Emotional Intelligence for Better Work place Emotions


Prof. Dileep Kumar M.


Emotion refers to a feeling state (including physiological responses and cognitions) that conveys information about relationships. Emotions are intense feelings that are directed towards someone or something, and are considered to be critical factors in employee behaviour. --Stephen P. Robbins. Traditionally, it has for long widely acknowledged that emotions and feelings of individual workers have lesser role in work contribution and effective work place management. Since one cannot smell emotions, touch emotions, taste emotions and measure or quantify emotions, this non-tangible phenomenon got only limited attention from management, at work place. Management considers emotions as too subjective and whimsical phenomenon, which contributes less to productivity and profit. While it has been reported by may researchers and authors that effective judgment of the work situation that depends on the exploration of emotional information. This information is closer to the intelligence of a person and needs to be thoroughly evaluated in to.

Emotional Intelligence

David Wechsler define Intelligence as the aggregate or global capacity of an individual to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his environment.  Intelligence refers to the capacity to reason validly about information. Emotional intelligence can be considered a mental ability that involves the ability to reason validly with emotional information, and the action of emotions to enhance thought. Emotional Intelligence is a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one's thinking and action (Salovey and Mayer 1990). Emotional intelligence represents an ability to validly reason with emotions and to use emotions to enhance thought. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth. Emotional intelligence refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotion and their relationships, and to reason and problem-solve on the basis of them. Emotional intelligence is involved in the capacity to perceive emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and manage them. Emotional intelligence is a part of human personality, and personality provides the context in which emotional intelligence operates. Generally speaking, emotional intelligence improves an individual's psychosocial adjustment with effective group living. The higher the emotional intelligence indicates the better social and group living. Emotional Intelligence is a master aptitude, a capacity that profoundly affects all other abilities, either facilitating or interfering with them (Daniel Goleman).

Psychological Dimensions of Emotional intelligence

An emotionally balanced worker is more required for modern industrial organisations to be competitive and target oriented that in par with the requirement of the market economy. Emotionally balanced workers have the attributes of emotional intelligence, that includes self-awareness, self-confidence, transparency, adaptability, optimism, empathy, inspirational leadership and conflict management, mark the employees who excel. This indicates that the emotional intelligence rest on the pillars of competency, maturity and Sensitivity

* Emotional Competency: this indicates one's the ability and capacity to effectively respond to emotional stimuli elicited by various situations, having high self-esteem and optimism etc.

* Emotional Maturity: this indicates one's the ability and capacity to effectively evaluate emotions of oneself and others, balancing state of heart and mind, adaptability and flexibility etc.

* Emotional Sensitivity: this indicates one's the ability and capacity to effectively understanding intensity of emotional arousal, managing the immediate environment etc.

Components of Emotional Intelligence

Most important aspect in effective coping or adjustment is the self-awareness viz., recognizing one's emotions, feelings, impulses and their effects and its impact on those around. The self-awareness enables one to understand the internal frame of references of one's self, the intuitions, strength and weaknesses, the recourses and competencies. A better emotional and self-awareness help to have effective self-regulation in one's response towards varied situations. The emotional awareness leads to conscious use of self in a controlled manner and regulate one's emotional involvement and attachment to varied situations. Major indicator of emotional intelligence is the flexibility and the adaptability one shows toward charging situations. There may be fear, anxiety, frustration, tension, irritation, anger etc associated with the charging situations. To what extend individual worker shows his ability and adaptability with the charging situation that determine his capacity to manage self and manage emotions. Managing varied form of emotions, which include varied forms of moods and impulses, is the difficult part one has to face in various incidents and thus it is a part of emotional intelligence. Managing self is thus the engaging and controlling conscious use of self in regulating the emotions in its best form so that effective coping with the innovative situations made possible. Here, the individual motivation to challenge or cope up with the situation deeply influences its outcome. To what extend individual motivated to understand the change scenario or the charging situation and extend their flexible and adaptable effort towards effective coping that is the resultant response of rationale-emotive decision-making, his competence in effective use of skills, need prioritization and goal realization. An employee with high emotional intelligence can control, direct, lead manage his or her own moods and impulses, and there by communicate with others effectively, manage change well, solve problems, and use humor to build rapport in tense situations. Here one can observe the effective use of empathetic understanding on incidents or situations rather than sympathetic perception. In an empathetic understanding the individual members try to understand the internal frame reference without loosing oneself to the emotionally charged situations. An empathetic understanding avoids many conflict generating situations. Empathy, a part of emotional intelligence regulate the emotional involvement of the individual and lead them to win-win conflict handling situations. It leads to better mediation and negotiation and result positive outcome. One of the major out come of emotional awareness is the betterment of interpersonal relations at work and it leads to teamwork and team building exercise. Self-managing teams are the by-product of rationale- emotive adjustment of members at work based on common objectives and goal realization.

Why emotional intelligence important at work

Emotional intelligence is a set competencies, which direct and control one's feelings towards work and performance at work. The set of competencies is the ability of the individual being to control and manage his or her moods and impulses, which contribute to best of situational outcomes. Understanding one's own moods and impulses of others or any situation helps one to respond and behave accordance with expectations. In a work situation workers effective use of skill and knowledge in time depends on the effective regulation of emotions at work and his readiness to contribute to best in their target accomplishment.  Knowing one's emotions and feelings as they occur, and tuning one's self to the charged situation, requires the emotional competency, emotional maturity and emotional sensitivity that determine the success of adaptability and adjustment with the change scenario. In a work situation, since it involves group of people with different ideas, suggestions, and opinions, effective conglomeration of all these determine the best outcome.  Here the emotional intelligence plays a significant role at work. We can ask many questions in this context. Why do some people more involved in their work? Why do some people always create problems to the management and organisation? Why some people shows their personality structure that in tune with the organisational expectation. Why some people shows their self-interest more than organisational interest. In many cases the answer to the questions lies on emotional intelligence than organisational factors.

Suggestions towards emotional intelligence

The author suggest following tips of emotions intelligence that may help members to improve their self orientation and self awareness which produce proactivity and productivity at work. 

1. Develop better self awareness
2. Be honest with yourself
3. Maintain standards of integrity
4. Always subject to self criticisms
5. Be always sure about self worth and capacities
6. Be aware of competencies ands skill
7. Focus on positive feelings
8. Probe every source of your reaction
9. Distinguish relevant and irrelevant reactions
10. Listen to the other person's words
11. Step into other's shoes and understand their feelings
12. Keep your body relaxed
13. Control your negative emotions like anger, irritation, excessive anxiety etc
14. Be always realistic in your observation and understanding
15. Analyse the situation/feelings being detached
16. Always feel responsible to your actions
17. Give positive wieghtage to all your emotions
18. Be aware that the response to the feelings that matters
19. Conscious use of self in response to information and feelings
20. Be always empathetic than sympathetic
21. Keep your good memories always bright
22. Accept others feelings as you have
23. Try to understand what others feel about same situation
24. Think positive even in negative situations
25. Banish worry by action
26. Always clear about expression of feelings and thoughts
27. Conglomerate the opinions of others
28. Recognize the value association of yours and others feelings
29. Incorporate others feelings and thoughts in your decision based on outcome
30. Be conscious of productive management of emotions
31. Always give clear explanations to your subordinates and boss
32. Involve in activities, which give confidence and self-control
33. Show your ability to accept and understand others
34. Showing active interest in others interest and concerns
35. Do always sense others need for growth, affiliation and power
36. Make use of persuasion than punishment to get the desired results
37. Do adopt win-win conflict resolution strategies
38. Nurture better interpersonal relationship
39. Encourage group task and collective will which develop group synergy
40. Share the value system which is widely held by the members
41. Control disruptive emotions and impulses
42. Constant evaluation of the accountability from the followers
43. Be adaptable to all situations and circumstances
44. Show your flexibility in all change effort
45. Accept the ideas and suggestions which are relevant to better outcome
46. Show your initiativeness in all change effort
47. Keep your mind always optimistic
48. Enjoy every emotions of your success and achievement
49. Align your self goal with organisational goal
50. Do always cultivate opportunities for growth
51. Maximize learning opportunities
52. Deliver the assessment with care
53. Encourage participation at all levels
54. Encourage insight and self-awareness
55. Give objective feed back
56. Encourage self directed change and learning
57. Allow emotions to play their role in decision making to certain extend
58. Avoid sense of disasters
59. Keep a journal of your emotions
60. Develop organisational culture that support learning


Researchers investigated dimensions of emotional intelligence (EI) by measuring related concepts, such as social skills, interpersonal competence, psychological maturity and emotional awareness, long before the term "emotional intelligence" came into use. Emotional intelligence is part of health and well-being.  It is widely accepted around the world as a key element in our success, family life, physical fitness, self-esteem and creativity. Emotional Intelligence is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people, because the EQ principles provide a new way to understand and assess people's behaviours, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential. Emotional Intelligence is an important consideration in human resources planning, job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations and customer service, and more.


1. Ashforth, B.E. & Humphrey, R.H. (1995). Emotion in the workplace: A reappraisal. Human Relations, 48(2), 97-125.

2. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

3. Mayer, J. D., Caruso, D., & Salovey, P. (1999). Emotional intelligence meets traditional standards for an intelligence. Intelligence, 27, 267-298.

4. Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2000). Models of emotional intelligence. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.). Handbook of Intelligence (pp. 396-420). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

5. Thorndike, E.L. (1920). Intelligence and its uses. Harper's Magazine, 140, 227-235.

Prof. Dileep Kumar M.

Source: E-mail May 17, 2006


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