Sign up for our Monthly Highlights newsletter
Don’t miss the roundup of our newest and most distinctive insights
August 17, 2022 | Klein Consultants
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage your own emotions as well as understand the emotions of others. EI is comprised of five components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. People with high EI can recognize how they are feeling, what those feelings mean, and how those emotions influence their behavior and, by extension, the behavior of others. It’s more difficult to “manage” other people’s emotions because you can’t control how they feel or behave. However, if you can identify the emotions driving their behavior, you’ll have a better understanding of where they’re coming from and how to interact with them effectively.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are frequently found in effective leaders. Leaders must be self-aware and able to see things objectively in the workplace. This translates to being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses and acting with humility. Employees who feel appreciated and valued at work are not only happier, but also more productive.
Slow down your emotional reactions; the next time you feel angry, try to sit with it before acting out. Why are you upset? Did someone irritate you? What emotion do you believe motivated their actions?
Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Nobody is perfect at everything, and that’s okay! Know when to ask for – and when to offer – assistance.
Make an effort to understand what people are saying non-verbally. If you ask someone to assist you with a project and they agree but sound hesitant, understand that they may be overwhelmed or confused, or they may come from a different background and understanding than your own. Before proceeding, it is critical to validate and address this.
Improve your ability to communicate effectively and openly. Make sure your main point is clear, leave out information that isn’t pertinent to the person you’re speaking with, and pay attention when someone else is speaking.
Emotions and intelligence were previously thought to be diametrically opposed. However, in recent decades, researchers studying emotion psychology have become more interested in cognition and affect.
This field investigates how cognitive processes and emotions interact and influence how people think. Consider how emotions and moods such as happiness, anger, fear, and sadness influence people’s behavior and decision-making.
According to Salovey and Mayer, there are four different levels of emotional intelligence:
Emotional intelligence is an important personality characteristic and one of the most important leadership skills in the workplace because it helps employees understand and manage their own emotions when they are around their coworkers. The workplace can be a volatile environment, full of stress, pressure, anxiety, and, on occasion, drama. It can also be a source of joy, contentment, or excitement. All of these factors can influence how someone feels at any given time, and how they manage those feelings reflects their level of emotional intelligence (EI).
EI influences how people manage their professional relationships. Even one person with low EI management in an office can lead to increased workplace conflict, poor performance, and high turnover. Teams with highly emotionally intelligent members, on the other hand, perform better, have higher job satisfaction, and have higher employee retention rates.
Emotional intelligence is not limited to CEOs and senior executives. It’s a skill that’s valuable at every stage of a person’s career, from college students looking for internships to seasoned workers hoping to advance to a leadership position. If you want to succeed in the workplace and advance your career, emotional intelligence is essential.