Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has quickly become an essential skill for employees and managers.

4 Reasons Emotional Intelligence is Vital in the Workplace


There’s a common saying that goes, “IQ gets you hired, but EQ gets you promoted.” This is based on the idea that high emotional intelligence, commonly known as EQ, means people are more empathetic, allowing them to gain better insight into both their coworkers’ emotions and their own. In turn, this insight and empathy results in a healthier workplace and improved employee productivity.

In fact, the benefits of EQ have been gaining traction across industries. The World Economic Forum ranked EQ as Number Six in the Top 10 Skills workers will need to succeed in 2020. There was no entry for EQ in their 2015 Top 10 Skills list, which shows just how quickly it has risen as a necessary skill.

EQ includes far more than one simply recognising whether they’re happy or sad, which falls more under emotional awareness. Full emotional intelligence, on the other hand, covers a much larger portion of the human experience, including:

  • Self-perception
  • Self-expression
  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills
  • Decision making
  • Stress management

Company leaders should make it a goal to increase their employees’ emotional intelligence to create a healthier and kinder environment. Consider these four smart reasons why EQ is vital in the workplace.

1. Increases Communication

A person with low emotional intelligence may find it difficult to understand a perspective different from their own. This makes effective communication strenuous, as the individual will focus too much on their response instead of listening to the other person.

A higher EQ makes people more empathetic, which in turn lets them listen and more fully understand and engage with others. Better communication corresponds to being more collaborative and inclusive in the workplace, which can ultimately improve productivity and avoid the risk of groupthink.

2. Boosts Confidence, Resilience and Perseverance

People with high emotional intelligence tend to have a better sense of who they are. This typically correlates to higher confidence, as they have a better understanding of their capabilities and limits.

When employees understand what they can and cannot do, there’s less chance of them taking on more than they can handle or projects outside their wheelhouse. This provides the opportunity for them to successfully complete assigned tasks and projects. The more successes employees accumulate, the greater their confidence and the more likely they are to find meaning in their work and remain self-motivated.

3. Improves Decision Making

A higher emotional intelligence helps people better self-manage themselves. This involves adapting and controlling one’s emotions and behaviour when circumstances change.

This means workers can appropriately deal with their frustrations and anger, and remain calm during stressful situations so that these emotions don’t enter into the decision-making and problem-solving process.

Along with decision making, EQ helps people more easily recognise and resolve conflicts in a more even-handed way. This helps reduce the likelihood of a toxic workplace environment developing.

4. Reduces Outside Distractions

Upleveling employee EQ extends beyond improving the workplace and boosting productivity. A higher EQ ultimately makes people not only work better, but also live better. When people have higher EQs, they make better decisions in and outside of the workplace.

Actions taken by employees outside the workplace can still have repercussions on the company as a whole. This can be anything from employees making poor decisions in their free time that could cost them their job, or doing something that can tarnish the company’s reputation. A low EQ can also be the cause of tension in a person’s relationship with family or their spouse, which can, in turn, negatively impact their productivity.

Fortunately, just like rational intelligence, people can cultivate emotional intelligence with a committed effort. Do you want to learn other surprising ways to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace? Contact ICML today for more information and advice about their emotional intelligence training programs.

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