How Emotional Intelligence helps in the workplace?

Research and data points now support a valuable argument that star performers are ones who possess a balance of high IQ and EQ as well.

The Meaning of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability of a person to manage and understand his emotions, and of the people around him. Individuals with a high degree of emotional intelligence recognize their moods, what they’re feeling, how their mood could affect others and what their emotions mean. EQ exists in each one of us and is intangible in nature. The way we behave, make personal decisions and navigate social complexities could all be influenced by our EQ. According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize EQ, there are five following main elements of emotional intelligence.

Five Elements of Emotional Intelligence

1. Self-awareness:

You would know exactly how you feel if you are self-aware. You would know your emotions and how emotions could affect other people if you have awareness of yourself. In fact, a leader should always be self-aware as it would help you to know your strengths and weaknesses. Quick ways to improve your self-awareness are:

    • Keep a journal handy and a spare few minutes of your busy schedule to pen down your thoughts and mood.
    • In case you are getting any negative emotions like – Anger, frustration, or Irritation, take a deep breath. Slow down, stay calm. Just for a few minutes practice this, before reacting to that situation.

2. Self-regulation:

Individuals who practice regulation would never attack others verbally, make aggressive decisions or compromise with their ethics and values. Self-regulation is all about self-control. This parameter defines an individual’s capability to commit and flexibility to personal accountability. Quick ways to improve your self-regulation are:

    • Spend a few minutes with your journal and try to find the answer to such questions – what is your code of ethics? Under which circumstances you could compromise? Once you know what is important to you, you would be in a better position to make a decision.
    • Once you admit your mistakes, you are sure to earn more respect

3. Motivation:

A self-motivated individual would work consistently towards his goal, and they would set extremely high standards of the quality of work they deliver. Quick ways to improve your motivation are:

    • Once a person settles down in his new job or role, it is human nature to forget what you loved about your job and career. Take some time and recollect what you wanted, how you want to grow professionally, and so on. Plan a technique and prepare your goal statement and make sure to read them every day.
    • Be patient and hopeful and you will surely find what you have been looking for. Be optimistic, patient, and hopeful. Keep the spirits alive.
    • Look for lessons learned even in the worst situations or failures.

4. Empathy:

An individual who is empathetic would have the ability to put himself in someone else situation and could act benefiting others and the team. A leader or boss of empathetic nature would surely earn respect and loyalty from his team members. Quick ways to improve your empathy:

    • Place yourself in the same situation as the other person, analyze, and think about how he might be feeling now. It gives you a perspective of what others are going through and also helps in managing the situation.
    • Some people may not be able to convey through words. However, their body language could speak a lot more. Reading these vital signs could boost your empathy.
    • Asking your team member to stay late and provide the deliverable within an hour has to be conveyed with feelings and not with authority. You could also make other employees feel comfortable by letting them know how their work is bearing fruitful results, and that even higher management is quite happy about it.

5. Social Skills:

Individuals who are admired socially, are great speakers,s or have a good sense of humor, and have a high EQ. People with good social skills know how to tackle a good and bad situations, and how to turn the worst in their favor. They can manage change, resolve conflicts and act tactfully. They are trendsetters and lead by example. Quick ways to improve your social skills:

    • Having an argument with your colleague during a meeting does not mean you have to announce a war against him. Go out for a cup of coffee or drinks and get things resolved.
    • Try and praise others, and you would have a good fan following.
    • One who can speak well is heard well. Therefore, improve your communication

Take the time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Working on these areas will help you excel in the future.

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Billie Keita is known for her exemplary skills in implementing project management methodologies and best practices for business critical projects. She possesses 10+ years of experience in handling complex software development projects across Europe and African region. She also conducts many webinars and podcasts where she talks about her own experiences in implementing Agile techniques. She is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)®, and has published many articles across various websites.


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