The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is increasingly becoming important in business, leadership and even in our day to day interactions. Some companies have gone to an extent of running their employees through Emotional Intelligence training and rightly so.

What is Emotional Intelligence though and what is the hype around it?

Emotional Intelligence or EQ/EI can be defined as a person’s ability to recognize, understand and manage emotions accordingly. Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer simplify it as the ability to recognize and understand emotions in oneself and others.

Emotional Intelligence is very important in the workplace considering this is an environment where different people with different personalities, views and opinions come together for a common purpose. According to Travis Bradberry, the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, there are four components to EQ. 

These are: 

  • Self- Awareness
  • Self- Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management

All these components are important in the workplace and they have been linked to higher levels of job performance and job satisfaction. Bradberry even goes ahead to state that workers who test high in Emotional Intelligence earn more than workers who test low.In a study conducted on 150 call centre employees in Istanbul, a positive correlation was established with high Emotional Intelligence and increased Job Satisfaction. A 2017 study by Pekaar et. al also found high EQ correlates with job performance especially with components such as Self- awareness, Social- awareness and relationship management.