"Emotional Intelligence: The Key to Workplace Well-being and Efficiency"

Emotional intelligence has been extensively researched and proven to have crucial positive implications for various aspects of the workplace. Let’s delve into some of the most well-documented effects:

Effective Communication: Emotional intelligence facilitates better communication among colleagues, leaders, and employees. The ability to express oneself clearly and listen empathetically contributes to fewer misunderstandings and conflicts.

Conflict Resolution: With a high level of emotional intelligence, it becomes easier to handle conflicts and disagreements constructively. Employees are better equipped to navigate challenging situations and find solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Teamwork: Emotional intelligence fosters collaboration and teamwork across different departments and levels within the organization. Employees with high emotional intelligence are more likely to be open, flexible, and supportive of their colleagues.

Leadership: Good leadership requires high emotional intelligence. Leaders with this ability can inspire and motivate their teams, build trust, and create a positive work culture.

Decision Making: Emotional intelligence also plays a role in the decision-making process. The ability to understand and manage one’s own and others’ emotions can help make more informed and balanced decisions.

Employee Well-being: A workplace that values and promotes emotional intelligence creates an environment where employees feel seen, heard, and appreciated. This can lead to increased employee engagement, satisfaction, and well-being.

The hallmark of emotional intelligence is self-control, discipline, and impulse control

– Travis Bradburry

Overall, a high degree of emotional intelligence contributes to a healthy, productive, and collaborative work environment where employees thrive, and the organization achieves its goals effectively and sustainably.

Such a collaborative culture in the organization presupposes that management acts with a high degree of emotional intelligence and is constantly aware of the positive impact of acting as ambassadors for a psychologically safe culture, where employees and leaders interact empathetically.

It is the combination of the above that promotes well-being and effectiveness – and in that order. When you feel comfortable and safe in your workplace and are supported in realizing your potential, you don’t have to expend energy navigating negative energy and burdensome relationships. This allows for focus, and focus, in short, creates efficiency.

What Defines an Emotionally Intelligent Leader or Employee?

As emotional intelligence increases, the ability to navigate social situations significantly improves, and you become a more conscious life leader. With high emotional intelligence, it also becomes easier to handle specific situations and topics that, for example, incite tensions between colleagues and potentially trigger a simmering conflict.


Interested in an Emotional Intelligence Course or Workshop?


Below, I will describe the connection between emotional intelligence and conflict management. But first, a few words on what characterizes emotional intelligence in practice.

Emotional intelligence is characterized by several important qualities and skills:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to understand and be aware of one’s own emotions, thoughts, and reactions.
  • Self-regulation: The ability to control and manage one’s own emotions, impulses, and behavior, especially in stressful or challenging situations.
  • Social awareness: The ability to understand and be aware of others’ emotions, perspectives, and needs, as well as to read nonverbal communication and body language.
  • Empathy: The ability to show empathy and understanding for others’ emotions and perspectives, as well as the ability to respond empathetically to other people’s needs and emotions.
  • Interpersonal skills: The ability to build and maintain healthy and positive relationships with other people, including the ability to communicate effectively, actively listen, and resolve conflicts constructively.
  • Self-management: The ability to set and achieve goals, be motivated and engaged in one’s work, and the ability to handle stress, pressure, and adversity healthily and constructively.

These qualities and skills form the foundation of emotional intelligence and play a crucial role in one’s ability to handle and navigate social and emotional situations both in the workplace and in one’s personal life.

The crucial point is to move from knowledge to practice and thus realization. In other words, it is not enough to read about these characteristics and understand why they lead to well-being and effectiveness. To trigger a positive effect, you must master the translation of knowledge about emotional intelligence into practice. Only in this way does it have real meaning and effect in your life; including in your workplace.

An Example of a Leader with High versus Low Emotional Intelligence

Let’s take an example of a situation from a workplace that we can all relate to:

An Emotionally Intelligent Leader:

Hanne is a leader with a high degree of emotional intelligence. One day, she notices that one of her employees, John, seems stressed and frustrated.

Instead of ignoring the situation or giving John a set of instructions to move on, Hanne decides to take a more empathetic approach. She invites John to a conversation and actively listens to his concerns and frustrations.

Hanne shows understanding and empathy towards John’s situation and offers support and guidance instead of judging or criticizing him. Together, they find solutions to the problems John is facing, and Hanne follows up with him to ensure that he feels supported and encouraged to deal with the situation.

A Non-Emotionally Intelligent Leader:

On the other hand, Tom is a leader with a low degree of emotional intelligence. When he notices that one of his employees, Anna, seems stressed and frustrated, Tom decides to ignore the situation and assume that Anna will manage on her own. He focuses solely on results and deadlines and expects Anna to be able to handle her work without his intervention.

As Anna begins to underperform and make mistakes due to her stress, Tom responds with irritation and criticism instead of showing understanding and empathy.

His inability to handle emotional situations leads to a poor work environment and dissatisfaction among his employees.

This example illustrates how an emotionally intelligent leader is able to handle a stressful situation by showing empathy, understanding, and support towards their employees, while a leader with low emotional intelligence may react with indifference, irritation, and criticism, exacerbating the situation and creating a poor work environment.

The example also illustrates how emotional intelligence can prevent conflicts and help to disarm and handle existing conflicts.

Emotional Intelligence and Conflict Management

Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in the ability to handle conflict in the workplace. A person with high emotional intelligence is aware of their own emotions, thoughts, and reactions in conflict situations. This self-awareness allows them to identify how they react to the conflict and how their emotions affect their behavior.

Furthermore, they can control and manage their own emotions and impulses during a conflict, enabling them to remain calm and balanced even when faced with challenging or stressful situations. At the same time, they have a strong ability to put themselves in others’ shoes and understand their perspectives and emotions. This makes it easier for them to see the conflict from the other party’s perspective and communicate in an empathetic and understanding manner.

Emotionally intelligent individuals often have strong communication and collaboration skills, which enable them to resolve conflicts constructively. They are good at actively listening, communicating clearly, and expressing their needs and viewpoints. Moreover, they can build and maintain healthy relationships, making it easier to preserve trust and respect in relationships, even when conflicts arise.

Overall, a high degree of emotional intelligence provides a person with the necessary tools and skills to handle conflicts effectively and constructively. This contributes to a healthy and productive work environment where conflicts can be resolved in a way that promotes collaboration, trust, and respect among colleagues and team members.

Why Does Emotional Intelligence Drive Efficiency?

Emotional intelligence fosters efficiency by improving relationships, decision-making, stress management, leadership skills, and empathy in the workplace.

Individuals with high emotional intelligence have a greater ability to understand and manage their own emotions as well as those of others, leading to more positive and constructive relationships.

They are better able to use their emotional information alongside rational considerations to make well-thought-out decisions, and they handle stress more effectively by regulating their emotional responses.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are also better at motivating their employees, handling conflicts, and creating a positive work culture.

Furthermore, they often demonstrate a high degree of empathy and understanding towards others, creating an environment characterized by respect, collaboration, and compassion. As mentioned above, it is the combination of these that ultimately leads to a healthy and productive work environment where employees thrive and perform at their best.

Emotional intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions.

Daniel Goleman


Brief History about the Term Emotional Intelligence

The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) was popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,” published in 1995.

While Goleman did not coin the term “emotional intelligence” himself, his book played a significant role in bringing the concept to mainstream attention and highlighting its importance in various aspects of life, including personal development, relationships, and professional success.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©2024 Vibeke Vad Baunsgaard, PhD

SaveSave SaveSave


Send a mail and I'll get back to you


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?