Is emotional intelligence important in the workplace

Is emotional intelligence important in the workplace

If you’re in the world of business today, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the term emotional intelligence. This notion, which came about in the early 1990s is built upon the premise that the greatest indicator of workplace success is not just the skill and experience, but rather the emotional intelligence of your staff also.
Emotional intelligence refers primarily to communication strengths. Those individuals with a high level of emotional intelligence (EI), or emotional quotient (EQ), tend to be personable, confident, forthright, and effective communicators.
In any industry, the question remains, is emotional intelligence important to the workplace today? Let’s take a look at some of the ways emotional intelligence can enhance the success of a business or organisation.

It’s all about partnership

Without a sense of teamwork and a focus on cooperative effort, even the most talented staff can fall short. The real value in emotional intelligence deals with how well team members work in accord with one another. Studies show time and again that groups and employees who have strong communication and interpersonal skills are more productive, experience increased sales, and report an overall higher level of career satisfaction.  When hiring managers pay attention to emotional intelligence from the start, they are more likely to hire employees with the right attitude and set of characteristics that will thrive in their workplace. As such, this also results in longer terms of employment.

Problems solved quicker

Hiring a staff of high EI is not a guarantee that there will be no conflicts or disagreements. However, such a team will find that problems are resolved far more quickly and that reasonable and equitable solutions are more often generated. Emotional intelligence involves qualities such as perseverance, self-control, and a shared vision. Team members of a higher emotional intelligence will be more motivated to work for the good of the organisation as a whole and to come to agreement more swiftly. In other words, another argument for emotional intelligence would be that builds unity and community.

Increased empathy, kindness, and service

Not only does emotional intelligence improve the quality of work in an organisation, it also creates a genuinely better environment for everyone. When emotional intelligence skills are put into play, employees treat one another with greater respect kindness and patience. This also goes for customers and clients which, in turn, can produce incredible benefits for your business reputation. A staff of authentic, courteous individuals will help make the statement that you are a business that values its employees and treats everyone with whom it comes in contact with outstanding respect and service.

How to implement emotional intelligence in the workplace

If emotional intelligence does indeed have a place in a work environment, it will be vital for employees to get a sense of how to use this information. Organisations can consider meetings and training sessions which address these concepts. Such training could focus on how to recognise and appreciate the emotional strengths and weaknesses of others in the workplace. As employees begin to grasp this, they will have a better sense of their own personal qualities. The training should also emphasize understanding emotional cues and learning to read others. This can have a tremendous impact on communication abilities and help to build greater empathy and increased teamwork. As your employees absorb this new information, they will discover ways to listen better, share their viewpoints more clearly and politely, and how to deal with a wide variety of diverse individuals. The result of this will be a more flexible, adaptable and adept staff.

What other ways can emotional intelligence be of benefit in YOUR workplace or organisation?



Goleman, Daniel, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press, 2013.
Hamilton, Barton H., Jack A. Nickerson, and Hideo Owan. “Team incentives and worker heterogeneity: An empirical analysis of the impact of teams on productivity and participation.” Journal of political Economy 111.3 (2003): 465-497.


Published by: LMIT