We don’t become robots when we step into the workplace.

While there are many ways we may behave differently in the professional environment than outside of work, we are still emotional beings. In fact, there is no way to check our feelings at the door.

Interacting with other people at work will naturally trigger emotions, some positive and some negative. Emotional intelligence is key to responding with grace and professionalism. Of course, we can be more effective if we manage our feelings better.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to be aware of our emotions and experiences, manage our reactions and choose appropriate responses. In particular, people who show high emotional intelligence can identify and empathize with the feelings of others. (1)

How Does Emotional Intelligence (EI) Function in the Workplace?

Better Job Performance

For instance, studies have shown that 90% of top performers at work score high on EI. (2) This compares with just 20% of low performers. In fact, EI is twice as important as technical skills to rise to the top at a company. (3)

Managing our own emotions and understanding the feelings of others is a crucial ingredient to success as a manager or leader. (3) Namely, when someone talks about “people skills,” what they are referring to is EI.

Better emotional intelligence can help you improve your job performance

Improved Interpersonal Skills

Being able to empathize with coworkers allows for improved communication and creative problem-solving. In fact, EI helps us avoid impulsive reactions to inevitable workplace disagreements and instead pause to consider the best way forward. (4)

For those in leadership roles, displaying EI when managing others takes on increased significance. Truly, it sets the tone for the entire team. Consequently, when the emotional environment at work is handled with respect and clarity, it benefits everyone. (5)

How does emotional intelligence (EI) function in the workplace?

Decreased Workplace Stress

Work is one of the leading sources of stress and anxiety. (3) In particular, EI has been shown to decrease workplace stress by allowing for better identification and management of emotions. Accordingly, higher self-awareness levels make it easier to see what work habits or relationships are negatively impacting our well-being.

Emotional intelligence shapes our ability to deal with the stressors of our job. As a result, when we can respond in constructive ways to conflict and stress at work, we are more productive and happier in our work environment.

Reduce workplace stress and anxiety with a better EI / EQ

Emotional Intelligence Is Essential to occupational Wellness

When we arrive at work, we bring our whole self with us, emotions and all. How we allow our emotions to influence the work environment can mean the difference between struggling or succeeding.

We all want to be our best selves at work. Becoming a more emotionally intelligent and connected person is a path to achieving that goal.