43 Emotional Intelligence

Based on Research by Crystal C. Chien Farh, Ph.D. et al. Psychology Science Minute written by Jessica Prior, B.S. & Erin Richard, Ph.D.

What is a key element for job success?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own and others’ emotions, being sensitive to and caring about others’ welfare, and using the information to make decisions and act.  Having emotional plus cognitive intelligence will give you the competitive edge over an individual with just cognitive intelligence and job expertise.

Dr. CrystalI Farh and colleagues’ research found that early career manager’s emotional intelligence positively influenced teamwork effectiveness and job performance.  Supervisors judged those managers with high emotional intelligence, particularly those who could accurately perceive emotional cues, as having more teamwork effectiveness especially in high managerial work demand situations.

Personality, cognitive ability, stressful job demands, or job complexity do not influence social relationships as much.  Thus the benefits of being emotionally intelligent at work are numerous especially where there are multiple work requirements.

Training can be helpful in the workplace to bring awareness to emotional issues. To be an effective manager, learn to be sensitive to others’ feelings, wants, and needs.  Handle others kindly and diplomatically.  Remember, being a smart employee is not enough. Be an emotionally smart employee too!


Farh, C. I. C. C., Seo, M., & Tesluk, P. E. (2012). Emotional intelligence, teamwork effectiveness, and job performance: The moderating role of job context. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(4), 890-900. doi: 10.1037/a0027377

Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, cognition and personality, 9(3), 185-211.

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