Emotional Intelligence Skills (Definition And Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 December 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Possessing high emotional intelligence and the skill to effectively manage your emotions in challenging scenarios can help in improving the outcomes of your actions. One of the most important indicators of workplace performance is your ability to manage emotions and influence others. Emotional intelligence is a valuable skill and knowing how to develop it can aid your professional growth. In this article, we examine what emotional intelligence is and how you can develop and use it effectively in the workplace.

What Are Emotional Intelligence Skills?

Emotional intelligence skills, which constitute an individual's emotional quotient (EQ), refer to a person's ability to recognise and manage their own and others' emotions. Professionals can use emotional intelligence to manage stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome obstacles and resolve conflicts in the workplace. People with high emotional intelligence may develop stronger relationships, making them more successful in both their personal and professional lives.

Examples Of Emotional Intelligence Skills

The ability to express and control feelings is critical, but so is the ability to comprehend, interpret and react to others' feelings appropriately. Emotional intelligence provides individuals with the ability to perceive, control and assess emotions. Given below are a few common examples of these skills:

1. Self-management

Self-management involves developing a thorough understanding of your abilities, limitations, feelings, ideologies and aspirations. It helps an individual become conscious of their own presence in a situation or setting, and how they may affect it. If you can better understand yourself, you can recognise your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve them to achieve your goals.

When you practise self-management, you may perform better at understanding others' emotions and interacting with them appropriately. This aids in the development of better interpersonal relationships in a workplace. Problem-solving skills, effective communication, excellent memory, stress resistance, time management and a healthy lifestyle are all important for an individual's well-being in both personal and professional contexts.

Read more: Self-Management Skills: Definition And Examples

2. Self-awareness

Self-awareness constitutes an ability to recognise and understand your own emotions and how they influence your behaviour and overall attitude. This allows you to gain a better understanding of your limitations and strengths and also provides a more realistic view of your overall ability. Improving self-awareness can help you in both your personal and professional life. It can assist you in determining what aspects of your job you enjoy and how you can create a successful career path that motivates and fulfils you consistently.

3. Social awareness

Social awareness is a person's ability to consider the perspectives of other people, groups or communities and apply that understanding to interactions with them. Being socially aware is when you can understand the emotional needs and responses of those around you. Practising empathy, recognising various emotional cues from others and understanding a group's hierarchy are all likely to improve social outcomes for professionals.

4. Relationship management

Relationship management entails being aware of your own and others' emotions to successfully manage relationships and the recurring interactions that they entail. A person's ability to effectively convey their thoughts, influence others with their words and actions and successfully work within a team is usually the foundation for developing healthy, functional and productive relationships with others. Clear communication and effective conflict resolution are essential components of relationship management.

Related: What Does A Customer Relationship Manager Do? (Duties And Skills)

5. Social skills

Social skills play an important role in building both personal and professional relationships. These skills help individuals communicate and interact with others by using both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication like gestures, posture and body language. People with strong social skills can form meaningful relationships with others and gain a better understanding of themselves and others.

Improving Skills For Emotional Intelligence

Given below are some tips that can help you improve your skills for developing emotional intelligence:

1. Self-management

Being organised is one of the most important aspects of successful self-management. The first steps towards improved self-management usually involve maintaining a strict schedule and pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Another important factor is the ability to deal with stress. In a domestic or professional setting, staying organised can help you focus on your responsibilities. You can improve your self-management abilities by:

  • Requesting constructive criticism

  • Understanding your values

  • Developing new skills

  • Taking responsibility for yourself

  • Developing a calm mindset

  • Setting realistic and time-bound objectives

2. Self-awareness

To determine how your emotions affect your thoughts and actions, it is vital that you first understand and connect with them. The first step towards controlling your emotions and not allowing them to affect your judgement is to figure out what triggers emotions such as joy, sadness, anger and fear. You can improve self-awareness by:

  • Working on acknowledging your feelings

  • Seeing obstacles as opportunities to learn

  • Exercising your communications skills

  • Recognising that your response is a choice

  • Developing methods for coping with complicated feelings

Read more: What Is Self-Awareness? (And How To Become More Self-Aware)

3. Social awareness

Paying close attention to the subtle actions and reactions of those around you is a simple way to improve social awareness. Your ability to perceive and understand other people's emotional responses can improve over time, allowing you to empathise with their feelings. You can improve social awareness by:

  • Learning to resolve conflicts

  • Practising active listening

  • Conducting open-ended enquiries

  • Taking an interest in other people

  • Learning to compliment others

4. Relationship management

When other aspects of emotional intelligence improve, so do relationship management skills. A person who can successfully self-manage typically has a high level of self-awareness and can understand the emotions of others around them. They may have a better chance of forming long-term and healthy relationships. You can improve your relationship management skills by:

  • Revealing your own feelings and thoughts

  • Imagining yourself in someone else's position

  • Observing the body language of others

  • Listening to others actively

5. Social skills

Social skills such as communication, empathy, interpersonal skills and listening skills are valuable not only in personal life but also in professional life. These skills can be useful in the workplace for guiding employee interactions and overall planning and collaboration. You can improve social skills by:

  • Observing colleagues' social skills

  • Maintaining eye contact while communicating

  • Finding icebreakers that can help you start a conversation

  • Asking questions that are open-ended

Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace

Many jobs entail stressful situations and frequent interactions with others. Emotional intelligence is a valuable professional asset in such scenarios. Here are some tips for practising emotional intelligence in the workplace:

Maintain healthy habits

Maintaining a healthy level of fitness can help you relax and feel better. When you have physical energy and stamina, it is easier to control your thoughts and emotions while also being aware of the thoughts and emotions of others around you. Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day can provide you with energy and focus throughout the day.

Establish emotional barriers

Establishing emotional barriers is a good way to keep emotions out of work decisions. Although you can be sympathetic and available for assisting with the personal struggles of your colleagues, it is advisable to not let that knowledge or relationship influence your work decisions. Maintaining a strictly professional relationship with everyone at work can assist you in maintaining an objective point of view.

Maintain a flexible mindset

In the workplace, an ability to maintain a flexible mindset and adjust to long-term goals based on new information is critical. Professionals who maintain a flexible mindset can consistently improve their emotional intelligence and develop an ability to learn new skills through hard work, training and perseverance. It can help you adapt quickly and change skills, behaviours and attitudes.

Consider and understand the values of the organisation

Company values are a set of guiding principles and fundamental beliefs that enable a group of people to work as a team and achieve a common goal. Being emotionally well-adjusted to a company's core values is usually a major factor in a professional's emotional well-being. Finding a company that matches your personality is a good start to improving skills and developing emotional intelligence.

Highlighting These Skills

As high levels of emotional intelligence may increase your chances of securing a job, demonstrating them throughout the recruitment process is critical for professional success. Consider these pointers for highlighting these skills in different settings:

On a resume or cover letter

Many job descriptions include requirements, such as excellent communication skills, teamwork skills and the ability to manage others. These parameters indirectly require candidates to possess emotional intelligence. Highlighting emotional intelligence in a resume or cover letter can assist you in getting such jobs. Describe specific examples of self-control, self-awareness, social awareness or relationship management that you may have demonstrated in professional situations.

During job interviews

Most employers look for signs of emotional intelligence in candidates, but there are no official guidelines, methods or rules for measuring it accurately. Hence, it is vital that you demonstrate your emotional intelligence throughout the interview process. The most basic way to show emotional intelligence is to actively listen to the interviewer's words and respond in a way that conveys that you have the mental awareness to understand what they are saying.

Genuine positive emotions are a sign of emotional intelligence. Show that you care about what you do and are excited about the potential opportunity. Demonstrating a healthy mindset and good emotional intelligence skills requires maintaining a consistent positive outlook and showing that you can see opportunity in challenges.

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