How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

Do you want to know how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace?

Are you a business owner seeking ways to improve emotional intelligence in your workplace?

Emotional intelligence is a very important concept that cuts across all fields of life.

It is what determines human behavior, reaction to situations, and perception of things.

Given this, it is an important concept that should be given serious attention.

Emotional intelligence is to be a very popular concept.

However, not many people understand this concept fully.

Read on as well to find out what emotional intelligence is all about and all you need to know about how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

Improving Emotional Intelligence

This concept was developed as a psychological theory by two researchers, Peter Salovey and John D Mayer.

It was later popularized by Daniel Goleman in his book titled Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is all about recognizing, understanding emotions, and being able to regulate behavior.

Emotional intelligence is important for ensuring, a peaceful working relationship among employees in the workplace.

It is also what determines employees’ general performance and productivity level.

Hence, the need to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Before we consider how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace, there are certain things we need to consider.

This is so that we can fully understand the concept.

We need to consider;

  • Emotional Intelligence (Explaining the concept)
  • Components of emotional intelligence
  • Signs of low emotional intelligence especially in the workplace
  • Negative effects of low emotional intelligence 

Emotional Intelligence (E.I or E.Q)

Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient as it is also known as an individual’s ability to recognize and control his/her emotions.

It is also the ability to understand other people’s emotions.

Thus, guiding an individual’s behavior and perception of situations.

Even more, it determines the individual’s response to these situations.

tips for improving your emotional intelligence

Components Of Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman,  in his book, identified five components of emotional intelligence and they include;


Self-awareness is having a complete understanding of one’s character and feelings.

It is also understanding your emotions and knowing how you react to certain situations.

Thus influencing your behavior and relationship with people.


This has to do with an individual’s ability to control his or her emotions.

Self-regulation is having the capability to control’s one’s behavior, emotions, and reactions to situations.

This determines a person’s reaction to how other people’s negative emotions and behavior.


This is also another important component of emotional intelligence.

Motivation is all about being internally driven to work on specific goals.

Thus making the individual productive and efficient at what he/she does.

Ways to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence


Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of other people.

In other words, showing genuine concern towards the feelings of other people.

It also involves understanding how people feel and behaving accordingly.

Social Skills

This is the last component of emotional intelligence.

This is all about having the capability to build friendships and create lasting relationships.

By developing good social skills, a person would be able to create a good rapport in his/her interpersonal relationships.

Overall, emotional intelligence determines how an individual controls and reacts to emotional situations.

Signs Of Low Emotional Quotient In The Workplace

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence at Work

People with low emotional intelligence or emotional quotient tend to behave in a somewhat irrational manner.

Beyond this, there are other traits people with little or no emotional quotient portray.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, here’s how to know if your employees lack emotional intelligence.

Signs of low emotional intelligence include;

  • Insensitivity to people’s emotions and situations
  • Having the feeling of being right all the time
  • Not taking responsibility for his/her actions
  • Always aggressive or passive especially during communication
  • Always having an outburst of emotions
  • Taking things too personally
  • Refusal to work with teams 
  • Doesn’t value the opinion or perspective of other people
  • Always blaming other people for their problems
  • Always having a conflict of interest with people around

Now you know some of the behavioral patterns that signify low emotional intelligence.

Let’s examine the negative effects of low emotional intelligence especially in the work environment.

Negative Effects Of Low Emotional Intelligence 

How to Develop Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Low emotional intelligence makes individuals act irrationally at most times.

Also, there are ways low emotional intelligence in the workplace can affect the business and employees;

This makes the workplace an unconducive working environment.

As a result, employees, emotional, and physical wellbeing are negatively affected.

Consequently leading to inefficiency and unproductivity.

  • Low emotional intelligence makes it difficult for employees to maintain effective communication.

This makes it difficult to ensure effective teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.

  • It also leads to a lack of confidence and reduces employees’ level of performance at work.

Thus affecting the productivity and efficiency of employees in the workplace.

Overall, low emotional intelligence negatively affects workplace productivity.

Hence, the need for you to know how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Let’s move on to discover how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Steps To Improving Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

Utilizing Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient is quite similar to Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

Both are so important in helping an individual achieve success in his/her endeavors.

Furthermore, just as not everyone is born with a high IQ, most people are not born with a high level of EI or EQ.

An individual’s upbringing and personality can influence an individual’s EQ level.

Nevertheless, unlike IQ, EQ can be learned and improved.

Also, the process of learning and improving emotional intelligence involves a lot of careful practice.

Hence, here are some effective steps to improving emotional intelligence in the workplace.

These steps involve improving one’s self in the five components of emotional intelligence.

So, here are the steps to improving emotional intelligence in the workplace;

1Improving Emotional Intelligence Through Self-Awareness 

Ways to Create Emotionally Intelligent Teams

Self-awareness is one of the fundamental components of emotional intelligence.

Self-awareness is understanding one’s own emotions, feelings, and actions.

For employees to understand other people’s emotions, they need to be completely aware of their emotions.

Hence, you need to encourage employees to become more self-aware.

This would help them understand their emotions and why they feel a certain way in different situations.

How do employees become more self-aware?

Tips on how employees can improve emotional intelligence by increasing their self-awareness
  • Encourage employees to form the habit of keeping track of their thoughts.

They should learn to keep a thought journal.

This way they can keep track of their thoughts

Hence, helping them understand and remember how they react to situations at different times.

  • Employees should pay attention to how they feel and respond to situations

Encourage employees to take note of how their emotions influence their behaviors at different times.

They should also pay attention to how their emotions affect their decisions.

For example, when they have a misunderstanding with one of their colleagues how do they react?

Do they flare up and use negative words?

Or do they avoid an ugly situation by ignoring the colleague?

This would help them know their emotional response to certain situations in the workplace.

Thus helping them achieve self-awareness.

strategies to improve emotional intelligence

  • Employees could also ask other colleagues or members of the team for feedback on their behavior

Employees are opportune to know each other’s behavior patterns.

This is mostly because they spend the bulk of their time with each other in the workplace.

This involves good, bad, and ugly behavior patterns.

Hence, encourage them to ask for feedback on behavior from their colleagues, team members, and leaders.

All these would help employees get to understand their emotions and reactions better.

This is more or less like carrying out personal SWOT analysis.

In other words, trying to understand their strengths and weaknesses with regards to their emotions.

This would help them become more aware of how and why they react to certain situations the way they do.

Consequently helping you improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

2Improving Emotional Intelligence By Developing Self-Control (Self-Regulation)

High-Level Strategies to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Self-regulation is the second important component of emotional intelligence.

Hence, you should encourage employees to develop self-control.

Fortunately, self-control or self-regulation is something that can be learned.

Tips on how to help employees improve self-regulation/self-control to improve emotional intelligence
  • Encourage employees to engage in stress-relieving activities

One of the reasons people tend to lose control of their emotions is stress.

Sometimes the pressure of work and other personal issues could get to employees.

This could make them lose control of their emotions.

It could also make them become aggressive to other members of the team.

Hence you should encourage employees to engage in stress relief activities.

Activities such as exercising, playing games, meditating, taking a walk, etc are effective ways to relieve stress.

You could encourage employees to incorporate some of these activities into their daily home/ work routine.

More so, you could incorporate them as part of the workplace activities.

Thus helping them relieve stress.

It also prevents them from having an outburst of emotions due to the pressure of work.

Thereby, giving them more control over their emotions.

Ten Tips for Using Emotional Intelligence to Become a Better

  • Encourage employees to practice self-discipline

Employees can learn to regulate their emotions and behaviors by learning to be disciplined with their emotions.

For example, they could learn to walk away from negative situations/misunderstandings in the workplace.

Thereby, preventing outbursts of negative emotions in the workplace.

Even more, you could encourage self-discipline by setting strict rules and policies.

These rules should guard against negative behavior in the workplace.

Also, they should be norms/values that guide working relationships between employees.

Due to this, employees would become more cautious about their behaviors in the workplace.

It would also help them watch their emotional reaction to situations in the workplace.

Hence, helping you improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

3Improving Emotional Intelligence By Developing Intrinsic Motivation

7 Practical Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Another important component of emotional intelligence is motivation.

Emotionally intelligent people are intrinsically motivated.

Due to their intrinsic motivation, they can stay committed to their goals.

In the workplace, this is the employees’ commitment to organizational goals.

It is also the employees’ willingness to overcome challenges and perform better in the workplace.

This makes him/her a high performing individual.

Overall, highly motivated employees are great contributors to the growth of the organization.

Thus fostering productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

Tips on how to inspire intrinsic motivation in employees

  • Give employees enough reasons to love what they do

Employees can be intrinsically motivated in the workplace if they love what they do.

Most employees tend to be bored out of a job.

This happens when there are no exciting offers or opportunities for growth and development.

Hence, make your organization an innovative one that fosters the growth and development of employees.

  • Encourage employees to take up challenging tasks or roles in the workplace

Most times when employees’ abilities are challenged, they tend to be motivated to overcome those challenges.

This is because challenges offer them the opportunity to develop their strengths and skills.

Hence, encourage employees to take up challenging tasks.

More so, provide training that would help them succeed in those challenging aspects of the organization.

working with emotional intelligence

  • Moreso, encourage employees to develop a positive mental attitude

Employees with a positive mental attitude are usually intrinsically motivated.

They are always committed to set goals even around negative circumstances.

So, encourage and inspire employees to develop a positive mental attitude.

Thus making them intrinsically motivated and helping you improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

4Improving Emotional Intelligence By Developing Empathy

ways to increase your EQ

As said earlier on, empathy is understanding and showing concern for other people’s feelings.

It also involves how you feel and respond to the feelings of other people.

A workplace where employees show concern for each other’s emotions would foster team-spirit and co-operation.

Hence, you can improve emotional intelligence in the workplace by encouraging employees to be more empathetic.

Tips on how to develop empathy in the workplace 

  • Encourage employees to develop active listening skills

You could encourage employees to practice active listening in the workplace.

You could create short meetings where teams discuss their general wellbeing and other issues.

More so, they could discuss the challenges they encounter in the workplace.

Thereby, allowing employees to practice active listening in the workplace.

emotional intelligence skills

  • Enforce the culture of treating people with respect in your organization

You should create a company culture that fosters empathic relationships among employees.

This would regulate how employees treat each other in the workplace.

For instance, you could create rules that prevent the use of abusive and negative words in the workplace.

More so, you could create rules that foster respect for other people’s opinions.

Thereby, helping you build empathy and improving emotional intelligence in the workplace.

5Improving Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace By Improving Social Skills

Ways for Emotional Intelligence Skills in Workplace

Most times, your workforce would be made of introverts and extroverts.

Due to this, some of your employees might lack social skills.

Hence here’s how to improve emotional intelligence in the workforce by improving social skills.

Tips on how to improve social skills in the workplace

  • Encourage employees to develop self-esteem and confidence

One of the reasons why most people lack social skills is due to their lack of confidence.

Hence, encourage employees to be self-confident.

You can help employees to become more self-confident by pointing out their strengths.

You should also give them positive feedback on their contributions to the growth of the organization.

This would also help them develop a sense of accomplishment and build their self-confidence.

steps to emotional intelligence

  • Create an avenue for employees to socialize in the workplace and enforce participation

You could help employees develop social skills by organizing social events in the workplace.

You could organize simple get together, picnics, movies, and game nights for employees.

This would allow them to interact with each other outside of work.

Consequently, helping employees interact with each other and develop social skills.

Thus, helping you improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Conclusion On How To Improve Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

developing emotional intelligence

That’s it on how to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Emotional intelligence is so important to achieving success either in business, work, and life.

It could even be more important than IQ in the necessary skills to have for personal and career success.

Even more,  research suggests that EQ is placed as a higher valued skill in the workforce than IQ.

Due to this, emotional intelligence is one of the most important skills to have in the workplace.

So, use these tips to improve emotional intelligence in the workplace.

This is so you can create a workplace that fosters peace, productivity, and efficiency.

As a business owner, entrepreneur, leader, or manager are you emotionally intelligent?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

We would love to hear from you!