Properly understanding and using emotional intelligence in the workplace

It's vital to understand the key components of emotional intelligence

Properly understanding and using emotional intelligence in the workplace

Properly understanding and using emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace is key for companies wanting to stay competitive and relevant.

In an article by HRD’s Coann Labitoria, we identify the components of EI and why it’s vital for companies to understand them.

Researchers have identified four different levels of EI.

  • Perceiving emotions
  • Reasoning with emotions
  • Understanding emotions
  • Managing emotions

EI is different from intelligence quotient (IQ) – a person’s ability to analyse, understand and resolve. Both can be tested and measured. A good balance between EI and IQ aids with human interaction and connection.

EI in the workplace helps employees analyse and adjust their behaviour before it becomes a problem for a client or co-worker.

5 components of emotional intelligence at work: by Daniel Goleman

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

How do I spot high emotional intelligence in the workplace?

People with a high EI are confident in problem-solving, calm under pressure and respond to constructive criticism without denial, blame and excuses. They have initiative and are committed, curious, optimistic, flexible, they set healthy boundaries and embrace change.

On the other hand, employees with a low EQ blame and avoid responsibility, use passive or aggressive communication styles, refuse to work as a team and are overly critical of others’ opinions.

Corporate Dojo founder Karen Gately tells HRD that managing emotions and relationships is now being prioritised more than managing time.

Gately adds, “A lack of emotional intelligence from both leaders and employees all too often creates unnecessary anxiety, resistance, and depression. What matters most is that leaders demonstrate compassion and act with sensitivity if they want people to adapt when they need to.”


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