How Can You Improve Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

Emotional Intelligence

Before getting to the main crux of this article, it is important to understand the meaning of emotional intelligence. So, what is it? Well, it can be defined as someone’s ability to perceive, understand, and manage their emotions and feelings. There are five components of EQ.

  1. Self-regulation
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Social skills
  4. Empathy
  5. Internal or intrinsic motivation

Why Is It Important to Develop EQ in the Workplace?

By looking at these components, one could easily see how EI would apply in the workplace. But why is it necessary to develop emotional intelligence at work in the first place? There are a couple of reasons for it. The first one is that it is linked to higher job satisfaction. And the second is that it is strongly related to job performance. This means that if an employee has a higher EQ then not only would he/she be satisfied with his/her job but will also be good at it which will only add positive points in their performance appraisal.

How Can Emotional Intelligence Improve Job Performance?

It is true that EQ can improve job performance but how? The answer to this question is simple. It can be done through these characteristics.

  • Emotional stability
  • Extraversion
  • Conscientiousness
  • Self-efficacy
  • Cognitive ability

These are those traits that you will develop once you start to exhibit higher levels of emotional intelligence. It will help you perform your job with utmost devotion.

Ask Your Team Some Questions

If you hold a higher position in an organization and manage a team, then you can ask them some questions. Remember that active listening is also a big part of emotional intelligence. And when you are in a meeting, asking the following questions would help you to see if the employees show signs of thoughtfulness and empathy. These two traits would then enable them to build trust and relationships with others, hence, increasing EQ in the workplace.

#1. When You Want Someone’s Reaction to Information

  • Do you have any suggestions about it?
  • How will it fit into your plans?
  • What do you think is best?

#2. When You Want Employees to Elaborate

  • What other thoughts do you have about it?
  • Can you please tell us more about it?
  • Can you provide an example?

#3. When You Want Employees to clarify

  • What is your desired outcome?
  • What do you mean by the statement?
  • What is your expectation?

#4. When You Want to Know Why Something Happened

  • What caused it?
  • What have you tried to resolve it?
  • How can it be avoided?

Asking these questions will assist you in noting how attentively everyone is listening to the conversation and who is exhibiting a higher level of emotional intelligence.

4 Examples of High and Low EQ at Work

By now it must have been clear to you that high EQ in the workplace will only be beneficial for your business. But what does it look like or better yet, how can one know about it? Well, here are a few examples of high vs. low emotional intelligence.

#1. People Listen to Each Other in Meetings

Business meetings with employees are not always productive. Sometimes, these meetings can devolve into pure chaos where everyone is talking at once, there are heated arguments, shouting, and whatnot. In short, no valuable output could be obtained in the end.

If an employee contributes to any one of the above then he/she is displaying a low EQ. However, when he/she lets others speak, listens to them, and gently keeps everyone on task then the individual will exhibit a higher level of EQ. Also, while in a meeting you can ask the above-mentioned questions to see how active everyone is.

#2. An Upset Employee Finds a Compassionate Ear

People can sometimes get moody at the workplace. This is the time to observe how others treat the person when he/she is having a bad day. It will give you a good indication of their emotional intelligence.

If the other employees don’t talk with the upset person or don’t notice their moodiness then they will show low EQ. But if someone notices that something’s up or if an individual is not in their right headspace and offer them help or just cheer him/her up then it means that the person will have higher emotional intelligence.

#3. People Express Themselves Openly

A person who doesn’t mind speaking up about things that matter or is equally comfortable in listening to others about their opinions will show a high level of emotional intelligence. An individual who does this can also express their emotions the right way and will accept how others express theirs.

Whereas, a person who tends to keep things to himself or gets upset when others don’t agree with him will exhibit a low level of EQ.

#4. Flexibility

A workplace that understands the busy and complex lives of organization members is one that is high in emotional intelligence. Also, executives and managers who are more corporative towards their employees and accept that people have different needs would display a good sense of EQ.

Whereas, if managers and executives don’t give any flexibility to their employees and ask them to adapt themselves to the ways how things have always been done will show signs of low EQ.


Emotional intelligence is an important topic to understand for HR professionals and managers at all levels. Even if you don’t belong to these two categories, understanding your emotions is extremely vital. Therefore, it would be a good idea to work on your emotional recognition as well as management skills. Considering how necessary EQ is, it isn’t a surprise that mortgage headhunters look for individuals who possess it to help them get hired. Moreover, keep in mind that if emotional intelligence is not developed in a workplace then it can have a negative impact on the decision making and communication of the organization.

Author Bio:

Rosie Harman is a Senior Content Strategist, specializing in Technology. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and has spent the majority of her career working in tech giants in Texas.

When she’s not helping the content team, Rosie enjoys adventuring with her two children around her home town.

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