What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to an individual’s ability to perceive, understand, regulate and to integrate emotions in the thought process. Individuals who have high emotional intelligence express higher emotional and social competencies and skills that determine how such individuals understand and express themselves, how they understand and relate with others, and how they handle daily pressures of life (Kafetsios & Zampetakis, 2008). Emotional intelligence encompasses five major factors. These are adaptability, stress management, interpersonal emotional intelligence, intrapersonal emotional intelligence, and general mood emotional intelligence. This short paper evaluates the concept of emotional intelligence in the work environment and its role in contributing towards job satisfaction.
How does emotional intelligence enhance the work environment?
Emotional intelligence enhances the work environment in various ways. Organizational leaders who have high emotional intelligence are in a better position to create positive work environments where all employees feel happy (Srivastava, 2013). Organizational leaders with high emotional intelligence can be able to influence the organizational culture and lead to positive work environments. Such leaders can be able to influence employee behavior and their attitudes to work. Leaders with emotional intelligence can better direct the emotions of others (Srivastava, 2013). In addition, such leaders can understand the emotions of others. This is an important aspect in creating cohesion among teams or groups. The ability of group members to understand the emotions of others is critical in fostering a mutual understanding and thus the ability of the group to achieve its goals.
How does emotional intelligence contribute to job satisfaction?
Emotional intelligence has significant impacts to job satisfaction levels of employees. At an interpersonal level, emotional awareness resulting from emotional intelligence affects the employees’ social relationships. Emotional awareness enables employees to develop and maintain sound social relationships (Kafetsios & Zampetakis, 2008). Where employees develop sound social relationships, there is a reduced likelihood of conflicts arising from misunderstandings. This creates a positive work environment that enhances job satisfaction. At the intrapersonal levels, emotional intelligence allows employees to be aware and to be in control of their own emotions (Kafetsios & Zampetakis, 2008). For example, employees who are aware of their emotions can be able to control negative emotions and stress at work. This contributes to job satisfaction since the employee is able to maintain a positive outlook of things.
Emotional intelligence enables employees to deal with stressful and emotionally involving jobs without stressing themselves. For example, nurses have to deal with emotional situations such as deaths, accidents, births, and terminal illnesses. Having high emotional intelligence is critical in dealing with such stressful situations (Tagoe & Quarshie, 2016). Among the various facets of emotional intelligence is emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is the ability to control one’s emotions in stressful or highly emotional environments such as the hospital environment. Those who are able to engage in emotional regulation are likely to report higher job satisfaction levels. On the other hand, nurses who lack emotional regulation may feel constantly stressed and contemplate shifting to alternative careers. For example, such nurses may always feel emotional when caring for people with terminal illnesses. The constant negative emotions may have a negative impact to their practice.
Kafetsios, K., & Zampetakis, L. A. (2008). Emotional intelligence and job satisfaction: Testing the mediatory role of positive and negative affect at work. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(3), 712-722. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.10.004
Tagoe, T., & Quarshie, E. N. (2016). The relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction among nurses in Accra. Nursing Open, 4(2), 84-89. doi:10.1002/nop2.70