Emotional intelligence: “The ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion and regulate emotion in the self and others.”

Research shows that emotional intelligence influences work performance, and it has been shown to be particularly useful for those in leadership positions or roles where there is a large customer service component, or simply when effectively collaborating or communicating with colleagues.

Working with emotional intelligence

“The rules for work are changing. We’re being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other…

The new measure takes for granted having enough intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it focuses instead on personal qualities, such as initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness…

Whatever your job, understanding how to cultivate these capabilities can be essential for success in your career….”
— From Working With Emotional Intelligence


Emotional intelligence can be broken down into the following areas:

1. Self-awareness: knowing yourself, your feelings and behaviours and how they influence others
2. Social awareness (empathy): demonstrating care and understanding towards others
3. Adaptability: being able to adapt your responses as situations demand it
4. Social skills: showing that you value your relationships with others and being able to gain support to achieve organisational goals
5. Self-management: ability to manage your own emotions and restrain them when appropriate

Measures of emotional intelligence (EQ)

Several different EQ scales and measures have been developed, including a psychological theory of emotional intelligence which looks at three aspects of EQ:

Examples from the emotional intelligence scale: 

(A) = Appraisal and Expression of emotion in the self and others

(R) = Regulation of emotion in self and others

(U) = Utilization of emotions in solving problems


Emotional intelligence reflection questions

1. How could having a high level of emotional intelligence benefit you in your role?
2. Are there any areas you can identify that you might need to work on to improve your level of emotional intelligence?

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