Emotional Intelligence and The Workplace

Emotional Intelligence and The Workplace

Daniel Goleman argues in his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, that there is a new criterion in choosing who will be hired and who will not. He stated in the book that beyond intellectual ability and technical know-how, the following are focal.

  1. Initiative
  2. Empathy
  3. Adaptability
  4. Persuasiveness

This book, in my opinion is a needed read for all levels in the workplace – entry level to senior level – but especially pivotal for every HR manager and/or hiring manager in making hiring and promotion decisions.

Arguably the synonym of soft skills – people skills, positive character, social skills, positive attitudes, etc. – that enables one to be self-aware, be socially aware, manage self and relationships, is emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI), as defined by Pause Factory, refers to the ability to recognise, manage and respond well to one’s emotions and the emotions of others. It entails the ability to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to manage social relationships judiciously and empathetically.

As a field, EI was invented by John Mayer and Peter Salovey, and has since grown into a large field with scholastic materials, books and tools all alluding to its importance.

It has been proven that EI accounts for nearly 90 percent of what sets high performers apart. This leaves the remaining 10 percent to intellectual intelligence (II). This analysis shows that EI must be taken seriously if growth in any form is sought after.

In an article published on Forbes, How To Support The Right Kind Of Conflict At Work, the author, Liz Kislik, writes that “It’s terribly hard for most people to raise crucial disagreements at work, even though staying silent can mean we miss production deadlines, misunderstand customers’ requirements and stifle creativity because no one feels comfortable to share ideas that might deviate from the tried-and-true.” This supports the substantial claim and misconception that emotional intelligence does not support being “nice” at all times neither does it support “letting it all out”. EI can serve as an ultimate guide that directs an individual, telling the right time, moment and place to bluntly – if need be – confront a colleague with a truth that is beneficial to the cause, company etc. In situations like this, the truth must not be compromised, yet the motive in which it is presented, though blunt must be, right.

Motives over time can be sensed. Employers and employees alike must always put a check on their motives when interacting with colleagues in the workplace. When the motive is right, resolution comes easily perhaps conflict arises.

To foster growth in any organisation, it is important that trainings on EI be organised. This will help colleagues relate better in the workplace as well as boost clients’ and stakeholders’ relationship management.

The HR manager or hiring manager should always be on the lookout for candidates who not only have the technical abilities but also candidates who can fit culturally into the organisation and are emotionally intelligent.

EI is of benefit to the employee as well as the organisation. It ensures that individual parts are bonded into a team and bonded team with laser focus is a formidable force within any organisation.


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