Emotional Intelligence is one of the top 10 soft skills for 2019 and continues to be a must-have skill in the workplace.[i]
Often, when we think of intelligence, we envision an advanced mathematician or a chemist. While these careers do require a high level of intelligence, the value of emotional intelligence in the workplace cannot be overemphasized. Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Each day we make emotionally motivated decisions at home, in our personal lives, and at work. Having a high level of emotional intelligence allows you to understand your decisions and the consequences of those decisions.
According to Daniel Goleman’s theory, there are five key components of emotional intelligence: [ii]
- Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize personal emotions, emotional triggers, and limitations
- Self-Regulation: The ability to manage emotions so they do not have a negative effect
- Motivation: An inner drive that comes from the personal joy experienced after an accomplishment
- Empathy: The ability to recognize, understand, and experience the emotions of another person
- Social Skills: The ability to interact and negotiate with other individuals in order to find the best way to meet the needs of each person
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
While emotional intelligence is not required for every job, it can certainly give you a competitive edge. Having a high level of emotional intelligence can improve your work relationships, improve your ability to resolve conflicts, help you empathize with others in various situations, and assist in your decision-making process.
Studies show that “71% of hiring managers said they valued their employees’ emotional intelligence over their IQ.”[iii] Additionally, “67% of all competencies that are determined as being absolutely essential for high performance in the workplace are related to emotional intelligence.”[iv]
Regardless of your career path, your level of emotional intelligence will make or break your success within your field.
Improve Your Own Emotional Intelligence
You may feel like you could use some improvement in the area of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is a lifelong learning process and is a skill you must practice for the rest of your life. Here are some first steps that experts say will help improve your level of emotional intelligence: [v]
- Pay attention to your own behavior and take note of the way you act
- Be accountable for your feelings and your actions
- Understand the difference between responding and reacting
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes
- Think positive thoughts
- Observe the behaviors and feelings of those around you
- Think before you act
- Practice being aware of your feelings and the feelings of others
Be mindful of your own emotions and the emotions of those around you. Being an emotionally intelligent person or employee will have a big pay off! For more information, visit our emotional intelligence training page.