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Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is a key part of a successful workplace. Also referred to as emotional quotient (EQ), emotional intelligence is defined as the way an individual understands, communicates with, and handles emotions. Emotional intelligence is not only a popular topic in psychology, but the business world as well. That’s because emotionally intelligent people lead to a stronger team that communicates well.


Emotional intelligence isn’t just about recognizing emotions in yourself, but also recognizing and interpreting emotions in other people. Expert researchers on the topics, Psychologists Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer, name four levels of emotional intelligence. They include:


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


We use these four levels of emotional intelligence to interact effectively with others. They allow us to understand the emotions behind others’ behavior so that we can make sound decisions and solve problems. Some leading researchers even argue that people who are highly emotionally intelligent find more success in life. This may be because emotionally intelligent individuals tend to be stronger leaders and are adept at managing stress. However, emotional intelligence is important whether or not you are a CEO or leader within the company.


Emotional intelligence is highly coveted in the workplace because it is a skill that helps you communicate with others effectively, manage stress with ease, and even move up the career ladder. It is a skill that not only helps you problem-solve, but it increases your ability to effectively work with and train others.


There are some signs that you have an emotionally intelligent team versus one that is struggling with their emotional intelligence. You will notice that emotionally intelligent employees make good decisions, easily solve problems, work well under pressure, express empathy toward teammates, and easily take constructive criticism. On the other hand, employees that lack emotional intelligence may play the victim, fail to work as a team, criticize others, and fail to communicate effectively.


If you want to improve the emotional intelligence of your team as a whole, there are a few strategies you can implement. While many are naturally emotional intelligent due to their upbringing and personality, it can be developed. Training involves improving self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.


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