Emotional intelligence is a vastly underrated skill that most people use daily without realizing it. It is the ability to be aware of one’s emotions – and to understand the feelings of others. Those with high emotional intelligence are more likely to have control over their emotions, among other talents.

You might be wondering what emotional intelligence has to do with the workplace. The simple answer is – everything. Emotional intelligence is an essential tool for daily life, especially for those that want to appear calm and professional. 

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

How does emotional intelligence help you be a better professional? According to experts, there are five main ways that emotional intelligence helps those at work. These elements are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Self-awareness allows a professional to identify (and understand) their emotions and what may trigger more extreme emotions/reactions. It is easy to understand how this may benefit a professional, as it can help one avoid these triggers and overall have an easier time predicting how one will react to their environment.

Self-regulation takes emotional intelligence a step further by allowing one to have control over their emotions. For example, it is the ability to reign in one’s anger before lashing out at a coworker.

Motivation may seem to stem from a purely intellectual part of the brain, but it is driven by emotion. Everyone has dreams and goals, and these desires and deeply connected to our emotions. This is true even for professional goals.

Empathy is essentially the external version of self-awareness, as those with empathy have an easier time reading and understanding the emotions of others. Empathy in the workplace is vital, especially for those hoping to find common ground with coworkers and clients.

Finally, emotional intelligence helps to improve our social skills. Consider the above four points – it would be very challenging to be a social person without any of those skills. Emotional intelligence helps to boost one’s ability to communicate by helping us understand emotions, motivations, and points made by others.

An employee with high emotional intelligence is likelier to succeed, especially in matters involving other humans. They will have better control over their emotions and reactions, allowing them to present a professional image. Likewise, since they can empathize with others, it will be easier for them to find compromises when conflict occurs. These are a few examples of how emotional intelligence can impact one’s professional career.