Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace: 10 Basic Questions

An Intro to Emotional Intelligence at Work
Irene Employer's Corner Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace:10 Basic Questions
AUG 11, 2019 LISTEN

We hear ‘Emotional Intelligence’ used a lot as the new ‘in’ buzzword; but, it seems that everybody had a different idea what it is and how it can affect the Workplace.

Allow us to -please- provide a few clarifications in this article.

So, let’s start with the definition of course:

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence -shortened to EI or EQ (for Emotional Quotient), can be defined as:

“EI / EQ can be seen as a way through which one has control over their emotions and feelings, understanding them and doing same to others as well, which is understanding others emotions and feelings and how to control them.

Further, there are 5 distinct components of EI:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Internal (or intrinsic) motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills

From a glance at these 5 components, it is easy to see how EI applies in the workplace! Clearly workers with higher self-regulation, intrinsic motivation, and social skills have a leg up on those with less.

We will elaborate on these in a few paragraphs further. But first, let’s look at some examples please.


Examples of Emotional Intelligence at the Workplace

  • Being Compassionate and listening to an Upset Employee.

Employees do get upset, the get mood swings and they even have bad days at times. How one deals with these issues instead of ignoring or criticizing them, shows rather a lot about their EI. One should be always compassionate - Understanding in these situations, shows EI in practice.

  • People listen to each other in meetings

Meeting are held between people, therefore everyone who wants to contribute or say something should be given the chance to speak, instead of colleagues talking over each other. This shows mutual respect towards each other and it is a great evidence of good EI.

  • People express themselves openly

People should be allowed to confidently, openly and welcomely speak their mind instead of them being ‘bottled up’. But this openness should be done in a respectful manner. FYI: emotional intelligent people do not get upset about people being very open in expressing themselves.

  • Flexibility

Emotionally intelligent leaders should be flexible in decisions on how work is done. They should not expect people to work the same way they do. Things can be flexible but, they should always be geared towards the goal of the organization.

  • People meet out of work time

Colleagues can have a chat over tea or lunch together. That brings fun and they enjoy each others’ company; this shows social behavior among colleagues.

EI in the Workplace: The 10 Basic Questions.

  1. Why is Developing EI Important in the Workplace?

Emotional intelligence is a vital consideration in the workplace for many reasons, but there are two that really stick out - according to studies:

  1. It is linked to higher job satisfaction for those with high EI/EQ as well as employees who work with or are managed by those with high EI/EQ.
  2. It is strongly associated with job performance.

  1. How does EI manifest itself in the workplace?
  • By Understanding and controlling emotional responses
  • Understanding Stress management and self-care
  • Collaborating with others
  • Accepting and incorporating feedback
  • Striking valuable partnerships

  1. What exactly do you focus on, on a regular day? Is it (i) on results and tasks or (ii) on people and emotions?

When one goes to work, there is no focus on the emotional aspect, but in reality it plays a significant role on productivity and success. Humans are emotionally driven creatures, so before we embark on anything we get a feeling of what it is or what we hope to achieve.

Here the term Emotional Intelligence comes to play which is the ability to recognize specific emotions in oneself and others; acknowledge their effect on one’s goals and relationships, and either minimize negative effects or actively elicit emotions more appropriate to the situation at hand.

  1. Does an employee’s mood affect their performance at work? How?

Starting your day at work with/ in a bad mood, can affect your performance throughout the day and even affect your colleagues at work, according to a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

The researchers found that employees’ moods at the start of the workday affected how they felt and performed for the rest of the day. The moods were linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

“We saw that employees could get into these negative spirals where they started the day in a bad mood and just got worse over the course of the day,” said Stefanie Wilk, Associate Professor of Management and Human Resources at the Fisher College of Business.

  1. Can you measure EI? How?

EI can be measured using an Emotional Intelligence Test, which gives a career enhancing information as well as self-management and self-development information. It can also uncover blind spot of the test taker. Recruiters also use these test for the selection process. An example of this test is the: Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional-Intelligence-Test: MSCEIT

Aside from this test, there are some traits that one must exhibit to determine how emotionally intelligent they really are. These are people who are non-defensive and open, they should be aware of their own emotions, they must also be very adept at picking up on the emotional state of others, they must be able to check their ego and allow others to shine; all these and many more can be used to measure there EI.

  1. Does EI really improve Productivity? How and Why?

With Emotional Intelligence as a tool, one then has/ knows a lots of ways to deal with challenges at work and getting work completed efficiently. Organizations should make Emotional Intelligence, part of their corporate culture.

When companies make the language of Emotional Intelligence an integral part of the everyday work experience, they create an environment in which employees naturally embrace and start living the concept. This can lead to lasting results and a bigger pay-off in increased productivity.

  1. How do you introduce EI to an Organization?

As stated above, Emotional Intelligence should be made a part of any organizations’ culture. All should learn to respect each other’s views during meetings, be evaluated periodically on EI and trained on how to handle their emotions, stress etc. and that of others.

EI is a set of Soft Skills and our last article is all about the challenges associated with training employees on Soft Skills ( ).

  1. How do you focus on the main goal of the Organization if team members are not reliable?

As the leader of your team, you should be able to foster a good 2-way communication among members. There should be a delegation of tasks among member and continual check up on their delegated task (prefer to call that a feedback mechanism than ‘check up’, which implies micromanagement). They should be able to work smart and efficiently with good motivation All team members should be given the opportunity to share ideas and support each other emotionally.

  1. Are There Disadvantages and Limitations to Using EI in the Workplace?

There are absolutely advantages to using EI/ EQ in the workplace, as the above examples and associations have showed. So far, there are virtually no disadvantages to it.

However, there are some limitations: emotional intelligence can indeed get enhanced, but as with other traits and skills, there is an upper limit to it. That is likely determined at least in part by genetics or even how we grew up. Not everyone can be a master of emotional intelligence.

In addition, there is some concern that too much emotional intelligence can encourage manipulation and other unethical or bad behavior. If unscrupulous employees have extremely high EI/ EQ, they may be tempted to use their emotional intelligence to manipulate, deceive, and take advantage of their coworkers, subordinates, and perhaps even their management.

Generally, having excess EI/ EQ is not something anyone should be too concerned about; it’s much more common to have too little than too much!

  1. What are the Benefits of EQ at the Workplace?
  • Better Team-Work
  • Better Office Environment
  • Adjustments Can Be Made Easier
  • More Self-Awareness
  • More Self-Control
  • Compassion
  • Time’s Managed Better
  • There’s More Motivation
  • Leadership Capabilities
  • Better Professional Relationships Are Able to Form
  • You Are One Step Ahead of Other Companies

Instead of a Conclusion

We just thought that we should remind you the effects of poor listening please:

  • Misunderstanding,
  • Misconstrued Instructions
  • Frustration
  • Humiliation
  • Hurt Feelings
  • Hostility
  • Damaged Relationships (personal and commercial)

Think about all these effects. Maybe…, without developing Effective Listening Skills, it might be pointless to attempt yo establish an Emotional Intelligence Culture in your Organization.

Thank you and Good Luck,

Irene and Comfort


About the Authors:

Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghana ( ), a Leading Ghanaian Recruitment Agency and the Prime provider for Soft Skills Training (including Emotional Intelligence) in Ghana through their HIREseminars. Comfort Quartey- Papafio is the one heading these HIRESeminars services ( ).

HIREghana can be reached at +233 50 228 5155 or +233 266 555 907 and HIREseminars at +233 50 854 1760.

They both welcome your feedback/ comments/ remarks/ suggestions at Press {at} HIREgh . com.

© 2019 Irene Gloria Addison and © 2019 Human Intelligence Recruitment.

Irene Gloria Addison
Irene Gloria Addison

Irene Gloria Addison is the owner of HIREghanaPage: IreneEmployerCorner