Are you emotionally intelligent?

By definition, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the effective awareness, control & management of one’s own emotions and those of other people.


Daniel Goleman, a leader and expert in Emotional Intelligence, suggests that there are 5 domains of EQ. They are:

  1. Knowing your emotions
  2. Managing your own emotions
  3. Motivating yourself
  4. Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions
  5. Managing relationships



Why is this important in the workplace?

“The interest in emotional intelligence in the workplace stems from the widespread recognition that these abilities – self-awareness, self-management, empathy and social skill – separate the most successful workers and leaders from the average. This is especially true in roles like the professions and higher level executives, where everyone is about as smart as everyone else, and how people manage themselves and their relationships gives the best and edge.” (Goleman, 2012).


Emotional intelligence is vital in the workplace for many reasons, but here are two that really stick out:

  1. It is linked to higher job satisfaction for those with high EI/EQ as well as employees who work with or are managed by those with high EI/EQ.
  2. It is strongly associated with job performance.


Positive Psychology stated 7 reasons why EQ has a large impact on job performance:

  1. Emotional stability (greater ability to manage their own emotions, stress and are more resilient)
  2. Conscientiousness (tendency to be diligent, hardworking, control impulses)
  3. Extraversion (personality trait that makes people more open and better at establishing relationships with others)
  4. Ability EI (individuals’ ability to perform emotion-related behaviours, like expressing emotions, empathizing and combine emotion with reasoning)
  5. Cognitive ability (IQ; studies suggest there is at least some overlap between the IQ and EQ)
  6. General self-efficacy (motivation and confidence in the ability to cope with the demands of our job)
  7. Self-rated job performance


How can you increase EQ in the workplace?

Help your employees to become more self-aware as well as helping them manage their own emotions and stress.  Gary Yukl stated that “self-awareness makes it easier to understand one’s own needs and likely reactions if certain events occurred, thereby facilitating evaluation of alternative solutions.”

For people to truly work together they need time together away from their desks to bond as individuals not just as a member of a team. We need to remove black and white thinking (cognitive distortion) bringing people into the uncomfortable grey zone. People who become comfortable with the uncomfortable have high levels of emotional intelligence.

How can you increase your EQ?

Practice Self-Regulation:


  • Find techniques to release workplace stress:
    • Short term solutions:
      • Guided imagery
      • Meditation
      • Progressive muscle relaxation
      • Focus on your breath
      • Hug a loved one (releases oxytocin)
      • Aromatherapy
      • Create art or colour in
    • Long term solutions:
      • Eat a balanced diet
      • Make time for leisure activities
      • Practice positive self-talk
      • Practice yoga
      • Practice gratitude
      • Prioritise Exercise
    • Problem based solutions:
      • Reassess your to do list (make sure you aren’t overdoing it)
      • Obtain social / emotional support
      • Cut out things that add to your stress


  • Stay calm and think before making decisions
    • You will be able to able to make better and more rational decisions when you are calmer
    • Accept that you can’t control everything


  • Focus on what you love about your job


“Individuals can enjoy a successful career and better relationships by relying on their emotional intelligence. Studies have shown that people with high levels of emotional intelligence have greater career success, foster stronger personal relations, have effective leadership skills and are healthier than those with low emotional quotient (EQ). Moreover, competitive advantage can actually be achieved through the EQ-related capacities for creating trusting relationships, improving energy and effectiveness in high-pressure situations, and creating the future.” (Cooper, 1997)


How have you developed your EQ? Comment below!