The Key to Workplace Success: Emotional Intelligence

🕑 3 minutes read | Mar 11 2022 | By Becky Gendron

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is one of the top 10 soft skills for 2022 and continues to be a must-have skill in the workplace. Many employers are evaluating EQ during the hiring process due to its implications for success in the workplace. This must-have skill can greatly influence workplace relationships and positively affect your well-being at work. Learn more about the components of emotional intelligence and how it translates to success at work.

According to Daniel Goleman’s theory, there are five key components of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-Awareness: The ability to recognize personal emotions, emotional triggers, and limitations
  2. Self-Regulation: The ability to manage emotions so they do not have a negative effect
  3. Motivation: An inner drive that comes from the personal joy experienced after an accomplishment
  4. Empathy: The ability to recognize, understand, and experience the emotion of another person
  5. Social Skills: The ability to interact and negotiate with other individuals to find the best way to meet the needs of each person

Emotional Intelligence Is an Indicator for Success

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 overstated. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, understand, and manage one’s emotions and recognize how that can influence others. EQ helps us understand our decisions and the consequences of those decisions and is seen as a predictor for how you will interact with colleagues, set goals, manage stress, resolve conflict, and perform on the job.

Having a high degree of EQ allows us to be helpful guides and empathetic leaders. Success is highly correlated to emotional intelligence with 9 out of 10 high performers having this trait. EQ can benefit every job type and level of your career.

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

One study of entrepreneurs shows that 95% find that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ in leadership. Additionally, 67% of all competencies that are determined as being absolutely essential for high performance in the workplace are related to emotional intelligence: Regardless of your career path, your level of emotional intelligence will make or break your success within your field.

Emotionally intelligent people tend to think more positively, are more resilient, and have healthy professional relationships. These outcomes correlate to improved job satisfaction and lower burnout. Leaders who model and exhibit EQ through positivity, empathy, patience, active listening, and sound decision-making can influence their teams to begin adopting these behaviors and improving their own high EQ.

Improve Your Own Emotional Intelligence

You may feel like you could use some improvement in emotional intelligence. EQ 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:

  • Pay attention to your own behavior and take note of the way you act
  • Practice being aware of your feelings and the feelings of others
  • Pay attention to nonverbal communication
  • Be accountable for your feelings and your actions
  • Identify your weaknesses and set goals to improve them
  • Ask for feedback from a trusted friend, family member or colleague
  • Understand the difference between responding and reacting
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes
  • Think positive thoughts
  • Avoid office drama
  • Think before you act
  • Find a mentor
  • Enroll in emotional intelligence training

Be mindful of your own emotions and the emotions of those around you. Practice these skills, model good behavior, and reward it when you see someone flexing their EQ. Commit to a lifelong journey in pursuit of EQ. Being an emotionally intelligent person or employee will have a big payoff!

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