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Emotional Intelligence: Building a Positive Work Culture


woman in professional setting

There are many employee interactions occurring in the workplace every day, and it is important that they are both productive and positive. Having employees that are resilient, adaptable and able to deal with emotions in a positive way not only leads to a healthier, happier workforce but also one that is more successful as an organization.

What is Emotional Intelligence?  According to Dr. Reuven Bar-On, “Emotional Intelligence is an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures.”

Emotional Intelligence involves:

  • Self-perception which can be thought of as self-awareness of your own emotions
  • Self-expression which is how you come across to others
  • Interpersonal relationships which includes being able to read others’ emotions and express empathy
  • Using decision-making skills or emotional information in an effective way
  • Stress management, which is your ability to be flexible, optimistic and resilient in times of stress

Why are emotions so important in the workplace? When the emotional side or our brain is triggered, it takes over our cognitive system—our ability to be reasonable and logical drops significantly. Studies show it can take upwards of 20 minutes to recover from an emotional encounter. This equals a significant amount of time lost where you are unable to be productive at work.

Whether you are the CFO or the administrative assistant, developing your Emotional Intelligence enables you to be a better person, employee and leader.

Five simple ideas to develop your own Emotional Intelligence include:

  1. Improve self-awareness by noticing how you feel throughout the day and the source of your emotions.
  2. Practice self-regulation by waiting a few hours before responding to a decision that is emotional or challenging.
  3. Identify the areas of your job that you love and try to emphasize these areas to create a more fulfilling work experience.
  4. Show empathy by actively trying to view a challenge from someone else’s perspective.
  5. Develop your social skills by trying to get to know individuals at work and how their emotions may come into play.

Overall, we know that individuals who use their strengths and understand their Emotional Intelligence competencies are more engaged, perform better at work, are happier, are more confident, and experience less stress. This is a win for wellbeing, as well as the company’s bottom line.

Contact us for more information social and emotional wellbeing, and how workplace wellness goes beyond just physical health.

Marie Story – MS, CHES
Wellness Team Leader
mstory@walshduffield.com