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Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: Definition & Meaning

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  • 0:05 Definition of…
  • 1:03 Meaning of Emotional…
  • 3:14 Lesson SUmmary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Millraney

Lisa has 27 years of experience treating speech, language, memory and swallowing disorders. She has a master's degree in speech pathology from Vanderbilt University.

Emotional intelligence (EI, or EQ) is a vital element of a successful business. In this lesson, we will look at exactly what EI is, how it shapes a workplace, and how managers and employees can learn to improve their EI skills.

Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Once upon a time, there was a cookie company who was run by a mean boss named Damian. Damian ruled the company with emotional outbursts, such as name-calling, tantrums and rants directed at any employee who crossed his path. The employees were overworked, stressed, unmotivated, and all were looking to leave the company as soon as they could find work elsewhere. Damian was a prime example of a boss who did NOT have emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize and manage emotion in yourself and others. The ability to have emotional intelligence is usually one of the prime indicators of a good manager. One of the employees has put out an alarm for the country's hero: EI Man (Emotional Intelligence Man). The employee hopes that EI, Emotional Intelligence Man, can eliminate the mean Damian and save the company from destruction.

Meaning of Emotional Intelligence

Companies that have excellent leadership usually have managers with the ability to have emotional intelligence. This means the leaders are able to understand and facilitate emotion in the workplace. They know how to display the correct type of emotions to their employees. They treat their employees fairly and without immature or irresponsible methods.

Damian does not handle pressure very well. Although he is intelligent and has the technical skills for the job, he makes many poor decisions. Managers with emotional intelligence are able to stay calm under pressure and are compassionate, empathetic and excellent motivators. These managers have the ability to regulate their emotions. This means they do not over-react to issues and are calm in the face of turmoil.

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