While emotional skills come more naturally to some people, there are various things others can do to help improve the understanding of emotions. Factors such as upbringing and personality play a significant role in developing the foundations of emotional intelligence.

  • Pay attention to how you feel and how those emotions influence your response to people.

  • Take stock of emotional strengths and weaknesses.

  • Find techniques to reduce and release workplace stress (exercising, hobbies, meditation etc.)

  • Listen to what others have to say.

  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication (actions can speak louder than words).

  • See things from another person's point of view and pay attention to how you respond to others.

A study confirms that emotional intelligence and work-life balance create organisational success and develop a competitive advantage for organisations. They understand the employees' potential and talent and ensure the value that employees bring to the workplace becomes a part of the organisational success.   

Most organisations are now taking in emotionally intelligent employees so they can face workplace problems easily and become more productive. An emotionally intelligent organisation can be created through organisational strategies, leadership skills, development programmes, self-awareness and self-management tools. Emotional intelligence is a vital concern in building a positive culture and a successful team in the workplace.

Contact us to know more about how to make a positive impact within your business and improve your team's mental well-being. Call us today on 1300 114 818 for a private and confidential conversation or email us at info@proactiveaction.co.

We look forward to talking to you soon.

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Sources:


  1. https://www.upskilled.edu.au/skillstalk/emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace

  2. https://www.thehrdepartment.ie/the-hr-advisor/looking-past-iq-how-hr-can-promote-emotional-intelligence-in-business

  3. https://www.hr.com/en/communities/training_and_development/the-importance-of-emotional-intelligence-in-the-wo_eak314gc.html

  4. https://www.hr.com/en/communities/training_and_development/the-importance-of-emotional-intelligence-in-the-wo_eak314gc.html

  5. https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/corporate-wellness/the-importance-of-emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace/317271

  6. https://www.hays.com.au/career-advice/upskilling/emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace

  7. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1111/ajpy.12231

  8. https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/40340/1/40340%20Kannaiah%20and%20Shanthi%202015.pdf