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Emotional Intelligence: How to Utilize Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

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Emotional Intelligence: How to Utilize Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

We live in a fast-moving world that is constantly evolving. With the passage of time, emotional intelligence has become one of the most important skills for success in life and you cannot deny its importance. It is one of the most necessary skills that someone who works in any sort of capacity needs.

There are plenty of statistics, case studies, and reports to prove why you need Emotional Intelligence to grow, be successful, and be productive. Studies have shown that 90% of top performers show above-average emotional intelligence, and it also constitutes 58% of job performance. Moreover, emotionally intelligent people also have higher earnings as they have been seen to earn $29,000 more on average.

So, what exactly is emotional intelligence, and how can one improve his or her EQ at work? We have the answer so let’s dive in to find out:

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence can be defined as someone’s ability to evaluate, understand, identify, and manage the emotions of his own and the people surrounding him. Two well-known psychologists who went by the names Peter Salovey and John Mayer, respectively, first introduced the concept of emotional intelligence in 1990. However, it was the famous psychologist and renowned author Daniel Goleman who generalized its concept in his book in 1995.

Emotional Intelligence is the top-ranked workplace skill in the list of the 33 most important skills that you need to survive, grow, and develop at any office. And surprisingly, it is not just vital for employees, it is also equally important for the bosses and coworkers. The use of EQ has increasingly become more common in the past years to choose who to hire and who to let go, who to retain and who to kick out, who to promote and who to pass over.

Therefore, we know for sure that we need this skill if we want to thrive in life and be a successful version of ourselves. But how does one know that? What are the traits that make someone emotionally intelligent?

What are the Components of Emotional Intelligence?

We all come across emotionally intelligent without realizing it. Don’t get it? We will give you some hints: some of these people are those who solve their problems with positivity, without losing their cool or having a meltdown, respect their coworkers, are always motivated to do something, appear to be very approachable for everyone, and have an endearing aura around them. These people also take their time listening to others and their problems and then carefully evaluate their options before making any life-changing decision. Everyone in a workplace loves these people.

These people are called emotionally intelligent. And without even knowing we meet them every single day.

But the question is, what are the traits that make these people emotionally intelligent?

Let’s take a look at the 5 main components of emotional intelligence, as described by the psychologist and author Daniel Goleman:

1. Self-Regulation

Self-regulation can be defined as one’s ability to control his or her impulses and control their emotions before they act or speak on something. Self-regulated people express their emotions very appropriately to keep things around them positive.

Self-regulated people have the capability of showing accountability and taking responsibility for their actions. They can easily adapt to change, and respond according to the situation. If you are not self-regulated, you are more likely to have emotional outbursts that can affect your personal and work relationships.


2. Self-awareness

Another element of emotional intelligence; people who are self-aware can identify and understand their abilities, motivations, and emotions. Moreover, being self-aware allows you to understand the impact your emotions can have on others around you.

A self-aware person has the ability to understand how he or she is viewed by people including managers, clients, partners, and co-workers. This enables them to positively accept feedback from their coworkers.


3. Empathy

People who have empathy show the capability of recognizing and understanding the reactions and emotions of others present around them. You can only achieve empathy if you are self-aware because it is important for you to understand yourself before you understand others.

For instance, when you work in an office, you are able to perceive and handle others’ emotions and situations effectively only if you have empathy. Empathy also enables people to connect with coworkers who are also empaths.


4. Motivation

Motivation can be defined as the desire or urge to do something and it gives us the strength to keep going even if we face challenges and problems. Motivation is responsible for giving someone an interest in self-improvement.

Motivated employees or people show a desire to accomplish something. This then promotes a series of other feelings in the person, which develop emotional intelligence in that person.


5. Social Skills

You need social skills to be able to interact, socialize, and communicate with others. Social skills enable you to hold meaningful conversations, understand jokes, pick up on behaviors, find a common ground with people, maintain friendships and relationships, and understand sarcasm.

People who have strong social skills also have a good office life because they are able to listen, speak, understand, and resolve conflicts among others more effectively. It also aids them in building rapport, gaining the trust of their managers, helping their coworkers, making friends, and earning everyone’s respect.

Social Skills

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Let’s talk about the role and importance of EQ in the workplace:

We live in an era of pandemics, robotics, and digitalization, and these three factors are changing the service industry overnight. Jobs have become quite automated, with everyone working from their couches. Things have become more virtual, dispersed, remote, and even more global. Working from home calls for more productivity, better performance, greater flexibility, and a lot more isolation. These factors make it difficult to not lose touch with the human side of society. And with the circumstances around us, it is vital for everyone to engage with people as people – and keep in mind that we cannot part ways with emotions.

Because of everyone and everything going remote because of Covid-19, the importance of soft skills like integrity, empathy, and emotional intelligence has grown exponentially, especially for leaders and employees. Emotional intelligence, especially, has become essential for the future of work. It has become more important than ever for businesses, startups, companies, and organizations to correlate with customer satisfaction, growth, and productivity.

How Can You Boost Productivity in the Workplace With a High EQ?

Here are some ways with which you can use your EQ to boost productivity and add value to your workplace:

1. Use Your Empathy to Improve Communication

Use your authenticity, sensitivity, and tactics to adapt your way of communication style according to the person (coworker or boss) you are interacting with. An emotionally intelligent person has heightened self-awareness that enables him or her to listen better and with the intention of understanding the speaker instead of just nodding their head. This kind of empathic communication will enable you to have honest, constructive, and open conversations. With your empathy, you can leverage differences, celebrate, avoid misunderstandings, promote a positive work culture, and create trust within your team.

2. Use Your Adaptability to Promote Innovation and Problem Solving

Later or sooner everyone has to recognize the change, it is inevitable. People with high EQ show a great deal of adaptability to the circumstances and individuals around them. This makes them open to change, innovative solutions, and new ideas. Try to be apt at using your emotions to solve problems and constructive feedback from people. Moreover, Try to channel that feedback into a positive direction so you can improve yourself and your team.

3. Use Your Motivation to Get Things Done

As discussed above, people with high EQ have high motivation and drive to get things done. This also means that emotionally intelligent individuals are proactive at taking initiative and ensuring that they get things done. Leverage your ability to be a natural leader and motivate those around you as well, thus inspiring them to perform their best.

4. Use Your Ability to Manage Emotions to Mitigate Conflicts

Emotionally intelligent people are extremely skilled at managing not just their emotions but also others around them, especially under pressure. Use your high emotional quotient to resolve conflicts that you are facing or that others are having. People with a high EQ are less prone to losing their cool and responding to frustrating issues with counter-productive reactions, instead, they remain calm, cool, and collected. Therefore, direct your focus to find solutions.

5. Use Your Mindfulness to Strengthen Teamwork and Collaboration

If you are emotionally intelligent, you have an innate capacity for looking at things from others’ points of view. You can also sense unspoken feelings, have a genuine care for others, and you can foster a sense of belonging by forming meaningful bonds. So, promote mutual respect, collaboration, a positive work environment, compassion, and care to retain new talents.

6. Use Your People-Centricity to Encourage and Foster Valuable Partnerships

Prove yourself to be a high EQ employee, at your workplace, by using your exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to connect emotionally with others, understand their needs, meet potential clients, build and maintain a strong relationship with them, enhance the engagement of those working with you, and strike strategic partnerships to raise your investment opportunities.

How to Use Your Emotional Intelligence to Be an Amazing Colleague?

It is all about contributing to the environment at your workplace, adding to the morale, and raising the team spirit. However, keep in mind that sometimes it is not easy to cultivate good relationships with your coworkers and they can act a bit difficult. Not everyone is going to think of you as a nice person and they won’t open up to you easily. In such cases, you need to be intuitive about the people around you. Here are some ways you can use your intuition and emotional intelligence to be an excellent coworker:

1. Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Coworkers

It is extremely easy to make judgements about others and project your prejudices onto your workplace and your colleagues. You may not have had any interactions with your coworkers and your bosses yet, but remember that you will never know anything about them if you assume things about them and create stereotypes about them before even giving them a chance to introduce themselves. Don’t let yourself get manipulated by others. Show your emotions to others.

2. Don’t Expect People to Communicate With You Using 100% Honesty

Use your emotional intelligence to sense that some of your coworkers are simply incapable of plain speaking, they look a bit afraid, act too polite, remain super cautious, and rarely say what they truly want to say. You can use your EQ to figure them out and pay extra attention to their body language. In this case, you need to trust your intuition about such people, especially those who treat you as a competitor.

3. Always Be Ready to Draw the Line

Yes, it is good to use your EQ to be close to your coworkers, but that does not mean you let people walk over you. We do not mean to say that you should not make friends at your workplace, but you also need to stay in tune with your own ambitions and goals. This way you will also be able to decide if you want to be an acquaintance to someone or a close friend. Don’t allow your colleagues to trick you into office politics or relationships you don’t feel comfortable with. Draw a line where it is needed. Use your empathic feelings to decide if you want to be a part of something or not.

4. Offer Help to Your Coworkers

Utilize the components of emotional intelligence and try to motivate others. Also, be an empath. Do not wait for someone to come up to you and ask for help, if you can sense that someone needs help, go up to them and help them. This way you will contribute to the camaraderie and morale in your workplace with your generosity and your sensitivity to the needs of your coworkers will gain you their loyalty and support.

5. Don’t Take Things Personally

Keep in mind that not everyone has the same level of emotional intelligence. People have an agenda, a unique style of interaction, a personal life, and a different way of dealing with problems that arise in the workplace. Do not take their behavior personally and let their behavior bring empathy out in you. This way you will be able to use your EQ to understand their issues without taking responsibility for their angst.

Can We Utilize an Emotional Intelligence Test in the Workplace?

In recent years, we have seen some workplaces, businesses, and startups utilize an emotional intelligence test in their interview process to evaluate how emotionally intelligent a candidate is. An emotional intelligence test is based on the theory that someone with high emotional intelligence would be a better coworker. However, we are not sure if it is the best measure to choose a potential employee.

What Are Instances of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

Here are some common examples of EQ at work:

  • Regular stress-relieving activities that include fun activities and days out with coworkers are a great example of emotional intelligence in a corporate setting.
  • Taking your time to listen to what your colleagues and subordinates have to say in meetings is also a sign of emotional intelligence. Do not interrupt people when they are expressing their views and offer them your constructive feedback.
  • Another great example of EQ is offering upset staff members some sort of understanding by showing them your compassion. Try to support them when they are having a bad day by offering them help.
  • Initiate efforts to encourage an open office atmosphere so your colleagues can express their apprehensions and opinions without the fear of getting criticized.
  • Come up with a ready and waiting support system for your employees to get them through their bad days.
  • One of the strongest signs of emotionally intelligent and strong leadership is starting flexible working initiatives at your office to promote a better work-life balance.

How to Work Smarter by Using Your Emotional Intelligence?

  • Working on your body to sharpen your mind by adopting healthy habits, exercising for about twenty to thirty minutes once or twice a day to add energy, creativity, sensitivity, flexibility, and patience to your portfolio.
  • Try to invite feelings instead of just thoughts so people can feel safe when sharing how they feel. People only tell the truth to people who they trust. Therefore, make sure that people know that you won’t pass any judgements, keep their confidence, hold their secret, and maintain their rapport. Make sure these trustworthy qualities describe your work persona.
  • Draw a line to establish emotional boundaries. The reason for this is that any kind of intimacy with a coworker, boss, or subordinate can create emotional memories in the workplace. These emotional memories can often cause thoughtful, reasonable professionals (like you) to lose their aim and provoke resentment in onlooking colleagues.
  • Do not just rely on data. Use your intuitions as well. Thus, before you make a decision based on just the facts and figures, make sure to use your intuition instead of just citing an authority to back up your recommendations. Ask yourself how you feel about the position or promotion that you are accepting. This habit will make you feel more confident about the decision you then take.
  • Always demonstrate flexibility and be readily available to change your long-term goals on the basis of the performance of your short-term objectives. Do not be stubborn.
  • Make sure that before you begin a negative comment, you say something positive. This way you will get an empathetic ear if you start your criticism with appreciation and praise, and then discuss the problem.
  • Use your voice. If you think you need to speak against or about something, make sure you let your opinion be known to people. If there is something that has been bothering you for quite some time and you have been wanting to talk about it for a long time, it is better to speak about it instead of bottling your emotions for too long. The reason behind speaking up is that when you talk about things that are bothering you, you take action against them. When you take that action, you change the way you feel about the problem. As a result, you experience a powerful impact on your well-being.
  • Use your empathy and your ability to relate with people to listen to their issues. It is never a bad idea to use your emotions at work because not all emotions distract you from the task at hand. Using empathy to solve issues gives you an instant understanding of what someone is saying, and what they are going through. So, do not plan your words and how you are going to deliver them. Try to listen to others wholeheartedly and they will appreciate it.
  • You do not have to appear perfect all the time. It is okay to appear a little imperfect, after all, imperfections make us human. It is okay to ask for help even if you are a high performer. Only emotionally intelligent people have the ability to admit their mistakes when they are wrong because they are self-regulated and self-aware. They admit their mistake, they ask for help, they work on the problem, and then they move on to other tasks at hand. Simple, effective, and efficient.


To be an effective leader at work and an inspirational human being in life, it is vital to be emotionally intelligent. And in order to achieve that status, you need to have a clear understanding of how your emotions and actions work and how they impact others around you, be it friends or bosses, or coworkers. The better you are able to relate to others around you, understand your own emotions, perceive what your coworkers are going through, and motivate others and yourself, the more successful you will be.

So, work on motivation, empathy, self-awareness, social skills, and self-regulation to excel in the future. Or you can take help from a psychology tutor to help you with emotional intelligence!

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Austin has 10+ years of experience in teaching. He has researched on thousands of students-related topics, issues, and concerns. You will often find him writing about the common concerns of students, their nutrition, and what is beneficial for their academics and health both.