Emotional Intelligence At Work

How you behave and treat others is as important as the work you do.

We’ve heard about IQ our whole lives. Intelligence quotient (IQ) theoretically measures how smart a person is or their ability to learn. Many people believe that someone with a high IQ is more likely to be successful in life than someone with a low IQ.

But business leaders, social scientists and others are discovering that there is something more important than “book smarts” that people need to be successful. Look at influential politicians, business leaders, community members, and even celebrities, and you will find the people with the most success have all types of education backgrounds and different IQs.

What successful people have in common is high Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence is how we think, feel and interact with ourselves and others. Interpersonal Emotional Intelligence is how we interact with others; noticing and responding to others’ moods and emotional needs. Intrapersonal Emotional Intelligence is how self-aware we are; paying attention to our own values, thinking and feelings.

So what does Emotional Intelligence have to do with success in the workplace?

A lot.

Remember that Employability Skills are as important as Technical Skills for job candidates. Work supervisors also look for employees with high Emotional Intelligence. Many of the Employability Skills employers want are tied to your Emotional Intelligence.

For example: Managers want people who can take the lead on projects, work well with teams, or are good at customer relations. People with high Emotional Intelligence have the strong “people skills” managers want.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified the five main categories of Emotional Intelligence:

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

Self-Awareness: Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses; Ability to adjust to change; Able to recognize your own mistakes and learn from them.

Self-Regulation: Ability to express or control your own emotions; Accepting criticism; Being calm and/or positive in negative situations.

Motivation: Care about more than money or power; Internally driven to work toward goals; Usually optimistic and able to inspire others; Keeps going when challenged or disappointed.

Empathy: Connecting with others on an emotional level; Compassion and understanding of human nature; Respect for multiple viewpoints.

Social Skills: Able to communicate with others easily; Understand how to resolve conflicts with compassion; Avoid power struggles and drama.

Think about Self-Regulation. Have you ever worked with someone who got frustrated or angry easily? Did they throw a tantrum when things went wrong? Did they complain or yell when they made a mistake?

These outbursts are a signs of low Emotional Intelligence.

If you were a supervisor, would you want to work with someone with a short temper or bad attitude? Would you give a promotion to someone who complained a lot or got frustrated easily?


Think about each of the five categories of Emotional Intelligence. How would you rate yourself in each category? Use this worksheet to think about where you are strong and very good in Emotional Intelligence and where you need improvement.

Sources: Entrepreneur; MindTools; Idealistic Careers

Original article posted January, 2019