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The Importance of emotional intelligence in work

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Emotional intelligence can impact your career and everyone else in the workplace so it’s important to understand what it means to be emotionally intelligent and what emotional intelligence actually is…

When we talk about emotional intelligence we are talking about a person’s ability to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others around them. Think about your own office or workplace and the range of different personalities and emotions you interact with each day at work.

Good emotional intelligence allows you to work well with each of these personalities and so it really is important to be aware of, and work on, your emotional intelligence at work.

Having a good level of IQ and the technical skills for a job will only get you in the door of a company but what will set you apart from being average to a superstar, will come down to the level of emotional intelligence you have.

What makes someone Emotionally Intelligent?

Being self-aware

Having a level of self-awareness in work is linked to having clear goals, and understanding the impact of your behaviour on your team.

This is a vital skill as if you understand yourself you’ll be able to understand your co-workers better, make better decisions in work and focus on developing areas & skills that you’re truly talented in.

Managing these emotions

How do you react if something doesn’t go your way? Or if an unexpected deadline emerges at the last minute?
People who are good at managing their emotions handle situations better and bounce back quicker in the workplace when they encounter stressful problems.


Self-motivated people think of solutions and take accountability for their actions. Self-motivation is vital in work as it gives you the initiative to act and complete projects or tasks.


It is important not to confuse empathy with sympathy, which is the ability to feel compassion. Empathy is more focused around being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathy is important in work as it gives you the ability to recognise emotions in customers, clients and colleagues. This is a particularly vital skill for those working in sales, coaching and leadership roles.

Good social skills

Social skills are what most people associate with emotional intelligence. Social skills include being able to identify social cues in the workplace to establish common ground and manage relationships with co-workers. All of which aid getting work done efficiently and building social and professional networks.

So how can having poor emotional intelligence stunt your career growth opportunities?

Emotional intelligence is factored into everyday decisions employers in the workplace make – who to hire, who to fire and who to promote.

A lack of emotional intelligence can really stop your career in its tracks! Not recognising or controlling your emotions and acting out of anger can be detrimental to any workplace, increasing the likelihood of:

  • Poor work performance

  • Dysfunctional teams

  • Bad team morale

Hiring managers today are looking for emotionally aware candidates to hire, candidates who can demonstrate strong communication skills, self-awareness, adaptability and the ability to work in teams. All of these skills are connected to your emotional intelligence.

If you are reading this and are worried about how emotionally intelligent you actually are, don’t worry it is something that can be developed over time.

4 tips you can use to boost your EQ

1. Check in with how you are feeling mentally & psychically

At regular intervals throughout the day, take a few minutes to sit quietly and check in with how you feel. Take a few breaths and be sure to observe what emotions are showing up, emotionally & psychically on your body and what that sensation feels like.

2. Take this time to notice your behaviour

Observe how you act when you’re experiencing certain emotions, and how that feels and affects your day-to-day life. Managing your emotions becomes easier once we become more conscious of how we react to them.

3. When you get angry, do not vent your anger

Venting anger prolongs and amplifies your anger which affects you and your colleague’s moods. Instead, as corny as it sounds, take deep breathes.

Taking deep breathes will help you relax by slowing down your heart rate, which brings your body from a high state of arousal to a low state of arousal.

4. Reframe negative thoughts

Avoid jumping to a conclusion about a situation, try coming up with multiple ways of viewing a situation.
For example, a colleague says something to make you angry, or you take what they say to you personally. Rather than reacting and jumping to conclusions, write down your thoughts and reframe them to see that maybe he/she is just having a bad day.

Organisations who have an emotionally intelligent workplace drive higher revenue outputs as a result of the employees being more productive, self-motivated, committed and overall just more happy in there day to day role.

Emotional Intelligence is the main area within a business or any organisation that needs to be enhanced if it wants to go from being good to excellent. It is how well the people in the business work together that really sets one organisation apart from the other.

Ready to put your emotional intelligence to the test in a new job? Browse jobs.