There’s no doubt about it: Owning a high level of emotional intelligence propels you in the workplace. If you’re able to detect your own emotions and the emotions of those around you, and can strategically respond in an effective manner, then your emotional maturity may already be light years ahead of those around you.

Intelligence alone isn’t what makes up an invaluable worker. Even the smartest people aren’t the best employees or colleagues. At the same time, people who lack a high IQ level can quickly become one of the most respected assets at their work if they have an advanced EQ level. EQ is short for “emotional quotient,” and Collins Dictionary defines a person’s EQ as “a measure of their interpersonal and communication skills.”

Experts have researched and concluded that there is a link between emotional intelligence and positive workplace outcomes, such as leadership abilities, deadline management, and teamwork skills. Some even argue that EQ is more important than IQ. Nonetheless, it seems the need for strong emotional intelligence is only growing larger.

We have Daniel Goleman to thank for the pioneering of emotional intelligence as we know it today. As a psychologist and science journalist, he found that there are five domains that make up the fabric of emotional intelligence.


We have an emotional reaction to everything we do. We don’t always take the time to consider why we’re feeling or acting a certain way—sometimes it even takes someone pointing it out to us.

Being able to detect your own emotions as you’re feeling them is a crucial component of emotional intelligence. If you know exactly when you’re feeling upset, excited, nervous, hopeful, or any other feelings, then you are more likely to positively manage the relationship between their thoughts and their behaviors.

People who are self-aware know their own strengths, weaknesses, limitations, and goals. They are known to be confident and welcoming of constructive criticism.


It’s one thing to know how you’re feeling and how the world sees you, and it’s another thing to be able to manage these thoughts and interpretations. Self-regulation is rooted in the idea that you can respectively, appropriately, and effectively communicate your emotions to others.

Individuals who know how to self-regulate typically are not intimidated by change or high-pressure situations. They are flexible and adaptable. When conflict arises, they neither stir the pot nor avoid the situation. Rather, they use their voice to diffuse the tense situations.

If you can manage your emotions well, you’re also not afraid to admit to mistakes and keep a thoughtful outlook.


If you can understand someone else’s emotions because you have experienced the same or similar thing, then you may know a thing or two about empathy. Detecting another person’s emotions is only the half of it, though.

In order to be a truly empathetic person, you realize that your reactions to people may change once you discover their emotional state. You also understand how these relationship dynamics play a complicated role in the workplace.

Mastering empathy makes you both tough and compassionate, perhaps pushing some people extra hard while cutting others a break at the same time. Empathy is necessary for all workers as they are able to relate to their coworkers on a more personal level and build stronger relationships.


True motivation is much more than feeling driven to achieve goals and earn rewards set by other people. Motivation as it relates to emotional intelligence is all about fulfilling your own inner standards.

People who are motivated are driven by their need for personal fulfillment, not external prizes of wealth, fame, or material items. They set goals often and don’t quit until they’ve completed their task. Motivated people are not afraid of challenges, and in fact, they are often the ones challenging themselves and constantly working to become better at their craft.

Social Skills

In order for the workplace to run smoothly, workers need to understand how to communicate with one another. While you may be able to identity your feelings as well as other people’s, you also must be able to use this knowledge during interpersonal communications.

Having social skills allows you to pick up on certain social cues, such as when someone is being humorous or sarcastic. People with great social skills are known to be effective communicators, active listeners, and team players. They also know how to maintain strong relationships and hold a productive conversation.

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