The Important Role of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in the Workplace

The phrase Emotional Intelligence was coined by leading researchers Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer back in 1990 in their article,“Emotional Intelligence”  “We define emotional intelligence as the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.”

business successWhat is EQ?

Emotional Intelligence is often referred to as EQ and is arguably a more critical element of success than IQ in determining a cohesive productive team in the workplace. There are five categories of Emotional Intelligence that make up the EQ.

  • Self-Awareness – The perception of emotion in oneself and others
  • Empathy – The ability to express and understand emotions and recognize them in others
  • Motivation – The ability to utilize emotions for productivity
  • Self-Regulation – The ability to manage emotions
  • Social Skills – The ability to interact successfully with others

“Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them,” Says Howard Gardner, Harvard theorist, influential in the field of EI research.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important in the Workplace?
You hear the term ‘company culture’ thrown around frequently in modern organizations. Any research on values and goals tells you that when values and goals align in the workplace, organizations are more successful.

From a management standpoint if you are working at cross-purposes with your employees, your productivity will be stunted. Much of drawing out the best possible productivity and growth in your team is dependent upon your ability to find the strengths and weaknesses in your people and nurture and grow their competencies. It may be easier to quantify and calibrate technical skills but the behavioral skills found within EQ fuel the growth of your business.

It can be highly beneficial for organizations to bring in a knowledgeable consultant to administer EI testing such as the EQ-i 2.0 and EQ360 assessments in order to evaluate emotional intelligence both in management, and in employees and teams. Once an assessment has been performed, an interactive program to work with individuals and teams will cultivate valuable resources to improve effective communication and understanding in order to increase team and organizational productivity.