5 Traits of Emotionally Intelligent People (and Why They Matter in the Workplace)

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Emotional intelligence, sometimes called emotional quotient or EQ, is the ability to understand and manage emotions. Emotionally intelligent people recognize both their own feelings and other people’s and can be very successful when handling interpersonal relationships. High-level emotional intelligence can also be an asset by helping you achieve your professional goals.

Psychologist Daniel Goleman is credited with developing the five components of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Keep reading as we explore these components and discuss how you can apply them in the workplace.

What Are The Traits of an Emotionally Intelligent Person?

They Are Self-Aware

Self-awareness describes a person’s ability to identify their emotions and emotional triggers. People who are aware of their feelings usually better understand how others perceive them and often recognize other people’s emotions based on their words or actions. Self-awareness is a valuable asset at work to help you understand how your managers, coworkers, and even clients view you.

They Are Self-Regulated

Self-regulation refers to a person’s ability to manage and adjust their emotions as needed, with the ultimate goal of positively affecting themselves and those around them. Being in control of your feelings is necessary in social situations, as your emotions can powerfully influence others. Self-regulation is essential at work to maintain a professional persona at all times. 

They Are Motivated

Motivation is the urge or drive to do something. Motivation is essential to emotional intelligence because a person’s desires can promote different feelings toward different things. Your willingness to complete all your daily tasks at work displays your motivation to succeed in the workplace and demonstrates your desire to fulfill your goals. 

They Are Empathetic

Empathy describes the ability to identify, understand, and relate to another person’s emotions. Having the ability to empathize with others allows a person to handle workplace situations efficiently and effectively. For example, recognizing when a coworker is struggling and empathizing with them can alleviate difficult situations before they escalate and become worse. 

They Have Strong Social Skills

Social skills refer to a person’s traits that help communicate and interact with others. Verbal communication, active listening, and cooperation are prime examples of social skills that are beneficial in a work environment. Having strong social skills is helpful to the quick and effective resolution of conflict. Professionals use social skills to develop their careers and are essential for individuals in leadership roles.

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Why is Emotional Intelligence Important at Work?

Emotional intelligence is important so that a person can recognize, reason with, and understand their own emotions and those of others. The ability to handle and perceive emotions allows you to help and guide others and can also make you happier and more successful over time. 

In addition, emotional intelligence and leadership skills go hand-in-hand. Therefore, by working to improve your emotional intelligence, you are more likely to advance to a higher position or leadership role within your organization. Patience, active listening, positivity, and empathy are crucial character traits that all good leaders have. 

If you find that you are struggling with emotional intelligence in the workplace, try these steps to improve your emotional intelligence and overall workplace function: 

  1. Identify your weaknesses.
  2. Receive feedback.
  3. Ask for help.
  4. Practice emotional intelligence daily.

Improving your emotional intelligence can be as simple as looking in the mirror and adjusting your facial expression or body language. Emotional intelligence is crucial to efficient workplace operations and the happiness and healthiness of your work environment. Positive emotional intelligence will help advance your career on an upward trajectory and influence the people around you to focus on improving their own emotional intelligence.

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