Emotional intelligence plays an important role in every organization. From hourly employees to the CEO, the way that people interact with one another has a direct impact on success. High EQ doesn’t just benefit an individual or satisfy a job requirement, it helps to curb negativity in the workplace and cultivates positive energy, which leads to improved teamwork and greater efficiency.

Just what recipe is required to generate that positivity and efficiency? There are five main “ingredients” to emotional intelligence:


  • Motivation – The right motivation is an indicator of potential talent and future leadership. If an employee does not have the right motivation, they won’t stay in the game.

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  • Self-Awareness – Self-awareness is critical for any contributing member of a team. Individuals must have a firm grasp of their personal strengths and weaknesses, and they should always have an idea of how they are presenting themselves when they interact with others and how their behaviors affect others.
  • Self-Regulation – We all know people who can’t seem to manage their reactions or emotions in high-pressure situations. These people are often very defensive and reactionary, and can cause a great deal of drama in team situations. Self-regulation is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to EQ.
  • Empathy – Empathy is an EQ trait that should be exhibited by employees at all levels, but nowhere is it more important than among leaders. Employees won’t trust managers if they don’t think that their leaders take the time to understand their feelings. A little bit of empathy goes a long way.

People with high EQ exhibit all five of these traits, but everyone will be stronger in some aspects than others, and not everyone can operate at 100 percent capacity all the time. Even the most empathetic person in the world can sometimes come off as uncaring. The most controlled and self-regulated person in the office can sometimes react poorly in a high-pressure situation. The key to an effective EQ is to strike a balance among its components and know how to self-correct when necessary.

Determining which competencies are required for individual job titles is up to the organization and its leadership to decide. Specific jobs, roles, and industries do require specific EQ competencies, but high EQ is important in all aspects of the workplace.

Effective leaders will look for team members who exhibit these traits, and they will help cultivate EQ qualities in their exiting team members. A high-EQ team will provide a solid foundation for positivity in the workplace, improving teamwork and increasing efficiency across the board.